Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from United States prison

Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from United States prison

Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from United States prison

In 2009 and 2010, Manning admitted that she-he at the time-smuggled out several SD disks with reams of classified information, including contents of Significant Actions files, or SigActs, which detail military actions on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

"After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived", Manning said in a statement provided by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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".

On Wednesday, an Army spokesperson confirmed that Chelsea Manning, born Bradley Manning, was released from prison seven years into her 35-year sentence.

In a recent interview with NPR, Steven Nelson, a reporter with U.S. News and World Report, clarified why Obama chose to significantly shorten the original 35-year sentence handed to Manning.

The Oklahoma native was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six espionage act violations, theft and computer fraud.

The documents ranged from embarrassing diplomatic cables that revealed how U.S. envoys really felt about friends and foes alike, to videos showing a United States air strike in Afghanistan in 2009 that left more than 100 civilians dead and footage of a USA helicopter attack in Iraq that killed two Reuters journalists.

The military was therefore keen on keeping her release low-key.

After the sentencing, the ex-intelligence agent changed her name to Chelsea Manning and identified as transgender. LGBT rights activists, who warned about Manning's mental health and treatment as a transgender woman living in a men's prison, cheered Obama's move.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who is friends with Manning and also played a role in publishing leaks from famous whistleblower Edward Snowden, tells the BBC that Manning will likely face a number of challenges now that she's out of prison.

Manning, who already has a Twitter account that she updated regularly while in prison, quickly acclimated herself to new forms of social media upon her release. She attempted suicide twice during her time in prison.

Manning, behind one of the largest classified information leaks in U.S. history, left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas in the morning, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson told CNN.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea", Manning said in a pre-release news release, according to BBC News. Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said this means Manning can wear her preferred civilian clothing, including women's attire, while on excess leave.

Manning will remain in the military for now, unpaid.

Last week, Manning tweeted her excitement about her impending release: "Freedom was only a dream, and hard to imagine".

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