Greetings My Friends, Relatives and Supporters:
I know that many of you have concerns about the status of my situation and have been wanting an update about what is going on. A lot has been happening in the last few months and I am sorry I have not written in a while. The deaths over this last year have been hard to accept, including the recent loss of my Sister Vivian. I want to deeply thank everyone for your loving words, prayers and also for helping my son Chauncey pay for her funeral expenses, I am humbled beyond what my words can express.
We are coming up on 40 years of my being in prisons. Sometimes, I honestly cannot believe it, sometimes I just don’t want to believe it. You have been here with me through many dark times. It is not possible for me to respond to each of you personally, I sure wish I could.
The reality is that I am not getting any younger, I feel my body every day. My hip hurts, I cannot see very well, my body aches and my diabetes makes me feel uneasy a lot of the time. I do not say these things so you’ll feel sorry for me, I just want to share because I would like for you to understand where I am at in my life. When I put the losses of my friends and family together in my mind with the way my body feels, I feel a hunger to go home like I have never felt in all these long years.
It is time.
If only for a while, to feel the grass under my feet, to paint with the wind on my face while I listen to the laughter of my grandchildren in the yard, to smell some apple pie cooking in the air. Some simple things is all I need.
I hear there are many of my Native Brothers and Sisters who are much younger than I who are doing some great work and it gives me great peace to know that the struggles our people face will always be addressed with honor and spirit. I know about the problems we are all facing, and I want to encourage you to never give up on the things you know are right.
I am not giving up either.
Being in prison is a lot like being given a terminal diagnosis, and with that in mind, I am pleased to announce that I have retained a new legal team to represent my needs and best interests. Together we have developed a careful “treatment plan” to hopefully gain the freedom and balance we have all been working for.
I do not know what the future will hold, but you should know that I am confident I have the best team I could have ever asked for. I want to say that I am finding hope and slowly letting it find me. Take it from this old dude, life is different at 70.
I have been strongly advised, and I agree, that in order for this process to have a chance to work, the details and inner working of our plans must remain confidential. I am placing my very life in the hands of my legal team. We cannot have any entity or person outside of my legal team speaking for me, acting on my behalf, or representing me. I am asking all of you to honor and respect this decision. Much like a surgeon who performs a lifesaving operation, it is critical to my freedom that they be allowed to do what they are highly skilled at, without any outside interference.
You will still hear from me, as we all know, I am not going anywhere yet.
I want you to continue to support what you know is right. Be active, take an active role in our world and support the things you know need to be supported. Stand up for those that need to be stood up for, teach and take care of our children and our Mother Earth. Help one another to be strong and honorable, keep and carry on the traditions, languages and culture of our people. Be kind and caring toward each other.
I will continue to need your support, prayers, your love, and your understanding as I walk on this final path toward my freedom.
We will share as much information as we can as the process moves forward. In the meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns, please direct your inquiries to the website as that is the only official point of contact for myself and my team.
In the Spirit of Crazy Horse
|Leonard Peltier Freedom Campaign · 255 Primera Blvd, 160, Lake Mary, FL 32746, United States|
http://www.chelseamanning.org/featured/chelsea-to-begin-gender-related-medical-care Chelsea to begin gender-related medical care February 13, 2015 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network “It is … concerning that private medical information about Chelsea’s care was again leaked by government officials despite clear protections in federal law and the existence of a protective order.” –Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney representing Chelsea Manning on gender related issues After fighting for years to receive necessary gender-related medical care from prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning will finally begin hormone therapy. The Department of Defense’s approval of Manning’s care comes after Chelsea’s initial request for treatment in August of 2013 and a subsequent Sept 2014 lawsuit filed in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after her medical needs continued to be ignored. Manning’s treatment will mark the first time the military has administered such care, as transgender individuals are currently not allowed to serve. Since Chelsea cannot be discharged until her 35-year prison sentence is complete, it is up to the Army to see to her medical well-being while imprisoned. Hormone therapy, “is an important first step in Chelsea’s treatment regimen and one that is in line with the recommendations of all of her doctors and the basic requirements of the Eighth Amendment,” confirms Chase Strangio, attorney with the ACLU. “We are thrilled for Chelsea that the government has finally agreed to initiate hormone therapy as part of her treatment plan.” However, Stangrio notes, “The military continues to refuse to let Chelsea grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors. The resistance to meeting Chelsea’s full treatment needs is a reflection of the deeply entrenched stigma associated with transgender health care… we will keep fighting for Chelsea’s health needs until she is treated fully and adequately.” Chase Strangio, attorney with the ACLU: “Chelsea has waited years to receive basic medical care that she needs to treat her gender dysphoria. Since she arrived at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in August of 2013, advocating for her medically necessary health care has been Chelsea’s priority. She has fought her whole life, and particularly over the course of the past few years, to be seen and affirmed as who she is–as Chelsea. We are thrilled for Chelsea that the government has finally agreed to initiate hormone therapy as part of her treatment plan. This is an important first step in Chelsea’s treatment regimen and one that is in line with the recommendations of all of her doctors and the basic requirements of the Eighth Amendment. But the delay in treatment came with a significant cost to Chelsea and her mental health and we are hopeful that the government continues to meet Chelsea’s medical needs as is its obligation under the Constitution so that those harms may be mitigated. Meanwhile the fight continues. The military continues to refuse to let Chelsea grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors. The resistance to meeting Chelsea’s full treatment needs is a reflection of the deeply entrenched stigma associated with transgender health care. There is no transgender exception to the requirements of the Eighth Amendment and we will keep fighting for Chelsea’s health needs until she is treated fully and adequately. It is additionally concerning that private medical information about Chelsea’s care was again leaked by government officials despite clear protections in federal law and the existence of a protective order.”