Chelsea Manning celebrates release from prison: 'First steps of freedom'

Ivan Schwartz
May 20, 2017

USA Today reported Manning will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, eligible for health care and other benefits while her court-martial conviction remains under appeal.

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Cars exit and enter US Army facility Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas, on May 17, 2017. Military prosecutors had argued that Manning's leaks severely damaged USA intelligence.

Manning was convicted and sentenced to a 35-year prison term, the longest such sentence ever given in any leak case.

"I appreciate the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years", said Manning upon her release.

Manning celebrated her release on Wednesday by tweeting out a photo of herself wearing black trousers and Chuck Taylor shoes.

More recently, WikiLeaks published Democratic National Committee emails in the weeks leading up to the 8 November US presidential election.

After seven years in captivity, military whistleblower Chelsea Manning is free.

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That and the fact she's issuing press releases - including a pre-release release - makes you wonder if she plans to take the trans celebrity path of Caitlyn Jenner. Hawkins has followed her legal team since 2014. The cables caused an global diplomatic embarrassment for the U.S.

"I'm figuring things out right now - which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me", Manning said by email hours after being released from confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, having served seven years behind bars for one of the largest exposing of classified information in US history.

Consistent with Republican opposition to Obama's clemency for Manning, the Log Cabin Republicans was one group withholding applause for her upon her release. Those charges included six Espionage Act violations, theft, and computer fraud.

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.

She argued that she wanted to expose what she considered to be the US military's disregard of the effects of war on civilians and no file was classified higher than secret.

She made even bigger headlines, though, when she began transitioning while in prison.

Media reports say Pvt. "Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing", Earnest said.

Manning said in 2014 that she chose to disclose the classified information to expose truths about the civil war in Iraq "out of a love for my country".

Ms Manning was convicted in 2013 of 20 charges, after leaking diplomatic cables and military files she gained access to as an Army intelligence analyst.

Other reports by GizPress

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