Chelsea Manning won't be sent to solitary confinement for holding onto an expired tube of toothpaste and reading books and magazines about transgender Americans, but she has been found guilty of four disciplinary infractions by a prison board. The ruling will have far-reaching consequences for Manning.
On Monday, a prison board found that Manning was guilty of medicine misuse (for the toothpaste), possession of prohibited property (for reading material including the issue of Vanity Fair featuring Caitlyn Jenner on the cover), disorderly conduct (for pushing food onto the floor) and disrespect. Manning is a transgender soldier serving a 35-year prison term for giving government documents to WikiLeaks.
Her punishment for these infractions is a three-week ban on access to the gym, the library, and the outdoors. Plus, it means that Manning's sentence will be more difficult than expected:
Chase Strangio, one of Manning's lawyers told vanityfair.com that, "the fact that Chelsea had to face today’s four-hour Disciplinary Board without counsel and will now be punished for daring to share her voice sets a concerning precedent for the remaining decades of her incarceration." He added: "She also will carry these infractions through her parole and clemency process and will be held longer in the more restrictive security facility where she is now incarcerated."
Manning faced an indefinite stint in solitary confinement over the charges, an outcome that was fiercely protested by Manning's supporters.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.