Convicted national security leaker Chelsea Manning is likely be placed in solitary confinement for an indefinite period of time for allegedly violating prison regulations by being in possession of a copy of Vanity Fair with Caitlyn Jenner on the front page and one tube of expired toothpaste, among other personal items, her legal representative said Wednesday.
In 2013, the retired intelligence analyst, previously known by the name Bradley Manning, was charged with spying and other crimes for transferring about 700,000 confidential files while serving in Iraq. She is currently serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth military prison, for revealing diplomatic cables, reams of war logs and a battlefield videotape to WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website in 2010.
Her legal representative, Nancy Hollander, revealed that a hearing is set for Aug. 18 at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth for the transgender military private. The hearing, which will involve a three-person panel, will be closed, though Manning has requested that it be held in public.
Condemning the decision, Hollander said, “This is like prison disciplinary infractions in a civilian prison and there will be a hearing, but frankly it looks to me like harassment."
By Wednesday, the military had not made any official comment.
The legal charges pressed against Manning include disrespect, medical mishandling of toothpaste, possession of proscribed property in the form of magazines and books while under governmental confinement, and unruly behavior for sweeping some food onto the floor.
All are connected to alleged incidents on July 2 and 9. The biggest punishment for such charges is indefinite private detention.
Addressing the nature of the charges, Hollander said, "It is not uncommon in prisons to have charges that to the rest of us seem to be absurd." She added, "Prisons are very controlled environments and they try to keep them very controlled and sometimes in that control they really go too far and I think that this is going too far."
Hollander is principally disturbed by the sad reality that her client's reading material was confiscated, including a storybook addressing transgender issues, the book "I am Malala," the U.S. Senate report on CIA persecution, the book "Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy — The Many Faces of Anonymous," and a copy of Cosmopolitan magazine with a detailed interview with Manning.
"There is certainly no security risk, and that could impinge on her free speech rights and attempt to silence her," Hollander said.