Jonah Bennett on September 20, 2017
The Pentagon has shot back against Chelsea Manning’s claims that he is neither active-duty, nor has any access to government health care.
Since receiving a commutation from former President Barack Obama and leaving prison on May 17 for leaking more than 700,000 documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to WikiLeaks, Manning has insisted numerous times that he does not count as an active-duty soldier and also has been completely blocked from access to government health care.
However, the Pentagon told The Daily Caller News Foundation that not only is Manning still active-duty, but Manning explicitly acknowledged before leaving confinement that he has access to government care.
In a tweet dating August 26, Manning insisted: “im not active duty, this is some weird confusion caused by the fact i still have a court-martial appeal in the works.”
But the Pentagon thinks Manning’s explanation is totally bunk, noting that Manning is definitely active-duty and also definitely entitled to medical care.
“Manning is currently on excess leave pending completion of the appellate review of the court-martial conviction,” Army spokeswoman Valerie L. Mongello told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “While on excess leave, Manning is on active duty, but in an unpaid status. As an active duty Soldier, Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care. The Army does not answer questions about the medical care an individual Soldier may or may not be receiving due to Privacy Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) concerns.”
When questioned about this Pentagon statement, Manning doubled down and insisted to The Daily Caller News Foundation that he has essentially been totally cut off from care.
“[I] have private healthcare with kaiser permanente, i am banned from all military posts and installations, i am statutorily barred from recieving any form of benefit from the DoD or VA by statute, and this administration has an incentive to claim i have access to healthcare in order to bolster its trans ban narrative,” Manning said.
“DoD and VA cite title 38, U.S.C. section 6105, due to the convictions under 18 usc 793(e). its kind of obscure but still has force and effect,” Manning added. “[I] dont think that DoD is knowingly lying so much as there is a lot of confusion because everything is obscure, and medical information is considered extremely private under the Privacy Act.”
In a follow-up statement to TheDCNF after grappling with Manning’s explanation regarding Title 38 USC Section 6105, the Pentagon reaffirmed that Manning is entitled to the same benefits as any other soldier. Moreover, the Pentagon added that Manning actually acknowledged possessing these rights to medical care before being released from prison at Fort Leavenworth.
“PVT Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave, an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” Mongello told TheDCNF. “PVT Manning holds an active duty ID card, and is entitled to the same benefits as any active duty Soldier. While on excess leave, PVT Manning is entitled to medical and dental care in any facility of any uniformed service (or at a private facility or under the TRICARE program using Section 1074(c)). PVT Manning was counseled on, and acknowledged, these rights prior to release from confinement.”
Although the Pentagon confirmed that Manning holds an active-duty ID card, Manning continues to state on Twitter that he does not “have one of those.”
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