US Government: It’s a ‘security risk’ to let Chelsea Manning grow her hair, but we can’t tell you why
The US Government has defending forcibly cutting jailed whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s hair – but they won’t say why long hair is a ‘security risk’.
Private Manning, who announced her transition to female in 2013, is currently imprisoned in Fort Leavenworth military prison after leaking details of classified documents via WikiLeaks.
The Military seemingly gave the go-ahead to treatment earlier this year – but Manning is suing for her right to transition, as the US Military has continued to force her to present as male, including forcibly shaving her head.
In court documents released this week, the Department of Justice has defended the treatment – claiming that long hair is a security risk.
Referring to a ‘comprehensive’ risk assessment – details of which are conveniently completely redacted from the court documents – the DoJ ultimately concludes: “Permitting Inmate Manning to wear a feminine hairstyle is not supported by the risk assessment and potential risk mitigation measures at time”.
It adds “The Sept 2015 Risk Assessment shows that the USDB made a careful and considered judgment that its particular security concerns prevented allowing Manning to wear longer hair, a decision to which deference to both its military and prison security expertise is due.”
The government did not redact information relating to Manning’s ongoing medical treatment, revealing she has “been issued female underwear and sports bras”, allowed to wear cosmetics, and was now permitted to take hormones.
However, it insisted: “Manning is confined at the USDB, a military prison for men that has a uniform rule ofno hair longer than two inches.
“Making an exception to the USDB’s generally applicable hair restriction would pose a significant security risk, and would undermine the USDB’s important military mission.”
“Permitting Manning to follow different grooming standards within the USDB would [this line is also redacted], thereby undermining the USDB’s important interests in prison security and military discipline.”