Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Chelsea Manning is a Free Woman


Chelsea Manning will be on a special, unpaid off-duty status that will allow the transgender soldier to wear her preferred civilian clothing, including women's attire.

In a statement read by her attorney on the Today show in August 2013, Manning said, "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me".

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Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning says she's uncertain where her life will take her after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government materials to WikiLeaks.

In a statement to ABC, Manning said, "I appreciate the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years".

"Thank you to everyone for ensuring her safe release and respecting her privacy as she starts to adjust to life outside of prison and rebuild her life following seven years of confinement", the pair said in an ACLU statement.

Minutes later, she tweeted a photo of her feet in tennis shoes, with the caption: "First steps of freedom!"

WikiLeaks isn't the only platform raising money for Manning. The film is titled "XY Chelsea" and will be directed by British filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins and executive produced by "Citizenfour" filmmaker Laura Poitras. She said her plans include moving to Maryland, and growing out her hair, which was kept shorn in prison.

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However, not everyone had positive things to say on Manning's release. But if she's anything like the rest of us, her newly minted Instagram will soon to be home to plenty of selfies, so follow her here.

The New York Times reports that Manning was "sentenced to an unprecedented 35-year prison term for disclosing archives of secret files to WikiLeaks", some of which the newspaper published, but was not criminally charged for doing so.

April 20, 2011: Manning is transferred from Quantico to an Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and is allowed to live with other inmates. Former President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency during his final days in office.

Manning was acquitted of "aiding the enemy" by a military judge, but was convicted on several violations of the Espionage Act.

The former intelligence analyst in Iraq acknowledged leaking the materials, saying she wanted to expose what she considered to be the USA military's disregard of the effects of war on civilians.

October 2016: Manning's attorneys announced that she attempted suicide for the second time in recent months at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth. Central Time. The BBC also cites an unnamed Army representative in reporting she has left the facility. "She has repeatedly been punished for trying to survive and now is being repeatedly punished for trying to die", Chase Strangio, her attorney, wrote in an email to the Associated Press.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in November 2010 that the impact of WiKiLeaks releasing diplomatic cables (from Manning's leak) was "significantly overwrought" by others, noted NPR.

She used her military access to leak over 750,000 documents to WikiLeaks, defending her action as an attempt to start a conversation about what she viewed as compromising US tactics and intervention.

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