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"My problem': Manning describes internal gender struggle, hoped military career would 'get rid of it'

BY DAVID DISHNEAU AND PAULINE JELINEK, ASSOCIATED PRESS

FORT MEADE, Md. -- Pfc. Bradley Manning took the stand Wednesday at his sentencing hearing in the WikiLeaks case and apologized for hurting his country, pleading with a military judge for a chance to go to college and become a productive citizen.

He addressed the court on a day of often emotional testimony from family members about his troubled childhood and from a psychologist who said Manning felt extreme mental pressure in the "hyper-masculine" military because of his gender-identity disorder — his feeling that he was a woman trapped in a man's body.

Manning eventually came out to Capt. Michael Worsley, emailing the clinical psychologist a photo of himself in a long, blond wig and lipstick. The photo was attached to a letter titled "My problem," in which Manning described his internal struggle and said he had hoped that a military career would "get rid of it."

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