TODAY   |  August 23, 2013

Details of Chelsea Manning’s potential future emerge

The Army private and NSA leaker formerly known as Bradley Manning is waking up inside a maximum security prison, and the world is learning new details over Chelsea Manning’s potential  future as a transgendered woman. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

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>>> tied to thursday's bombshell announcement here on today that the army private sentenced in the wikileaks scandal plans to live as a woman. peter alexander is in washington. good morning to you.

>> matt, good morning. that sentence is 35 years in prison and the inmate known as bradley manning is waking up today inside the maximum security military prison . also this morning we're learning new details about what the 25-year-old who wants to be called chelsea manning wants for her future.

>> reporter: for all the explosive secrets that bradley manning leaked, the most stunning revelation was personal. delivered in a letter read by savannah here on today.

>> i want everyone to know the real me. i am chelsea manning . i am a female.

>> reporter: this photo of the army private wearing a women's wig and lipstick was presented as proof of a squender identity disorder. he wants to live as a woman and begin hormone therapy treatment as soon as possible. that will be a long shot. they don't provide the treatment or sex reassignment surgery . as for the future, manning could be eligible for parole in seven years.

>> she wants to get a degree. she wants to hopefully find somebody that she loves. get married. perhaps have a family.

>> reporter: within hours of thursday's bombshell chelsea manning on twitter worldwide. outrage. you guys can laugh about bradley chelsea manning now but when our tax dollars pay for gender surgery he'll be laughing at us. and another, humbled by manning 's honesty.

>> now kristen beck, the self-proclaimed warrior princess said for this person whether male or female to use gender identity to act badly is a slap in the case. they were like how to refer to manning . manning asked to be called she, not he.

>> people need to understand that this is for real. a person that has gender dis disforia wants to live as the other. it requires psychiatric treatment and sometimes surge but not necessarily.

>> transgender prisons are more likely to be assaulted by other inmates but officials say they have taken the necessary steps to protect those prisoners like manning who maybe at a higher risk.

>> peter alexander in washington. thank you very much. we talked about this yesterday after your interview. i said, is there a chance that she, as we're now referring to her, would be transferred at some point to a woman's prison?

>> i think it would be far down the road and probably if she had that sex reassignment surgery that we don't know if she actually wants and by the way, the army said it doesn't provide hormone therapy or gender surgery so if they want to go down that road they'll have to sue to get there probably.