Sunday, November 27, 2022

First Openly Transgender Army Officer Indicted for Trying to Give Soldiers’ Medical Info to Russia

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The Army’s first openly transgender officer was indicted Thursday on charges of trying to provide American soldiers’ medical information to the Russian government.

A federal grand jury in Baltimore indicted Jamie Lee Henry and his wife, Anna Gabrielian, on charges of conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information. According to prosecutors, the couple met last month with an undercover FBI agent posing as a Russian diplomat and offered medical information from Fort Bragg, the home of the military’s elite Delta Force.

Gabrielian, an anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins University, told the undercover agent during an Aug. 17 meeting that “she was motivated by patriotism toward Russia to provide any assistance she could to Russia, even if it meant being fired or going to jail,” according to the indictment. Gabrielian gave the undercover agent medical information on a spouse of someone who works in the Office of Naval Intelligence, and “highlighted” a medical issue that “Russia could exploit.”

Henry, a doctor at Fort Bragg, gave the undercover agent information on five patients at the military facility, according to the indictment, first reported by the Baltimore Banner.

Henry has been praised as a pioneer of the transgender movement after coming out as transgender in an interview with BuzzFeed News in 2015. Henry claimed to be the first known active-duty Army officer to come out as transgender, and the first to legally change their name while in service.

Henry told BuzzFeed his experience transitioning helped him in the medical field.

“I find my trans experience has allowed me to relate to people, because all of us suffer, and I could relate to people’s suffering. I’m able to comfort people that feel isolated and lost and alone and broken,” Henry said.

Henry lamented in another interview that year about the lack of privacy afforded transgender people receiving medical care.

“I felt very vulnerable while being treated as a patient in the same hospital I worked as a physician. What made it worse was that, as a soldier, my medical records were not private, and when the question of mental illness came up, I felt stark naked,” Henry told Bright Young Things in 2015.

According to prosecutors, Henry told the undercover agent he offered to join the Russian military after the invasion of Ukraine, but was rejected due to lack of combat experience. Henry allegedly told the agent that he believed “the United States is using Ukrainians as a proxy for their own hatred toward Russia.”

Gabrielian and Henry, who were married in 2015, also discussed a plan for their children should they be arrested. Gabrielian told the agent she wanted their children to “have a nice flight to Turkey to go on vacation because I don’t want to end in jail here with my kids being hostages over my head.”

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