A retired Army lieutenant colonel said Saturday that placing Chelsea Manning in a transgender unit or into protective custody during her imprisonment would be “coddling a criminal,” and not the government’s responsibility.
“What a great idea,” said Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law. “If I’m convicted, I can say, ‘I’m female, throw me in with the female prisoners.’”
Addicott added that Manning, who was sentenced last week to 35 years in prison for the largest leak in U.S. history, still has male genitalia and is still male.
Shortly after her sentence, Manning, who the military recognizes as Pvt. Bradley Manning, announced that she was transgender and was taking steps to transition genders. Her lawyer, David Coombs, asked for her to be referred to in the feminine as Chelsea Manning.
U.S. military prisons do not provide hormone therapy to transgender inmates.
Addicott, who continues to refer to Manning as a man and with her previous name, was incredulous as to her transgender identity.
“We’re using the he/she here because I think we’re all like, really?” he said to host Maria Schiavocampo, who reminded him that she was honoring Manning’s wishes and using the feminine pronoun.
“I don’t think we should coddle criminals,” Addicott said. “Let’s just move on, lock him up and hopefully that will be a deterrent to other individuals who are thinking of doing what he did.”