Newly-freed Chelsea Manning says putting past behind her

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

Manning "has been released from the United States Disciplinary Barracks" at Fort Leavenworth, US Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said in a brief statement. Thank you so much, I want you to know you've been my hero since high school and I'm just so happy for you!

Manning was convicted under the Espionage Act, a World War I era law that was meant to stop people from supporting enemies of the US during wartime.

"I'm figuring things out right now-which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me", she added.

The 29-year-old, who underwent a gender transition in prison, has taken to Twitter to celebrate, saying "First Steps of Freedom, #ChelseaISFree". Manning pleaded guilty to ten of those charges in 2013 to avoid the death penalty, and was later found guilty of additional charges and sentenced to 35 years in a military prison.

She attempted to take her life twice a year ago and also conducted a hunger strike.

Manning's 35-year sentence for leaking an enormous trove of military intelligence records was commuted by President Barack Obama in January.

"It is incredible to witness Chelsea Manning's freedom after having seen and worked with her behind bars for four years", said Chase Strangio, a lawyer with the ACLU rights group that lobbied for Manning's early release. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier convicted of giving classified government materials to WikiLeaks.

Hawkins was planning to film Manning as she was released from prison Wednesday. She was convicted on 20 charges, including violations of the federal Espionage Act, in 2013; she is appealing her conviction.

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Manning announced her gender transition while the US Army kept her in the men's prison.

She also went on a hunger strike previous year, which she ended after the military agreed to provide her with gender transition treatment.

Greenwald explains that after top US officials condemned, denounced and deemed Manning as a traitor, living in this country will be an uphill battle for the 29-year-old soldier.

According to The New York Times, the military charged Manning with "aiding the enemy", which was based on the theory that providing information to the public is the same as providing info to Al Qaeda. Around the time Obama commuted her sentence, The Blaze's Matt Walsh wrote a piece on Manning, with the headline, "Bradley Manning is still a traitor".

Now 29, Manning said at the time she hoped to encourage debate about America's wars, but the leaked files stretched far beyond the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, with diplomatic cables embarrassing senior officials on almost every continent. Her representatives allege that she was subjected to violence in prison and that she was mistreated by the military, which forced her to serve her sentence in an all-male prison.

Army Private Chelsea Manning was released from a detention facility in Ft.

"Chelsea has already served the longest sentence of any whistleblower in the history of this country".

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