David Coombs, the civilian lawyer who represents Chelsea Manning, reported on his blog Thursday that the whistle-blower is "doing very well" in her early days in a male military prison (during what is officially given the Orwellian title, "indoctrination period").
Chelsea is currently going through the indoctrination process at the Fort Leavenworth United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). The indoctrination process lasts approximately three weeks and is designed to give a new inmate information on the facility and the opportunities available within the USDB. Ordinarily, an inmate is not allowed to have any outside contact during the indoctrination period. The USDB, however, made an exception for Chelsea.
Yesterday was my first opportunity to speak with Chelsea since her sentencing. I am happy to report that she is doing very well at the USDB [United States Disciplinary Barracks], and has already made several friends who accept her for who she is. Due to going through indoctrination, Chelsea was unaware of the response to her public statement on the Today show. During our conversation, I informed Chelsea of the overwhelming support for her decision. I also told her about how most responsible media have elected to respect her wishes and refer to her by her new name. Chelsea was very happy to hear of these developments. She requested that I relay how grateful that she is for everyone's understanding and continued support.
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email email@example.com.