Pvt. Chelsea Manning released from prison after 7 years, reports say
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 0:02
Chelsea Manning was released from U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, today after seven years of incarceration. The assurances from the Army that she could have the procedure came two months after Manning tried to commit suicide and after a hunger strike that had lasted four days, the ACLU said. Jennifer Johnson, said Manning will be on "excess leave" while her court-martial conviction is under appellate review.
She will not be entitled to a regular salary, although she will still be liable to receive military medical care and commissary privileges.
"I'm figuring things out right now - which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me", 29-year-old Manning said in an emailed statement hours after being released from a lockup at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth. Moreover, under conditions where the Democratic Party is lining up with the military-intelligence apparatus to indict the Trump administration for handing over "secrets" to Russian envoys, the Democrats wish to distance themselves as much as possible from the example of Chelsea Manning, who offended the CIA and Pentagon by handing over evidence of their crimes to the American people.
Ms Manning, who was deployed in Iraq, was convicted in 2013 of 20 charges including violating the Espionage Act, theft and computer fraud. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which could have left her facing the death penalty.
Manning tweeted a photo of her sneaker-clad feet, taking her "first steps of freedom" Wednesday morning.
Manning 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.
After the 2013 sentencing, the ex-intelligence agent changed her name to Chelsea Manning and became a transgender woman.
In 2010, the former military intelligence analyst, then known as Private First Class Bradley Manning, provided thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks, an worldwide organisation that publishes such information from anonymous sources.
While Manning's sentence was commuted, her conviction remains intact.
U.S. army intelligence official Ms Manning, who was born Bradley Manning, passed classified government materials to WikiLeaks.
On Jan. 17, 2017, Hollander was in her office when she got a call from Obama's counsel at the White House: "He asked if I was Chelsea Manning's lawyer and I said yes".
Manning's family said the sentence had been a "travesty of justice".
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Chase Strangeo, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "Chelsea Manning is just this exceptional human being who continued to see the goodness even in the face of disgusting evidence to the contrary".
Manning also told the Guardian she plans to fully enjoy her freedom: "I want that indescribable feeling of connection with people and nature again, without razor wire or a visitation booth".
She also went on a hunger strike previous year, which she ended after the military agreed to provide her with gender transition treatment.
Manning is still considered to be on active duty in the Army until her criminal appeal is complete.