MANning Issue

I find the issue of Pvt. Manning and gender selection to be interesting.  That the Private violated regulations and laws on disclosure of classified materials is not seriously disputable.  And the trial outcome, where a military judge dismissed the aiding and abetting the enemy charge, seems eminently fair (or at least not staggeringly one-sided).  Sentencing seems commensurate with the conviction.

What I view with circumspect eyes is the issue of gender and incarceration.  Private Manning enlisted as a male, served as a male, committed a crime as a male, and was tried and convicted as one.  Now the Private decides that the preferred gender is female, and medical treatment should be part of the sentence.  That decision is one that belongs to Manning, and I’ll not challenge that (and will try to respect it by avoiding personal pronouns in this post)

But, seriously. I balk at this . It seems a doubly disingenuous cop-out.  It seems in one part an attempt to escape the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth which is a maximum security facility designed for male prisoners.  It also seems like an attempt to mess with the American Imagegovernment, military, and taxpayers by trying to make them pay for something that the Private would not otherwise be able to obtain.  It’s as if somehow the Private thinks this should be a reward for the leaks, rather than a punishment, to wheedle out a service and treatment that might otherwise be unobtainable.    I’m sure that would be nicer outcome in Manning’s mind.  However, the sentence is supposed to be punitive.  If the Private wants to self-pay for the treatment, and accepts the risks and isolation at Leavenworth, fine.  Stay there and foot the treatment bill.  If the treatment process had been started while in the military and had been well underway, that would be another story as well.  But sticking the taxpayers with the bill now?  No. Not at all acceptable.

I hope the military holds firm.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Meh. Of all tax dollars wasted in the military, this seems fairly low on the list, at least in my opinion.

    Reply

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