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Bradley Manning says he wants to live as a woman named Chelsea

Army says it doesn't provide the treatment or sex-reassignment surgery

By Pauline Jelinek

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Aug. 22 2013 9:30 a.m. MDT

Manning's attorney said the email was evidence the military knew of Manning's struggles, yet allowed him to stay in Iraq as an intelligence analyst and keep his security clearance.

Meanwhile, Coombs and supporters said they will ask the Army to reduce Manning's sentence and they want President Obama to grant a pardon. The White House said the request would be considered "like any other application."

However, a pardon seems unlikely. Manning's case was part of an unprecedented string of prosecutions brought by the U.S. government in a crackdown on security breaches. The Obama administration has charged seven people with leaking to the media; only three people were prosecuted under all previous presidents combined.

The lawyer decried the government's pursuit of Manning for what the soldier said was only an effort to expose wrongdoing and prompt debate of government policies among the American public.

The sentencing fired up the long-running debate over whether Manning was a whistleblower or a traitor for giving more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents, plus battlefield footage, to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. By volume alone, it was the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history, bigger even than the Pentagon Papers a generation ago.

Manning was found guilty last month of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act, but was acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which carried a potential sentence of life in prison without parole.

Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard, Sagar Meghani and Eric Tucker in Washington, and John Milburn in Topeka, Kan., contributed to this report.

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