Chelsea Manning, military whistleblower, hospitalized

Posted at 4:28 PM, Jul 06, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The soldier imprisoned for sending classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks was briefly hospitalized this week, the U.S. Army confirmed Wednesday without providing details.

Chelsea Manning was taken to a hospital near Fort Leavenworth early Tuesday and returned to the Kansas military base's prison later in the day, Army spokesman Wayne Hall said. He said the 28-year-old transgender soldier, who is appealing her 2013 conviction and 35-year prison sentence, was being monitored.

Hall and other Pentagon officials declined to say why the Army private was hospitalized. Fort Leavenworth spokeswoman Denise Haeussler said federal privacy laws precluded her from commenting without Manning's consent.

Leaks to media outlets about the hospitalization angered Manning's appellate attorneys, who said they weren't apprised of the hospitalization. Manning's sister, Casey Major, said she also was unaware of the matter until reached Wednesday by the AP.

"We call on the Army to immediately connect Chelsea Manning to her lawyers and friends who care deeply about her well-being and are profoundly distressed by the complete lack of official communication about Chelsea's current situation," Nancy Hollander, Manning's lead appellate attorney, told The Associated Press in an email.

The base declined the AP's request Wednesday for a telephone interview with Manning.

Manning, arrested as Bradley Manning, was convicted in military court of six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses for leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents, plus some battlefield video. Manning, who was an intelligence analyst in Iraq at the time, later filed a transgender prisoner rights lawsuit.

Manning has appealed the criminal case, arguing that her sentence was "grossly unfair" and that her actions were those of a naive, troubled soldier who aimed to reveal the toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appeal contends Manning's disclosures harmed no one, but prosecutors have said the leaked material damaged U.S. security and identified informants who helped U.S. forces.