Chelsea Manning Requests Hormone Treatment

Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, is requesting hormone therapy during her incarceration. Here is her letter. After thanking her supporters, she writes:

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. 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. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.


From another article:

Leavenworth is an all-male prison. Spokesman George Marcec said there had never been a case similar to Manning's, and the soldier would need to petition for a transfer to a federal prison to receive hormone treatment.

Courthouse News has more on the case law regarding prison obligations to provide hormone therapy.

Here are the current DoD Directive Administration of Military Correctional Facilities and Clemency and Parole Authority on military prisons. There are procedures for transfer from a military prison to a federal prison. BOP's program directive is here.

The most recent BOP program directive I found on transgender medical care is 6031.03, Patient Care, 8/23/12. It replaces 6031.01 from 2005. It describes the change as "Clarifies the assessment and treatment of inmates with the possible diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID)." On page 37:

If a diagnosis of GID is reached, a proposed treatment plan will be developed which promotes the physical and mental stability of the patient. The development of the treatment plan is not solely dependent on services provided or the inmate’s life experiences prior to incarceration. The treatment plan may include elements or services that were, or were not, provided prior to incarceration, including, but not limited to: those elements of the real life experience consistent with the prison environment, hormone therapy, and counseling. Treatment plans will be reviewed regularly and updated as necessary.

Current, accepted standards of care will be used as a reference for developing the treatment plan. All appropriate treatment options prescribed for inmates with GID in currently accepted standards of care will be taken into consideration during evaluation by the appropriate medical and mental health care staff. Each treatment plan or denial of treatment must be reviewed by the Medical Director or BOP Chief Psychiatrist. Hormone therapy must be requested through the non-formulary review process, and approved by the Medical Director and /or Chief Psychiatrist. Consultation with the Chief of Psychology prior to such approval may be appropriate in some cases.

In summary, inmates in the custody of the Bureau with a possible diagnosis of GID will receive a current individualized assessment and evaluation. Treatment options will not be precluded solely due to level of services received, or lack of services, prior to incarceration.

In 2012, Denver revised its jail policy for transgender inmates. (Article here.)

Last month, the Palm Center announced grants totaling 1.35 million from the Tawani Foundation and Wells Fargo for a multiyear initiative to study transgender service in the U.S. military.

DoD Issuances and Directives are here.

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    They'll never give it to him (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:56:55 PM EST
    Peace be with this great American. He incomparably represents the breadth of the definitions of patriotism and freedom. If Obama had a nad in his sack, he'd pardon this kid in a second. But he won't even pardon Leonard Peltier, so...he'll have to do his time. My meditative thoughts and atheist prayers are with him. As well as letters of rage to all my reps.

    I should also add... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:00:18 PM EST
    ...that Daniel Ellsberg's comments on Manning's conviction are truth from the mouth of legend. (LINK)

    Phuck the roof and raise the floor!

    Peace, my friends.

    AN AXE LENGTH AWAY (a free comic a day)


    As a patriot and a taxpayer (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:05:56 PM EST
    I hope Obama either pardons or commutes the sentence somehow before spending my money to fight her in court over paying for hormones or surgery while in prison.

    That said, while I do sympathize with Chelsea's plight, I really do not think it is the government's responsibility to pay for hormones or an operation. Maybe you all can convince me otherwise - it has been known to happen.


    When Uncle Sam... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:14:53 PM EST
    has a personal vendetta, the taxpayer is the last concern...and that's if the taxpayers are ever any concern.  They'll fight Manning to the heavens in court.  If only they had to choose between that and buying drones...then our shared hope might have a prayer.

    Theoretically I agree with ya about it not being the government's responsibility. But there are alotta things I don't think are the government's responsibility, and we're paying for all that mess ...with bipartisan vigor!  A jailer has a higher responsibility to it's captives than a government has to it's people.  I certainly don't see the harm, and it could aid in rehabilitation of "real" criminals, though that doesn't apply to Manning's case since she ain't no criminal.  


    It's medical care, ruffian. It has been (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:53:36 PM EST
    established that prisoners must be provided with medical care. GID   is a medical condition that requires treatment. The least we can do for those we incarcerate is give them needed health care.

    If Chelsea needed a heart bypass operation that would have to be provided. This is no different.

    I hesitate to say that your feeling on this is in part based on some "ooh ick" reaction because I have never seen that from you. Still, it can be hard to wrap one's mind around the idea of gender reassignment.

    So, I think it is important to keep in mind that this is a medical issue. To not treat it properly can cause enormous suffering to the transgendered person, a person who has already suffered since childhood with the conflicts and self-hatred and fear that come from knowing you are not who the world thinks you are and should be.

    Another issue is Manning's safety. She will be in a male-only prison. Does anyone seriously doubt that she will targeted for attacks from other inmates, perhaps even guards? Given the treatment she has already received from the military I don't hold out much hope for a very protective environment.


    Speaking for me,,, (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:11:15 AM EST
    it's not an "ick" factor Cap'n, whatever floats your boat pursuing hapiness, it's just a difficulty wrapping my head around it.  aka my ignorance.  

    I think reasonable people can disagree about what is necessary medical care, like a heart bypass, and what is an optional medical procedure to improve self-esteem or treat depression, like plastic surgery.  I would not assume someone who questions whether gender reassignment is necessary medical care that a prison is obligated to provide is a hater.  Ya know ruffian and I ain't hating! ;)

    Regarding Manning's safety...I think that's a concern whether or not she undergoes gender reassignment...you know how our prisons are.  


    Thanks kdog (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:47:15 AM EST
    got to this late, but you put your finger on it for me. I don't have so much an ick factor as an uncertainty as to the medical necessity. Is it medically necessary, or necessary for psychological comfort? I don't think it is a cut and dried decision.  

    Surgery is quite a ways off for Manning. (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by caseyOR on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:50:56 PM EST
    The process to transition to another gender is long. Psychiatric counseling is a major, and first, component. No one can legally gain access to the hormones or the surgery without the recommendation of psychiatrists after undergoing extensive psychotherapy.

    Before either hormones or surgery Manning would need to engage in therapy and live for some time as a woman. I think those two first steps are what the prison can, and should, provide.

    At some point, and this may happen while she is still in prison, Manning could become eligible for hormone therapy. And it is my opinion that, at that point, the prison should provide that hormone therapy.

    As to surgery, well, if Manning is still in prison at the point that she and her doctors decide surgery is warranted, then, yes, the prison should provide it. Some transgender people never opt for surgery. Others, female-to-male, choose double double mastectomies, but no genital surgery while male-tofemale people may choose breast implants, but no genital surgery. It depends on the person.

    It took me a long time to understand just what transgender people go through and why transitioning is so important to their health and survival. Having a former roommate who transitioned in the '80s from female-to-male was a big help to me in wrapping my mind around it.

    When we incarcerate someone we take on the obligation to provide for their care. To shelter and feed and clothe and, yes, provide health care. We tend to do a less than stellar job on all fronts, but the obligation is still there.

    So, put me firmly in the camp that says the military should provide skilled psychiatric care to Manning and allow her to live as a woman starting now.

    How does one decide what is necessary medical care, especially when dealing with mental health issues? Keep in mind that not all depression, which is often a debilitating condition, can be successfully treated with drugs. And I would posit that gender reassignment is a bit more serious than just wanting bigger breasts or ab implants.

    I know neither you nor ruffian are haters. I do think you might be helped by more information.


    Thank you for sharing, casey. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:03:03 PM EST
    That's certainly a lot of food for thought.

    How does (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:27:54 PM EST
    Manning "live as a woman", while serving time in an all-male prison?  Even if separate accommodations are made for sleeping, showering, and bathroom use, Manning will still be wearing the same prison garb as everyone else, and unless you are advocating for solitary confinement, how do you keep her away from the other prisoners?

    ^Exactly this, Casey^ (none / 0) (#52)
    by Zorba on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:32:52 PM EST
    I, too, have a friend from years ago who transitioned, although from male-to-female. Her very identity was as a female. She spent a long time in counseling before undergoing the transition. She was so much happier after the transition, she was a completely different person. Which was not surprising, given that the gender she was born in was not the gender she actually was.

    Jan Morris's memoir "Conundrum" (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 05:53:21 PM EST
    re the author's gender change from male to female (including counseling, hormones, and surgery) is informative.

    From Amazon:

    Book Description
    Publication Date: April 17, 2013
    The great travel writer Jan Morris was born James Morris. James Morris distinguished himself in the British military, became a successful and physically daring reporter, climbed mountains, crossed deserts, and established a reputation as a historian of the British empire. He was happily married, with several children. To all appearances, he was not only a man, but a man's man.

    Except that appearances, as James Morris had known from early childhood, can be deeply misleading. James Morris had known all his conscious life that at heart he was a woman.

    Conundrum, one of the earliest books to discuss transsexuality with honesty and without prurience, tells the story of James Morris--s hidden life and how he decided to bring it into the open, as he resolved first on a hormone treatment and, second, on risky experimental surgery that would turn him into the woman that he truly was.


    I just think there are many medical conditions (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by ruffian on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:59:54 AM EST
    that are not life-threatening that cause people varying amounts of torment over their lives. If there is discovered a surgery that could alleviate other forms of depression, would prisons be required to provide it as well, instead of providing anti-depressant medication?

    if he had cancer (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by TeresaInPa on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:12:08 AM EST
    he would not have waited until he was going to prison and then decided to get it treated.  This timing is questionable.  Cancer will kill you, being transgendered will not.  Manning is free to live his life as a woman, just maybe not owed hormones or surgery by the tax payers.  
    I have a great deal of sympathy for those with this disorder.  I am so happy that children are now getting hormones so that they develop sexually in the way they see themselves at puberty.
    But Manning, if his disorder were "no different than cancer" as some here are claiming, would have done something about it long before this time.

    I'm guessing that you wouldn't have (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Anne on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 12:19:06 PM EST
    an issue had Bradley come to the point in his life where he was ready to go public with the fact that he was gay; I can't imagine you would question that decision or the timing of it because you would know and understand that everyone comes to that point on his or her own timetable, right?

    But Chelsea Manning's decision about her gender raises your suspicions because making the hormonal and physical transition is going to cost money?  Because you still must know what an enormous decision that was, and that it doesn't happen on any timetable that anyone other than Manning has the right to set.

    So, pardon me if I am somewhat put off by your deciding that Manning did this now so he can get it for free, at our expense.



    I wonder at you Ann (2.00 / 1) (#76)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:34:40 AM EST
    You read a lot in to my comment that was not there. Now i supposed to argue over what I meant. No thanks.
    I will simply say that if this were that pressing an issue, why wait so long.  
    In the mean time I think he should get all the talk therapy he needs.

    Why wait so long????? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by sj on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:03:25 AM EST
    Manning is only 25!! What's the matter with you?

    According to (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by Nemi on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 06:38:35 AM EST
    her attorney, David Coombs, Manning didn't want this decision to overshadow the court case, so she waited till after the case was closed to move forward to, as he put it, "the next stage of her life". That totally makes sense to me and I see no reason to question the timing.

    Coombs also mentioned that Manning hadn't wanted this 'announcement' to be made public in the first place. But now that it was, however unfortunate, he finds it necessary to deal with it in a public manner.

    And on a sidenote: even though there's not much to laugh about in this case, it's almost laughable to see the tiny, tiny Manning being escorted by two or more huge hunks. Sure makes her look daaangerous.


    Isn't it basically birth control pills? (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:18:46 AM EST
    I mean we used to give that shit away by the case load and we are trying to get back to that standard.  The kid deployed to a war zone and is a veteran.  The fact that the gender issues could not be addressed worked to create a mental and social fragility for a decorated military analyst too.  Our ignorant social structure birthed a major classified leak, and it was predicted by many to eventually happen.

    Give veteran Chelsea Manning the "hormone therapy" that is the equivalent of the birth control that my mother took FOR FREE in her day and STFU.  Because Manning has a penis Manning can't have what vaginas get for free?  If it comes down to spending money isn't that a discrimination? Sorry, sometimes the tiny parsing that leads to nothing but human suffering doesn't deserve a parse.


    no (none / 0) (#77)
    by TeresaInPa on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 11:44:13 AM EST
    It is not just basically birth control pills.  Plus the therapy makes it necessary to have a whole medical plan.  
    The question is, is it medically necessary? If not then how many other things do we pay for?

    I have to have a whole medical plan (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 01:24:04 PM EST
    To take those hormones too.  Everyone does, and you have to have yearly exams and mammograms yearly to continue taking it if you are considered at risk.  Symptoms must be immediately reported and checked to make sure we aren't going to develop blood clots and many many other health risks.

    And my birth control is not a medical necessity.  Nope, as far as I can tell it is discrimination denying Manning this based on anything you are arguing.


    I would suggest... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:05:57 AM EST
    ...that gender disorders like this are just as acute and damaging to an untreated person's life as cancer. Therefore, trying to imagine one of these folks' life in prison, wow, it's hard for me to conjure a more torturous fate. Also, the act of doing so can show the world that the U.S. is still capable of evidencing an evolved and worthy-of-being-emulated humanity.

    Pipe dream, I know.


    Dadler, have you had cancer? (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:29:11 PM EST
    You write: "I would suggest that gender disorders like this are just as acute and damaging to an untreated person's life as cancer."

    Unless you're  trans and have had cancer, I think this would be hard to judge. I'm not trans, but I have had stage 4 cancer. (I'm in remission with late effects.) I've had radiation, a year of chemo, 4 major abdominal surgeries and lung surgery. I have both a colostomy and a urostomy. I deal a lot with fatigue. And, like many cancer survivors, I have major depression.

    Gender dysphoria itself doesn't cause physical disabilities or death, although trans people do have a higher suicide rate.

    Hormones and surgery do not always alleviate depression for  trans people. After all, many people will continue to regard them as different from someone who remains the same sex since birth. Even supportive liberals may not want to have an intimate relationship with a trans person. Here's a Swedish study on psychological problems and suicide post-op.


    the actf of providing the meds, that is (none / 0) (#36)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:06:28 AM EST
    just to be clear.

    Why? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:30:22 PM EST
    The military as an institution has accepted that not all soldiers are straight and that is okay and you can't discriminate based on sexual preference now, and you can't harass either.  It was also just announced that gay soldiers' spouses will receive full benefits now too, medical, dental, life insurance, retirement. etc.

    Not sure, as things stand, that a military prison facility can deny this.  Not with the standards for active duty they are attempting to set.  Doesn't make sense.  I think Chelsea stands a good chance of winning this.


    They classify it (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:36:13 PM EST
    as a "disorder" for some reason. The military generally is uncomfortable with disorders and want  to do something about them, don't they?

    Maybe they'll do some new weapons research to find a way to attack the problem?


    The military is in transition though (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:38:53 AM EST
    Concerning gender issues.  Our laws are changing.  This IMO will be more a legal issue soon than a social issue.  If you must respect a transgender soldier or their spouse, we must have the same respect for our military prisoners or it is cruel and unusual punishment.

    If Hasan can fight being clean shaven and win, I'm thinking Manning will win this.

    A new study out indicates that one of the very most important assets a soldier needs to have that protects them a lifetime of PTSD and enables them to transition through it is one very strong honesty based bonded relationship.  The military now acknowledges that your healthy family makes you a stronger soldier, and now gay marriages are receiving full respect. I think this will swiftly become a legal issue.

    Knowing the military though, the next time some Neocons want to take us to war they'll start issuing families :)


    This transition, IMO... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Dadler on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    ...is going to take about a half-century to be genuine, barring a complete dismantling and reassembly of the military. And that's not going to happen. I just do not have any faith that attempting to change its dinosaur attitudes on gender and sexuality is going to take anything less than decades for this incomparable unimaginative institution. Where freedom reigns the least, change comes the slowest, drill sergeant kind of hierarchy or no.

    Oh my God (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:11:32 AM EST
    Whatever...it's the law

    Dadler, I think you'll find ... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:57:49 PM EST
    ... our military's historical experience on the subject of racial integration, which was achieved by President Harry Truman through Executive Order No. 9981 on July 26, 1948 after 85 years of staunchly segregationist policy, to be most enlightening.

    There had long been tremendous and even violent resistance within the U.S. military to the concept of racial integration dating back to Civil War days. But once President Truman formally ordered desegregation of the ranks to take place, their transition ultimately proved to be far smoother and quicker than what subsequently occurred in our civilian society, and was accomplished fully during the Korean War.

    Simply put, when our military was ordered by its ranking civilian authority, the President of the United States, to adopt and implement this substantive change in its social policies, the top brass dutifully carried his order and further expected their subordinates to comply forthwith with a minimum of fuss. Those officers and noncoms who sought to oppose and / or undermine the Commander-in-Chief's order were encouraged to resign, or were eventually passed over for promotion and drummed from the ranks.



    Have you served in the military (none / 0) (#58)
    by ragebot on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:52:11 AM EST
    While I can not speak for Korea I was on active duty during VietNam and can assure you there was some obvious friction between the races, not to mention hostility toward gays.

    My nephew was in the Army about four years ago and complained about gangs composed of blacks who were a known issue.  I have also seen media reports about the Crips and the Bloods having members join up so they could become better marksmen and the like.

    Not saying I like this, just that the military is a reflection of America as a whole.  Just as racial bias exists in civilian society today it also exists in the military.  


    Of course it does (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Yman on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 10:49:01 AM EST
    The military is simply a large group of people.  There will always be some issues of racism, homophobia and sexism in the military.  I read Donald's comment as pointing out that it didn't take a "half century" for racial integration to occur once the decision was made, and it won't take another half century for gender integration to occur - although not without some objections and problems.

    BTW - Just curious.  Was your nephew equally concerned about white supremacist gangs in the military?


    I don't think the military is a clear reflection (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:54:13 AM EST
    Of America.  You have limited choices in the military.

    Take gangs, we have gang issues and all sorts of gangs that attempt to form but the key word is attempt. They get snuffed out quickly.  Gangs are expressly forbidden, I am not kidding.  Todays military, one report of gang creation, instant big time investigation, people kicked out, not tolerated.  You already belong to a gang, gang America, and the military is not a democracy and there will be no secret commanders, no secret agendas you gotta be kidding.

    I know that some gang creation takes place in war zones, we saw gang signs spray painted in Iraq, but leaders lost their minds over that.  Some of that has to do with very young soldiers too and where they spent their teen years.

    I have never seen any gang have any hold at all in the military of my time, nothing long term, it is all wishful thinking and will not be tolerated.

    It can be hard though when you first come in, because you don't want to "rat" on people and you don't know if you can trust the system if someone is participating in the forbidden.  Sometimes your immediate system can fail you and it is hard to know when young who to go to next and how.  I can see that happening.

    I know a Captain now though who is black and came out of the Chicago gang situation and there is no one more professional more inspirational or more affective in getting things done.  He IS success, and if he spotted any gang activity holy crap.

    When he retires he wants to go home and work to fix Chicago and what the children go through.  He says it is hard to go home right now because everyone remembers him in his youth and they want him to be that way, but he is not that person and he finished growing up in a different environment when he joined the military.  And he will make a dent.


    The Israelis need to send us (none / 0) (#63)
    by jondee on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 12:34:15 PM EST
    some of that good MDMA they supposedly make over there for our military top brass..

    It's not like we haven't helped them out..

    They can always send it and then make us feel guilty about it afterwards, if that works better for 'em..


    What do they do for other prisoners (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:43:02 PM EST
    that have disorders that manifest themselves in depression? They basically treat the depression, right? If someone found that brain surgery would cure some forms of depression, would they provide that, or just continue to provide the meds?

    I think it is a prisoner by prisoner thing (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:54:12 AM EST
    But because gender is in such flux I think it is more a legal issue or headed there fast.  It is interesting though because Conservatives in the military are saying nothing about the new laws because they can't.  They can stare ahead, and they are.  Must have been what it was like when the military racially integrated.

    Have you ever been standing there though listening to someone and just wished this guy had to STFU?  Well.....it's kinda cool :).   And now I am awful person, a failure as an American and I should be in time out :)


    Somehow or another (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 04:36:32 PM EST
    no matter how hard I try.... I cannot see this guy as anything more than a traitor.

    His requests should be denied and he should be thankful he is not being shot.

    Somehow, then, (5.00 / 12) (#8)
    by Peter G on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:01:12 PM EST
    you should try harder.

    Peter, I tried (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:54:05 AM EST
    and all I see is him harming the country.

    How? (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by squeaky on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:20:31 AM EST
    Are the moslems hiding in your Bushes? or are the Bushes hiding in your dreams?

    Ok, then. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Peter G on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:03:29 PM EST
    Thanks for trying.  That's all I could ask.

    Meh (none / 0) (#40)
    by Yman on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:28:32 AM EST
    Some people are really good at seeing what they want to see, rather than reality.

    Wow. No kidding. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:43:00 PM EST
    Daonald, I would never kid you (none / 0) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 10:57:10 AM EST
    Of course not. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:16:00 PM EST
    You obviously don't have the time, given that you're so busy fooling yourself.

    Concur on all points n/t (none / 0) (#10)
    by Thorley Winston on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:54:28 PM EST
    Of course, (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Zorba on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:01:14 PM EST
    you would concur. No surprise here.

    WHAT points?? (none / 0) (#42)
    by sj on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 11:48:15 AM EST
    He has made no points whatsoever. Just expressed a foul, hang 'em high attitude.

    Gene Wilder ... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 03:18:00 PM EST
    ... explains it all to you.

    Chelsea isn't the only one (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:01:01 PM EST
    who has enlisted in hopes the "hyper-masculine" military would get rid of their gender dysphoria, according to this article.

    Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by bmaz on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:46:08 AM EST
    By my understanding, and it seems so from a reading of Section 16, specifically subparagraph (d)(1) that the service Secretary:

    May consider a prisoner in non-military confinement facilities only for clemency, restoration to duty, and reenlistment.

    If it is really that cut and dried, then Manning getting permanently transferred to a civilian BOP facility could majorly screw up his early release availability, because the earliest release availabilities are all under the military parole and mandatory supervised release protocols that would apparently be lost upon a such transfer.

    I have calculated Manning's initial early release availability as in 8.3 years from the sentencing date of August 21, 2013. That is a heck of a lot different from the standard of serving 85% of the designated sentence normally applicable to BOP sentences. 85% would require Manning to serve a little over 26 years. I guess a "clemency" ruling by the Army Secretary could correct that, but at least on the surface, Manning might would be waiving very precious time rights if transferred to BOP.

    I am not sure I have this right, but that is the facial read I see of the regulation. Something to chew on. Lastly, I am not sure the military would consider such a transfer (which is entirely their discretion; the prisoner has no necessary right to such a request) before all the appellate process is completed, which will likely not be for a few years at best.

    Random thoughts to chew on.

    Kudos (none / 0) (#27)
    by ragebot on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 08:56:58 AM EST
    To Jeralyn for reminding  us of applicable law

    I just want to say (5.00 / 3) (#44)
    by sj on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 12:01:53 PM EST
    that gender aside, Cpl Manning is one incredibly brave soul. She doesn't take the easy road, that's for sure.

    Years back (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Nemi on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 07:55:08 AM EST
    I watched a documentary following a French married couple where the husband had undergone a sex change operation and had become a woman. All these years later I don't recall that many details of the documentary, but the utter sadness in their relationship - especially coming from the wife - has stayed with me. Even if there was no doubt that the husband was relieved and content, that s/he now finally had the body that s/he had felt, for most of his/her life, that s/he should embody, there was no doubt that the wife felt cheated, and not so much by her husband as by fate. The deep sadness in their 'new' relationship was palpable.

    They had stayed together following the sex change, as having married for love of course their love didn't just evaporate over night. Yet still. They had no children. Maybe they had chosen not to, but now it was definitely out of the question. And what about their sex life? It would now take for the wife to make love to a woman not a man. Probably not that easy even when it's still the person you married and love.

    Said documentary also followed a woman who went through a sex change operation to become a man. S/he lived alone, in what to me seemed an empty, lonely life, yet s/he was almost exstatic with joy and relief, to finally be able to live in the right body, gender wise.

    I can't even begin to imagine what it's like to be born in what is definitely not felt as the right body. But from what I've seen, and read, and heard it's always a huge relief for the person in question to be recognized and accepted as a different gender and to get the help wanted/needed.

    It's all part of one of nature's not so funny tricks, and I deeply em- and sympathize with transgendered people, especially the young who have to not only try to come to terms with their sexuality, but also their gender.

    A dilemma that I'll never be able to completely wrap my mind around and fully understand the implications of.

    Name change (none / 0) (#11)
    by rickroberts on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:56:43 PM EST
    Bradley is not Chelsea until he gets a legal name change.

    It's respect (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 05:58:46 PM EST
    for his wishes.

    Her Wishes, No? (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 06:18:14 PM EST
    I have some serious questions, Jeralyn. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:27:27 PM EST
    Is Cpl. Manning really and truly transgendered -- or is he a gay male? It's one thing to make the claim to being transsexual, and another entirely to be formally diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder by medical professionals.

    So, my questions are as follows:

    • From a legal standpoint, has such a formal diagnosis of GID ever been rendered for Cpl. Manning, and is it part of the public record?
    • If such a diagnosis of GID has not yet been rendered, is the U.S. government required to allow medical professionals to examine Cpl. Manning for the purposes of making such a determination, merely upon the request of Cpl. Manning -- or does such an initiative have to commence from a third party, i.e., a psychiatrist?

    Please note that I have absolutely no interest in passing judgment on the sexuality of Cpl. Manning, whom I believe was unfairly demonized for acting according to conscience in releasing all those thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. And if he's staking a claim to trangenderhood in order to avoid serving hard time at Leavenworth, I can certainly sympathize. IMHO, he does not deserve this fate.

    But that said, as I'm sure you're well aware, this latest development also holds tremendous potential to undermine public sympathy with Cpl. Manning's plight, if it's eventually determined that the claim has no merit from a medical standpoint -- or worse still, is found to be frivolous and dilatory.

    (Disclosure: My brother-in-law in Texas is a plastic surgeon and physician who occasionally performs gender-transformative procedures on GID patients. As he tells it, he's certainly not qualified to make such a diagnosis himself, and there is a litany of physical and psychological tests the prospective patient is required to undergo, with second opinions to be also obtained, etc., before he'll finally agree to perform such surgeries.)

    Regardless, I truly wish Cpl. Manning well, and will always salute him / her as someone I consider a hero and patriot. May the Heavens bless the just and the good.

    Mahalo, and Aloha.


    To Donald (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:48:36 PM EST
    Just fyi, the DSM-V changed GID to "gender dysphoria." As far as I know, Manning has not gone through the counseling process. As you may know, it can take quite a while because people generally have to live as the other gender for a while to get a better sense of a transition. This will be much harder for Manning to do because the prison will treat her as a man.

    In LGBT politics, however, a person who says he is a different gender must be treated as such, whether or not he has an official diagnosis or has had any sort of treatment. Otherwise, you're considered transphobic.

    I expected some ex-military trans folk to condemn Manning for her actions. But it was interesting to read that Kristin Beck, a former Navy Seal, is condemning her, saying she shouldn't have used gender dysphoria as an excuse for leaking information. (I'm not arguing the point, just noting its existence.)

    Transvets have a petition going to get the VA to pay for surgeries.


    Thank you. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:53:33 PM EST
    That said, I don't think LGBT politics is necessarily going to be a consideration when the  federal courts and corrections administrators start wading through the legal weeds posed by this latest development.

    Personally, I consider GID / gender dysphoria -- or whatever they ultimately decide to call this afliction -- to be a serious medical / psychological malady, one which should not be trivialized or subject to ridicule.

    But I'm just afraid that this particular disclosure on Cpl. Manning's part will provide nothing but tabloid-type fodder for those folks who already make it a point to oppose the LGBT community and civil libertarians on a whole host of issues, as it is.



    Donald, I disagree with the mainstream (none / 0) (#28)
    by SuzieTampa on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:22:59 AM EST
    LGBT/feminist politics on this issue. (But I'm not interested in debating that. That's why I'm trying to stick to just the facts.) So, I agree that the military isn't going to leap aboard either.

    As someone who has had a hormone-receptive cancer and various organs removed, I can say that I would want people fully informed about the risks of taking hormones before they start. Gender reassignment surgery also takes much after-care and that might be hard psychologically considering the lack of privacy in prison. But I think Manning would have plenty of time for counseling before he started any physical changes.


    Agreed. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:54:57 AM EST
    I've been in continuous evolution on LGBT-related issues for some time now, and I really try to be enlightened and open-minded. But I freely admit there are some aspects about the LGBT community that I just can't quite fathom and / or grasp, and transgender identity is one of them.

    Like I said, I don't think that GID / gender dysphoria is something that should be poo-pooed and summarily dismissed -- but beyond that, I'm not at all sure how to deal with this latest development.

    Therefore, like ruffian, my initial instinct and current personal thought is that the government has no obligation to provide for the hormone therapy and gender reassignment of incarcerated individuals such as Cpl. Manning, simply because they claim to be transgendered. But I'm also perfectly willing to listen to the counter-arguments and I reserve the right to change my mind, should they manage to convince me otherwise.



    Fascinating. (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 07:01:51 PM EST
    I defended the state corrections dept. sued by a state inmate to obtain a liver transplant. Very complicated.  Medical centers w/transplant evaluations and surgeons were reluctant to even evaluate plaintiff.

    Oh, how sad and inhumane! (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:36:17 PM EST
    Regardless of their criminal history, incarcerated individuals are not animals, and their legal status should never be offered up as some sort of justification to deny them medical treatment -- particularly if their condition would otherwise prove terminal without it.



    UCSF did a full evaluation b/4 the tox screen from (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:06:22 PM EST
    the date of the evaluation revealed the presence of THC. Inmate or not, no one gets on the liver transplant list if it is proven they are currently using alcohol or unauthorized drugs.

    That makes sense. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:55:50 PM EST
    Thank you for the clarification. I vaguely remember the case, but never learned of its ultimate outcome before today.

    Haven't been around for a while (none / 0) (#55)
    by lilburro on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 02:04:06 AM EST
    since our government seems to be on blissful cruise control on a road that's sloping downhill...not much to argue about... that piques my interest enough to post, anyways.  Plenty to argue about, though.

    That said I did a little tour of blogs tonight and was shocked to see a very transphobic argument made by Booman about whether or not people should be allowed to alter their bodies, whether it's ethical, how to gauge whether it's a passing desire...I cannot even imagine how altering your gender identity could possibly be a "passing desire" to the extent that one would consult for surgery.  I cannot imagine assigning a doctor so much authority to care what they as a class think about such decisions.  Of the doctors I've had in my life I can probably think of only 1 or 2 I would trust with actually talking about my life and my body.  That's sad as it is.  To imagine doctors all high and mighty about transgendered folks because of the Hippocratic Oath is about the most appalling paternalistic crap I've heard for a loooooong time.

    I am actually shocked that any self identified liberal would think they have any right whatsoever to interfere with a decision like this.  Other than what it is, transphobia, I think it gives us insight into the ever morphing boundaries of right to choose...that in the end there are many parties not actually party to a decision about a body who find it within their right to ruminate superficially on the ethics of another person's body and life.

    It's amazing that in the face of acknowledged ignorance, so much trust in existing authority is assumed.

    I don't mean to be off topic I am simply gobsmacked..

    It would be so nice if we could (3.50 / 2) (#60)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 09:03:42 AM EST
    ... discuss this without being labeled transphobic, which shuts down any difference of opinion. There are intersexed people and genderqueers who also oppose surgery, suggesting it has been pushed by a medical community that makes money off of it.

    Doctors also have a right to choose and they choose all the time not to do surgeries. In general, surgeons won't do surgery if they think it will make the patient worse. For example, a lot of surgical oncologists will not do surgery if you have cancer in more than one organ, or if they think you're dying and surgery will only make you feel worse. GI surgeons are loathe to do surgery if partial bowel blockages might be cured through other means. Some plastic surgeons won't do multiple surgeries on someone no matter how strongly the person wants it. There are people who have very strong feelings that they need a limb removed, but I'm not sure which surgeons would do that.

    Many people study medical ethics, and any respectable hospital has an ethics committee.

    Some transgendered people do change their minds and return to their previous gender.


    I think it's possible to disagree (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by lilburro on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 01:02:27 PM EST
    with gender reassignment surgery and not be transphobic, however, Booman's article quoted some stupid piece by the National Review which wasn't sensitive to the issue in any way at all.  

    The piece you mention (none / 0) (#87)
    by Nemi on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:03:21 PM EST
    as being quoted could very well have been an article I started reading, following a link without, as I usually do, checking the source first. It was about how Manning was male and could never, ever be anything but. Period!

    I didn't read far, but what I found scary was that even though I definitely don't agree with that, I still want to learn more, so I found myself, at least for a while, trying to understand the reasoning. And it reminded me, that with so many people being ignorant of facts - in this case regarding what it is to be transgender - if only you're eloquent and/or convincing you don't necessarily need to have much knowledge or present facts to manipulate people into thinking your way.

    Like in so many other situations it can easily come down to: 'In the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man is king'.


    Unbiased sources on transgender (none / 0) (#98)
    by SuzieTampa on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 07:42:34 PM EST
    Nemi, I found this Wikipedia entry useful. There's another one on transgender that seems more slanted.

    "Transgender" covers different ideas. Some trans people believe they are the opposite sex and are stuck in the wrong bodies. Others don't make that claim, but they want the freedom to act and be treated like the opposite sex.

    Some scientists argue that male and female brains are so different that they affect behavior in such a way that you can make general statements about one sex or the other. An example would be Larry Summers suggesting that women are less apt at higher math and science. Others think that differences are small and that you can't make general statements about men being good at math and women being more nurturing, for example. Some transgender people think they have the brain of the opposite sex and others don't.

    Research on trans people is difficult because there's no control planet without gender norms. In other words, Manning talked about being picked on as a child and later, as an adult, for being small and effeminate. Did this influence his desire to be a woman? I don't know.

    Some people think we have an essential nature, and that we need to be true to this essence. Others don't believe it, and once again, there are trans people on both sides.

    In case my opinion matters to anyone ... In general, I believe in treating people as individuals, as opposed to thinking they act differently because of innate differences, such as a "male" or "female" brain. I want to tear down gender norms to give people more freedom in how they can behave. I don't believe in essential natures. People can identify as they wish, but they can't force me to perceive them that way.

    I believe Manning is a man by the scientific categorization used in the West, but I think she has a profound belief that she is a woman, and I'll treat her like a woman. Nemi, I hope that gives you another perspective.  


    As I replied to ragebot, (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:23:17 PM EST
    Comment #65, Chelsea has not asked for surgery. She has asked for hormone treatment. Hormone treatment is reversible, unlike surgery. And I do realize that there are those in the transgendered community who do not choose the surgery route. This is up to each individual. In fact, some choose the non-hormonal treatment route. It is completely up to them. There are even individuals whose gender identities are completely in flux, and may change bak and forth. The varieties of the human condition. I did not see anything in lilburro's comment that labelled you in particular a transphobic. Booman's post that she referenced was, at the very least, naive (to give him the benefit of the doubt).

    Zorba, I know lilburro (none / 0) (#67)
    by SuzieTampa on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 04:46:48 PM EST
    didn't call me transphobic, and I know that Manning has not asked for the surgery. But the question of surgery came up in the thread. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought we couldn't refer to people outside the TL world as racist. I'm assuming -- but I don't know -- if Jeralyn prefers we don't label people as sexist, homophobic or transphobic either.

    I'm accustomed to the feminist world, where people are shunned or banned if they question transgender politics.    


    Opinions are opinions, (none / 0) (#68)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:11:51 PM EST
    And it is up to Jeralyn to decide what is acceptable or not on her blog. I did not get the impression that you were at all called transphobic by anyone on this blog, so I do not understand why you brought this up in the first place. As far as the feminist world is concerned, how old are you? When I first got involved in the feminist movement, more years ago than I care to remember, many in the movement shunned or banned straight women. "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle." Remember that quote from the 1970's? I do. I have always believed that people are just people. Regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or what have you. Human rights are just that. Human rights.

    I'm 54 (none / 0) (#78)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:42:22 PM EST
    and heterosexual. My oldest sister is 67 and a lesbian separatist. I've never had an experience in which I was excluded for being straight. I grew up in Texas and feminists there seemed happy to have any supporters in the 1970s. The women in our family are welcome to visit, and the commune where she used to live welcomed us and we could have stayed if we wanted to give up men. My sister retained a warm relationship with our father until his death.

    I agree that Jeralyn describes what's acceptable or not on her blog. Perhaps you missed my reply in which I say that I didn't think anyone was calling me transphobic.

    I believe in human rights, too. The debate is in the details.


    I do apologize (none / 0) (#72)
    by lilburro on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 02:23:22 AM EST
    I flew off the handle due to the tone of Booman's piece which was very paternalistic IMO re: the question of sex reassignment surgery.  He framed the argument in very abstract terms that tacitly suggest biological sex IS gender.  He also didn't bother to learn anything about the sex reassignment process (yes, psychological counseling is a huge part of it) before posting his speculative question.  To tsk tsk about ethical dilemmas when you know NOTHING about the subject is just absurd to me.  And extremely cisgender privileged.  I think that is a better phrase than "transphobic."  

    I don't hold the expectation that everyone in the lefty community should know all the lingo or be fully plugged into the variety of LBTQ experiences.  That's an ever developing and deepening conversation.  I DO hold the expectation that lefties defer to each other's experiences when in doubt and keep an open mind.  That's evolving.  That's "conversation."  I try to do that vis a vis other communities I'm not part of (African Americans, Latinos, etc.)  

    Engaging the National Review on transgender issues when you admit ignorance seems to me not the best move in that regard.  That's not a true "conversation," that's practically the definition of patronizing!  Then, appealing to Doctors as a privileged class (not appealing to law or medical discourse)...it all just reminds me of debates on choice and the way anti-choicers like to use "Doctors" to badger women into really inhumane and intrusive medical counseling.

    All that said I apologize if my rant made you feel ill at ease.  I think regardless of the concrete facts of this case, which are really all we should be discussing (not "ethics"), the subject matter is going to push buttons for a lot of people, including myself.  I'll try not to throw the "transphobic" bomb so quickly in the future, it's loaded language that can impact people like yourself who do not deserve that label.


    lilburro, thanks! (none / 0) (#79)
    by SuzieTampa on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 12:52:53 PM EST
    I didn't think you were calling me that. But it is a sensitive issue to me because of the way feminists are treated if they question anything about transgender politics.

    Manning's decision is his/her's alone (2.00 / 1) (#59)
    by ragebot on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:59:27 AM EST
    But there is also the issue of paying for it.  My understanding is this is not a cheap fix.  I would not be shocked if the total cost exceeded $US1,000,000.

    There is not an unlimited supply of money, doctors, drugs, hospitals, whatever and if a choice has to be made between a sex change operation and say cancer operation to save a life tax payers deserve at least some input in how scarce funds are to be spent.


    She did not ask (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 03:09:17 PM EST
    for gender-reassignment surgery. She asked for hormone treatment. That costs about $30/month. Link. It is true that therapy costs more, but the military may have a psychiatrist or two who would be competent to provide some counsel in this area. In any case, she has not asked for surgery, so your figure of one million dollars was apparently pulled out of your @ss.

    Not to mention that the cost for the surgery ... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Yman on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:41:16 PM EST
    ... is nowhere near a million dollars.

    The cost for male to female reassignment is $7,000 to $24,000.

    No idea what the total cost would be with hormone replacement and therapy, but you appear to be correct in your assessment of the origin of this estimate.


    Yep. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Zorba on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 06:52:32 PM EST
    Ragebot apparently has his/her own agenda regarding the transgendered.

    Or, more likely, $200 / month (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 08:53:26 AM EST
    plus other costs before a biolgoc male can be given HRT.

    But before a biological male can even get on hormone therapy, his endocrinologist or other medical specialist in hormone therapy will probably want a letter from a mental health professional confirming a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

    Even then, more psychotherapy is usually needed.

    And then, since she is not asking to live in a female prison, there will the costs of special accommodations.

    Not that any of this should be a deterrent, necessarily, but we need to be honest about the potential costs in any conversation and not loosey-goosey with numbers.


    Ragebot was earlier (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Zorba on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:37:31 PM EST
    speculating that the total costs could exceed $1,000,000. This estimate (or guesstimate) on his/her part is what I was responding to. Even taking into account your own estimate of $200/month, this is a little over $10,000/year. At that rate, she would have to be incarcerated close to 100 years to run up a million dollars in costs. (Of course, this does not include intensive psychotherapy, which I highly doubt she would receive in prison. Although the army does have psychiatrists and psychologists already on their payroll who presumably would be able to give her at least some counsel, even if they are not specialists in the transgendered.) I suspect that, whether she is allowed to receive hormone therapy and begin her transition or not, she will need to be separated from the other prisoners anyway. They will all know her background. She is slightly built. She is not what the other prisoners would consider "masculine" at all. I leave it to your fertile imagination what might well happen to her if she mingles with the rest of the prison population.

    The $1M (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:07:27 PM EST
    could be attirbuted to what every major outlet is reporting incorrectly - the total cost of the operation(s), and associated therapies, drugs, etc.

    So far, Manning has not said he wants surgery to change to a woman. But that hasn't stopped the news from reporting all about sex change operations, their costs, and the fact that no one in prison has had one to date. (Also, sloppy reporting as military prisons are run much differently than regular federal prisons).

    I leave it to your fertile imagination what might well happen to her if she mingles with the rest of the prison population.

    And so yes, proving the point that it also isn't as simple as saying "It's only $30 a month". There are multiple layers of costs involved, including housing, extra protection, etc.  And while some may argue that this is the same as giving Manning insulin or cancer treatments, I think that there exists a legitimate objection to giving HRT (an arguably non-medically necessary treatment at this stage - unlike cancer treatment or insulin) to someone who has been convicted of multiple felonies. Especially when there are people who HAVEN'T been convicted of espionage, theft, and fraud, among other things and who are being denied this same course of treatment by insurance companies.


    The housing and extra protection (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Zorba on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:52:25 PM EST
    and the concomitant costs pretty much have to occur, as I stated, whether she receives HRT or not. If anything horrible happens to her in the general population, she is high profile enough that the news will inevitably get out. The military is not so stupid as to want such scrutiny and the subsequent black eye, so to speak.

    Several things: (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:25:24 PM EST
    One, that there may be insurance companies not authorizing coverage of and payment for treatment of otherwise model citizens (more about that in a minute), is a non sequitur, and logically flawed.

    By your reasoning, there probably isn't much an inmate could or should reasonably expect to receive treatment for, since we already know there are insurance companies issuing denials right and left to those on the outside.  Not to mention the millions who don't have any insurance at all.  But why are we punishing the inmate for the flaws in the insurance-based model of access to health care?  Isn't locking them up punishment enough?  

    By your logic, why feed these people, since there are law-abiding citizens out there going hungry?

    Two, I realize that "some" may not see what Manning is requesting as "medically necessary," but if she is at greater risk for suicide, doesn't that change the equation?  Or shouldn't it change the equation?

    Three, I come back to this: isn't locking people away from society enough punishment?  Being forced to live in a cage, eat when you're told to, wake and sleep when someone turns the lights off and on, being treated like a number - that's not enough?  The constant noise, the inevitable stench, the lack of rehabilitative opportunities, the crime within the prisons, the violence people are subjected to - that's not enough?  

    Are we punishing the acts or are we punishing the person?

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised that, in a country where millions don't get any health care, don't have enough to eat, are homeless and lacking in opportunities for meaningful work, that we would see providing treatment for a gender disorder as a bridge too far.  Jesus, it's no wonder we have so many people in prison, when you consider how we treat the least among us, getting to the point where we look upon food, shelter and clothing as privileges, not basic human needs that the so-called greatest nation in the world is making shockingly poor efforts to meet, or help people meet.


    No (none / 0) (#93)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:46:19 PM EST
    One, It is not "logically flawed" - actually, what IS a non sequitir to compare this to cancer treatment.

    Two, if Manning is at greater risk for suicide (and there is no evidence to that at this time), then psychologists and psychiatrists will be provided, as they would for any other military prisoner.  In Manning's case, a whole host of therapy will be provided to help with gender identity issues.

    By your logic, Manning should be treated above and beyond what other prisoners in a military prison can and do receive. Is he extra special or something?

    There's also the fact that keeps getting glossed over - that being the fact that Manning has not yet started taking HRT. If doctors eventually decide that the best course of care would be for Manning to receive HRT, then that's something for the military to deal with at the appropriate time.  But just because Manning wants to start treatment does not mean that the military should necessarily pay for this.  


    I guess you missed the point. (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 05:09:00 PM EST
    You seem to be basing how Manning should be treated on insurance company standards for what they do and don't cover for those who have insurance, and you seem to put as much emphasis on what people deserve according to whether they are law-abiding or law-breaking.

    I'm sorry, but there's no point in discussing the flaws in your logic, because you and logic are not even in the same zip code; what amazes me time and again is that you really do believe you are being logical, that your arguments make sense.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#95)
    by sj on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 04:32:26 PM EST
    what IS a non sequitir to compare this to cancer treatment.
    But I think you need to reread the comment thread. Neither Anne nor Zorba mentioned cancer, so why you wanted to get passive-agressive with them is beyond me.

    It is also unclear why you are unable to see the logic flaw that Anne pointed out. And your last paragraph with the bolded clause is an obvious statement. There is still a lot to be determined, that is natural and obvious. I really don't understand why you like to get so hostile.


    Excellent analogy (none / 0) (#94)
    by sj on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 04:23:14 PM EST
    By your logic, why feed these people, since there are law-abiding citizens out there going hungry?
    And three good points. Thank you.

    problems for Manning in prison (none / 0) (#97)
    by SuzieTampa on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 06:05:48 PM EST
    Zorba, I'm not sure if you meant to include this or not ... but Manning will also be in danger from inmates who think she betrayed the military. (I'm not arguing this point; I'm saying what some inmates may think.)

    Changes in hormones can affect people's emotions. If she gets hormones, I hope good counseling will be provided to her.


    Real cost to treat Manning (2.00 / 3) (#71)
    by ragebot on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 08:43:59 PM EST
    Is unknown but previous posts suggest it is more expensive than some suggest.

    First off previous posts claim access to drugs require Manning would have to live as a woman while being treated by a shrink for at least a year.  And not just any shrink but one who specializes in transgender stuff.

    Given Manning is going to an all male prison which probably does not have a shrink specializing in this disorder or facilities to allow Manning to live as a woman providing these things will not be cheap.

    But my original point was not about an agenda concerning transgender but about  spending priorities.


    Spending "priorities" (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by sj on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 11:10:35 AM EST
    Humans never seem to be a priority when it comes to those concerned about "spending priorities".

    America's Human Spending (1.00 / 2) (#84)
    by ragebot on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:36:50 PM EST
    Currently about 70%+ of the federal budget goes for SS, Medicare, and Medicaid and that figure is expected to grow as time passes.

    The unfunded obligations for America's human spending (SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and retirement other than SS) are at least $US70 billion and I recently saw where 12 Nobel prize winning economists claimed it was closer to $US200 billion.


    What does this have to do (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by sj on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 12:46:00 PM EST
    with your spending priorities?

    Someone who'd been there once (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by jondee on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 01:31:09 PM EST
    told me that the inmate motto at Leavanworth was "f*ck, fight, or hit the wall (try to escape)"

    If he were my friend or child, I'd be very worried about him in there..

    Prison conditions in a lot of places in this country are absolutely inexcusable. The people who blame it on the inmates are like ruthless absentee slumlords who blame conditions in their buildings on the tenants.


    My spending priorities (none / 0) (#100)
    by ragebot on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:13:13 AM EST
    are to get federal spending in line with federal revenue so the debt and deficit are eliminated.

    Why? What will that accomplish? (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 10:11:50 AM EST
    What will happen then?

    And how would it be accomplished?

    My guess is that it would be balanced on the backs of the poor and the elderly, with social safety net programs traded in for "private" programs.

    We both know that the debt and deficits only matter to people who see them as a means to eliminate spending for things they don't deem worthy.  These same people never met a defense program or war they couldn't happily spend trillions on, or a tax or regulation they couldn't eliminate.  But food stamps for poor kids?  Cut.  Wellness programs for poor women?  Cut.  School lunch programs?  Cut.  

    And on and on...so predictable, so tiresome, and about the only transparent thing happening in DC these days.


    Assuming facts not in evicence (none / 0) (#103)
    by ragebot on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:21:26 AM EST
    You really need to up your reading skills.

    As I posted currently the federal govt is borrowing about 43 cents of every dollar it spends.  If the govt's figures are true defense accounts for around 19 cents of every dollar it spends so complete eliminating it would not cover the 43 cents.

    The bottom line is big cuts will have to be made across the board.  I have no problem cutting defense but that alone will not do the job.


    Speaking of reading skills...my point (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Anne on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:07:22 PM EST
    was that none of this is necessary - the bottom line is that, no, there are no big cuts that have to be made.  We aren't going to run out of money, and lest you make the argument that cranking up the printing press will just raise inflation and devalue the dollar, the massive amounts of money that have been pumped into the economy via stimulus and QE show that to be a bunch of hooey.

    What is it costing to borrow money?  Practically nothing, making it insane not to borrow and make that money work for us.

    There is no "job" we HAVE TO do; austerity - which is what results from the kind of balanced budget baloney you're pushing - doesn't work.  

    I don't know what your party affiliation is, but the ideas you're spouting keep getting pushed by conservatives, and the plain truth is, they don't work to do what people like you keep trying to make us believe they will.



    Where do you get this stuff? (5.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Yman on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:39:58 PM EST
    Currently about 70%+ of the federal budget goes for SS, Medicare, and Medicaid and that figure is expected to grow as time passes.

    I wouldn't really care, but you keep using false information that is either: 1) a baseless estimate or 2) deliberately wrong, in order to support your arguments.

    In 2012, SS was 22% of the federal budget.  Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) were 21% of the budget, for a combined total of 43% - as opposed to your claim of 70%.


    My argument was (none / 0) (#99)
    by ragebot on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:12:04 AM EST
    That non discretionary federal spending (stuff like SS, Medicare, Medicaid, and interest on the debt is way to much given federal revenue.

    You can take exception to my leaving out the names of some non discretionary federal programs but the fact remains that when you take out defense (19%) and discretionary (17%) spending what is left is about 65% of federal  spending, not really far from 70%.

    This assumes the federal govt accounting is good, and that is a big assumption.  Most accounts claim that if a private company kept books like the federal govt peeps would go to jail.

    But my main argument was that federal revenue only accounts for around 57% of federal spending so the federal govt has to borrow 43% of what it spends.  Since raising tax rates does not seem to increase tax revenue the only option seems to be cutting spending if the debt and deficit are to be reduced.


    Well, that would be an entirely ... (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 09:42:21 AM EST
    ... different point (and different statistics and figures) than your original claim.  Funny how it changed from "human spending" (i.e. social programs - SS, Medicare and Medicaid) to "non-discretionary programs".

    Since raising tax rates does not seem to increase tax revenue the only option seems to be cutting spending if the debt and deficit are to be reduced.

    Well, from perspective of a conservative, deficit-hawk, it's funny what raising tax rates will "seem to" do.  I remember the dire predictions from conservatives in the 90's as to the effect Clinton's tax rate increases would have on the economy.  Those predictions were just as accurate.


    No Strawman issues please (none / 0) (#104)
    by ragebot on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 11:32:47 AM EST
    My point was increasing income tax rates won't increase tax revenue. Under Ike the highest marginal tax rate was North of 90%.  Kennedy lowered it to around 70%, Reagan lowered it even more, same for Bush the first, Clinton raised a little, and Bush the second lowered it even more.  Obama in his first term had a tax holiday for some federal taxes but it was basically the Bush rates.

    During this entire post WWII time (most folks place the modern tax analysis as post WWII) tax revenues have been about 19.4% of GDP (+- .3%) for all the administrations mentioned.  It is true under Obama it got revenue a little higher percentage wise, but most economists say this is because the economy was going South and GDP growth was decreasing faster than tax revenue.


    No straw at all (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Yman on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:51:32 PM EST
    You are the one that keeps revising your claims in am attempt to make them accurate.

    BTW - revenues went up sharply after Clinton raised marginal tax rates on the wealthy.  Similarly, despite conservative claims to the contrary, the economy wasn't hurt when Bush 1 and Clinton increased taxes.  Both times, the economy (and tax revenues) grew .


    Under Clinton (none / 0) (#108)
    by ragebot on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 01:59:50 PM EST
    The GDP increase was larger than the income tax rate increase, not to mention federal spending was slowed.

    Never the less federal tax revenue as percentage of GDP hardly budged, less than .5%.

    I am not sure what your definition 'revenues went up sharply after Clinton raised marginal tax rates' but a .5% increase does not meet my definition of a sharp increase.


    Under Clinton (none / 0) (#110)
    by Yman on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 03:15:24 PM EST
    ... revenue increased greatly, both in absolute terms and even using your sliding scale of GDP percentage.  In absolute terms, revenue went from $2,200 billion in 1993 to $3,700 billion in 2000 - an increase of approximately 67% or $1,500 billion annually.  It started at 17.5% of GDP in 1993 and ended at 20.6% of GDP in 2000, even with a rapidly growing GDP an increase of 3.1% - as opposed to your claim of .5%.

    I am not sure what your definition of 'revenues went up sharply after Clinton raised marginal tax rates' but a 67% increase in federal tax revenues (and a 3.1% increase in ratio to a rapidly expanding GDP) absolutely meets my definition of a sharp increase.

    But given your chronic problems with accurately citing facts, I have no doubt it doesn't meet your definition ...


    Link ... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Yman on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 03:16:22 PM EST
    I don't know (none / 0) (#105)
    by sj on Wed Aug 28, 2013 at 12:06:45 PM EST
    how people can write a sentence like this and maintain a straight face:
    My point was increasing income tax rates won't increase tax revenue.
    Of course, such a sentence is typically followed by even more gibberish.

    BLS and OMB numbers (none / 0) (#109)
    by ragebot on Thu Aug 29, 2013 at 02:02:01 PM EST
    confirm that federal tax revenues have been between about 19.2-19.9% of GDP in the post WWII timeframe while marginal tax rates have been between about 35% to over 90%.