The Union Recorder

Community News Network

August 22, 2013

Supporters drawn to Manning's former home defend him as 'whistleblower'

CRESCENT, Okla. — Hours after Army Private Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, about a dozen supporters gathering in the town where he once lived insisted he is a "whistleblower," not a criminal.

They stood vigil in front of the town hall in Crescent, a tight-knight community of 1,400 people about 35 miles north of Oklahoma City.

"We believe the sentencing is cruel and unusual punishment," said Amanda Armstrong, who traveled from her home in Stillwater, Okla. "Bradley Manning is a whistleblower who disclosed information that was very important for the public to know what the government was doing. He should not be in jail. I think he should be pardoned."

Manning was convicted in July of stealing 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos and disseminating them to WikiLeaks, the online anti-secrecy group. A military judge sentenced him to 35 years in prison, reduced his rank from private first class to private, required him to forfeit pay and benefits, and ordered his dishonorable discharge.

Less than a day later, Manning announced he wants to live as a woman.

"I am Chelsea Manning. I am female," Manning wrote in a statement read on NBC's "Today" show Thursday. "Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition."

The Army responded in a statement that Manning will have access to doctors and mental health professionals in prison at Fort Leavenworth, but the military will not provide hormone therapy or gender reassignment surgery.

Manning's gender was an issue in his court martial, where his defense argued the Army ignored evidence of his struggles with gender identity disorder.

Text Only
Community News Network
Poll
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl