Chelsea Manning, who is serving a 35 year sentence after being found guilty of 20 charges by court-martial, including six under the Espionage Act of 1917, is now being investigated on charges related to her July 5 suicide attempt at Fort Leavenworth prison.
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If convicted, she could face punishment that includes indefinite solitary confinement, reclassification into maximum security and an additional nine years in medium security, the American Civil Liberties Union said. Manning, a transgender woman in a all male military prison, has long complained about being subjected to prolonged periods of solitary confinement and being denied basic medical needs.
On Thursday, Manning received an Army charge sheet informing her that she is under investigation for “resisting the force cell move team,” “prohibited property,” and “conduct which threatens life,” according to the documents released by the ACLU.
Manning was rushed to the hospital on July 5, following a suicide attempt. Manning later confirmed through her attorney that she did indeed try to end her life. “I am okay. I’m glad to be alive. Thank you all for your love. I will get through this,” Manning tweeted July 11.
In a statement released by Manning after her 2013 guilty plea on espionage charges, she asked for a pardon and said that she had been motivated by moral outrage over details of U.S. military killings and torture of civilians in Iraq.
“In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture,” she said. “If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society.”
The addition of the charges is nothing new within the U.S. military. There have been a few instances of service members being charged for attempting to end their own lives, according to a medical study. It’s not too much of a stretch to think that charging these people with crimes after attempting suicide only exacerbates a very serious problem.
While Manning’s treatment may seem unfair to outsiders, it is the price you pay for treason. Putting soldiers’ lives at risk cannot be allowed – period.