Digital Report: Bradley Manning Wants to Live As Chelsea Manning

ABC News' Louis Martinez discusses new developments in the Wikileaks case.
7:24 | 08/22/13

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Transcript for Digital Report: Bradley Manning Wants to Live As Chelsea Manning
This is a special report from ABC news. Hello everyone -- Hernandez in New York with his ABC news digital special report army private Bradley Manning now says he wants to begin hormone therapy and -- a woman named Chelsea. It comes a day after a military judge sentenced the 25 -- to 35 years for giving classified documents to WikiLeaks. Manning's lawyer David coombs told The Today Show that Manning wanted to wait in announcing the gender identity change. Well Chelsea didn't want to have this be something that. That overshadowed the case wanted to wait until the case was done to move forward to the next stage of her life. -- now let's bring in ABC's -- Martinez at the Pentagon for more on this revelation now there is some indication before when that photo -- was released in the week that at -- -- -- -- -- -- and gender identity issues so what's the history here. -- history goes back to December. When we had of pretrial motion -- his treatment at the marine brig in Quantico they brought it to defense team brought up the fact. That he had sanctioned -- gender identity disorder and that he referred -- himself as Triana. The defense saying that Manning. -- stress caused by the stroke -- about his gender. Clouded his judgment at the time that he was releasing these documents to WikiLeaks. So this has been out there for quite some time. Actually this morning when I heard the news that he was going by Chelsea -- confused because all this time for the past year reading -- hearing reports. That hurt and he'd like. To be your -- two and his female gender as Triana. Now the photo that you're referencing was really actually released by the defense team. This is part of that their strategy again. Trying to show that he was naive young soldier who's trying to improve the world is so he thought it by releasing these hundreds of thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. And and to show the conflict in his mind -- released this picture as well as another showing him in female guard. Well you know he was convicted nonetheless and it is somewhat unusual. At least from my perspective that someone would -- make this request publicly. And what is. Manning's lawyers say about that and what are the chances that he's going to get his wish for hormone therapy as he's headed to military jail. Well the chances are actually -- -- to nine. And that's because the military. Does not allow transgender is to serve. Also hormone therapy is not allowed as a medical treatment. New neither essential reconstruction surgery which -- meddling has not indicated so far -- ended. In their statement there is released early this morning he's talked only about hormone therapy the reason being. That is dealt with but the military considers it to be -- mental health issue and not something that today they continue. And so even with the lifting of Don't Ask Don't Tell. -- trans genders are not allowed to you currently serve in the military. Now during next -- -- I forgot title is an. You know this just seemed unusual I didn't expect a right to your hat. Well actually -- in this morning what he was saying wise in the ways that Manning never intended to you. Have this issue come out -- the to -- public. It actually came out because of the individual. Who stepped forward to to bring in Manning to justice that was a hacker named Adrian Lamo. He and Manning when he was in Baghdad exchanged text messages routinely. And one point he bragged that he was I had access to thousands of documents. And that -- was making moving them around. As part of those conversations which were private. The and private Manning confessed he -- that he had a gender issue and that he preferred to -- -- Rihanna. Well when -- stepped forward. Obviously all of the -- became evidence and that became public and what -- said today. Lazy he said that we never intended this to be public. But now that it's out there. Unfortunately have to deal with it in a public issue and that's why he released to state. You know you is taken us through some of the legal issues here that they simply would not be something allowed in the military prison terms of hormone therapy or any kind of it's transgender. Type lifestyle however. We would assume that the -- attorney knew about before making the announcement could this be in some way. Maneuver to get -- and protective custody or any kind of other special treatment while he serves as 35 years. Well -- interest in questioning because in -- is big deal with this in his interview this morning on The Today Show. He said that he is not concerned about the other members of the prison population of four leavenworth. He said that individual there are first time. Offenders. And don't usually have a history of criminal -- behavior. -- and -- -- that didn't bother him he said that he. Will take legal action as far as he can take -- he obviously knew that this is going to be something that the military is not going to be able to allow. -- but he's trying to Christiane hello here because he does showed genuine concern for his client. And understands and -- -- -- -- -- -- two. And throughout as that he referred to Manning threw out as an issue in the -- Gender so he obviously feels this is. Something that he wants to pursue. For his client. Obviously this is going to be difficult. -- -- but he says he's willing to take it as far as you can go legally. The military today the army saying there is no mechanism in place. For US military to provide hormone therapy. Or gender reassignment surgery four inmates. All right and just -- last question we know that Manning was sentenced to 35 years but she we are now referring. To Manning as she she could get out much sooner right. That is what we heard yesterday with the parole if there's a lot of questions from then my colleagues up before me yesterday when we heard that did the parole. Might come up this in his twelve years that's what we thought initially because. When you look at the -- it -- and what happens in the military justice system is that. Inmates are entitled to parole after they serve a third of their sentence well. That gets -- to twelve years but Manning's already served more than three and a half years in prison and the judge gave him that credit she -- sentenced yesterday. When you do the math it brings you can almost seven. Seven years because -- serve that time Manning's attorney. Says that he shouldn't she will be entitled to get parole hearing. Within seven years. -- now Combs is pretty confident that Manning is going to be let go in seven years. I don't know that that's going to be the case. Another thing to think about is that man and that -- yesterday said following. The announcement of the sentence that he was going to pursue a presidential pardon. For Manning that's quite unusual and it's unclear how far that's gonna go -- -- it's going to be received by lighthouse. Well certainly a vocal advocate for his client. ABC's Linda Martinez at the Pentagon thank you so much for joining -- thanks -- -- background information on. Military prisons and their rules you can of course keep up with the latest on Chelsea Morning. And her future right here on abcnews.com for now -- Hernandez in New York with this ABC news digital special reports. This has been a special report from the.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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