Home Tags Posts tagged with "david coombs"

david coombs


Convicted soldier Bradley Manning has revealed that he wants to live as a woman named Chelsea and intends to undergo hormone therapy to begin his transition to a female.

Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday for leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, made the shock announcement through his attorney on the Today show on Thursday.

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female,” Bradley Manning wrote in the statement entitled, The Next Stage of My Life.

“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.”

Bradley Manning added that he now wishes to be referred to as Chelsea and as a “she” rather than a “he”.

On Thursday, Bradley Manning’s lawyer David Coombs denied the former intelligence analyst was making this announcement for the attention or because she was a narcissist.

“Chelsea didn’t want to have this be something that overshadowed the case,” he explained.

In this undated photo provided by the US Army, Bradley Manning poses wearing a wig and lipstick

In this undated photo provided by the US Army, Bradley Manning poses wearing a wig and lipstick

David Coombs added that Fort Leavenworth, where Bradley Manning is serving her term, does not provide hormone therapy for soldiers, but that he hoped it would “do the right thing” and provide it.

“If not, I am going to everything in my power to make sure everything is done to force them,” he said.

During the 12-week court case, an image that was released by the Army emerged showing Bradley Manning wearing a blonde wig and makeup in a photograph she had taken herself.

“She never really wanted this to be public,” David Coombs added of Bradley Manning’s identity.

“Now that it is, unfortunately, you have to deal with it in a public manner.”

Bradley Manning’s lawyers had argued throughout the case that he was under incredible stress at the time of the leaks due to his struggles with gender identity disorder in the masculine environment.

On Wednesday, Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking an unprecedented volume of classified documents to WikiLeaks.

The 25-year-old first class Army private appeared not to show any emotion when his long-awaited fate was read out, though spectators gasped inside the military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Because of the 1,294 days he has already spent in custody, Bradley Manning will immediately shave three and a half years off his 35-year term.

Bradley Manning is eligible for parole after serving at least one-third of the sentence, which means he could be free in eight years, when he’s 33 or 34 years old.

He also learned he will be reduced in grade to the rank of private E1, dishonorably discharged from the military and forfeit all pay and allowances.

In a press conference following the hearing defense attorney David Coombs said he was saddened by the sentence, adding that it didn’t represent the harm his client had caused.

David Coombs said: “When I heard the sentence I thought to myself <<I have represented hundreds of clients some of them have committed murders and some have molested children and those clients received less time than private Manning>>.”

He added that he was surprised by the decision to dishonorably discharge Bradley Manning from the military, adding: “Bradley Manning is a man of honor.”

[youtube mE0p8AIuurM]

Private Bradley Manning, who leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted of espionage but not of aiding the enemy.

Bradley Manning, 25, has been found guilty of 20 charges in total, including theft and computer fraud.

He had admitted leaking the documents to anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks but said he did so to spark a debate on US foreign policy.

The leak is considered the largest ever of secret US government files.

Bradley Manning faces a maximum sentence up to 136 years. His sentencing hearing is set to begin on Wednesday.

In addition to multiple espionage counts, he was also found guilty of five theft charges, two computer fraud charges and multiple military infractions.

Bradley Manning stood and faced Judge Colonel Denise Lind as she read the decision on Tuesday. She said she would release detailed written findings at a later date.

He appeared to not react during the verdict, but his defense lawyer, David Coombs, smiled faintly as the not guilty charge on aiding the enemy was read.

Private Bradley Manning, who leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted of espionage but not of aiding the enemy

Private Bradley Manning, who leaked thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted of espionage but not of aiding the enemy

“We won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” his defense lawyer, David Coombs said of the sentencing phase.

“Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire.”

Being found guilty of aiding the enemy could have had serious implications for people leaking documents in the future.

“The government’s pursuit of the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge was a serious overreach of the law, not least because there was no credible evidence of Manning’s intent to harm the USA by releasing classified information to WikiLeaks,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

Among the items sent to WikiLeaks by Pte. Bradley Manning was graphic footage of an Apache helicopter attack in 2007 that killed a dozen people in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, including a Reuters photographer.

The documents also included 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and 250,000 secure state department cables between Washington and embassies around the world.

Bradley Manning, an intelligence analyst, was arrested in Iraq in May 2010. He spent weeks in a cell at Camp Arifjan, a US Army installation in Kuwait, before being transferred to the US.

During the court martial, prosecutors said Bradley Manning systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of classified documents in order to gain notoriety.

With his training as an intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning should have known the leaked documents would become available to al-Qaeda operatives, they argued.

The defense characterized him as a naive and young soldier who had become disillusioned during his time in Iraq.

His actions, David Coombs argued, were those of a whistle-blower.

In a lengthy statement during a pre-trial hearing in February, Bradley Manning said he had leaked the files in order to spark a public debate about US foreign policy and the military.

Bradley Manning’s supporters rallied outside the court in Fort Meade and said they are planning to march to the White House on Tuesday evening.

[youtube heYn_Tqqp2Q]