By David E. Coombs
Editor’s Note: Now that the trial is over and the case finished let’s not drop the ball and forget about Bradley Manning (who has changed his name to Chelsea and identified as a woman). She was courageous and did an honorable act. Lead attorney David Coombs explains how we can all show some solidarity and moral support, and notes the do’s and don’ts in doing so.
1) Is Chelsea still going through the indoctrination process? No.
Chelsea has successfully completed her indoctrination process at the
United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). After completing her
indoctrination, the facility placed Chelsea in general population.
Being held in general populations means that Chelsea does not have any
special limitations or restrictions. She is able to participate in all
vocational and educational opportunities at the USDB and is able to
receive visitors and correspondence.
2) Can I write to Chelsea? Yes, you may write to Chelsea by addressing
your letter to the following address:
Bradley E. Manning
1300 N. Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-2304
All mail received at the USDB will be inspected upon receipt. Any mail
that is considered detrimental to security, good order, discipline, or
the correctional mission of the USDB will be rejected.
3) What items are prohibited by the USDB? Do not send cash, jewelry,
compact discs, electronics, or other items of value with your
correspondence. You are also not permitted to send newspapers,
periodicals, magazines or books. If you want to send a specific book
or other reading material to Chelsea, you must do so by having those
items sent directly from the publisher. You may also not send anything
that violates postal regulations or contains obscenity, blackmail,
contraband or threats. The USDB defines “obscenity” as “writings or
pictures that, taken as a whole under contemporary community
standards, appeal to prurient interest in sex, are offensive because
they depict sexual conduct in a patently offensive way and, taken as a
whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific
value.” Any unauthorized materials included within correspondence will
be returned to the sender at Chelsea’s expense or will be destroyed.
4) Can Chelsea write back to me? Yes, she can. Chelsea requests that
you include your return address within your actual letter. Doing so,
will ensure that she does not misplace your address.
5) How can I visit Chelsea at the USDB? Chelsea must submit your name
in order for you to be approved to visit her. The USDB will conduct a
background check on all individuals listed by Chelsea. You can become
an authorized visitor only after her request is approved by the USDB.
Unlike when Chelsea was at Quantico, a visitor does not have to have a
pre-existing relationship with Chelsea to be added to her visitor’s
list. A visitation request may be denied based upon the USDB’s custody
and control concerns.
6) How do I know if I am approved visitor? The USDB will send you a
letter confirming your addition to the authorized visitors’ list along
with detailed visitors’ rules.
7) Is Chelsea allowed to call family and friends? Yes. As with
visitors, Chelsea must submit your name and phone number to the USDB
in order for you to be on her approved call list. If you are approved,
Chelsea will be able to call you directly during her calling hours at
the USDB. The USDB allows Chelsea to make telephone calls during
designated times on each day of the week. Chelsea is required to pay
for any calls that she makes to her family and friends. Given the
importance of being able to speak with family and friends, our office
helps ensure that Chelsea has the necessary funds to make the calls
that she desires.
8) Can news media interview Chelsea in person or by phone? No.
Face-to-face and telephonic communications between inmates and news
media (print and broadcast) are not authorized. Chelsea is permitted
to write to news media, but any such communication will be reviewed by
the USDB prior to its release.
9) I am a movie producer/publisher and I want to help tell Chelsea’s
story. How can I do so? You will need to write directly to Chelsea.
Our office will also pass on any such inquiries to Chelsea.
10) How is Chelsea doing in confinement? Chelsea is doing well in
confinement. She feels safe at the USDB, and is being treated well by
the facility and other inmates.
11) Is there anything that I can do to help? Yes, you can help ensure
that Chelsea is not forgotten by getting involved with the Private
Manning Support Network and by adding your name and photo to the
Pardon Private Manning website. If you wish, you can also donate
directly to her by doing one of the following:
a) Sending a money order addressed to Bradley Manning. Please do
not send cash or a check. You should use the address provided in
question number 2 above. Any funds received at the USDB will be
deposited into an account that Chelsea can use to make phone calls,
purchase stamps, and purchase other comfort items not provided by the
b) Donating directly to Chelsea’s legal fund to assist in
ensuring that she receives proper medical treatment at the USDB, has
counsel for any legal action related to her gender dysphoria, is able
to pursue outside educational opportunities, and has legal
representation at future parole and clemency actions. You can send a
check to our legal office at 11 South Angell Street, #317, Providence,
Rhode Island, 02906. On the memo line, please note “Chelsea Manning
Defense.” Any excess funds in this account at the conclusion of our
representation of Chelsea will be transferred to an account managed by
c) Donating to the Private Manning Support Network. You can make
a donation through the Private Manning Support Network here.
Alternatively, you can mail a check or money order to Courage to
Resist, 484 Lake Park Ave. #41, Oakland, CA 94610. Please note
“Chelsea Manning Defense” on the memo line. A portion of this
donation will go towards the legal defense effort. The remainder will
go towards public education and support activities.Φ
David E. Coombs is Chelsea Manning’s lead defense attorney. Access his website: http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.com/. Access the Manning FAQ at: http://www.armycourtmartialdefense.info/2013/10/frequently-asked-questions-about-chelsea.html.