Chelsea Manning released from prison after seven years

An Army spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson, said Manning will be on "excess leave" - meaning she is considered to be off-duty - while her court-martial conviction is under appellate review.

In 2013, Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing classified and sensitive military documents to WikiLeaks.

"I feel very comfortable that justice has been served", said President Obama about his partial commutation of Manning's sentence. She tried committing suicide twice, according to The New York Times.

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.

Manning was released Wednesday from a lockup at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth.

Captioned "first steps of freedom", the post shows Ms Manning peering down at a pair of black and white trainers.

After leaving Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Kansas, Manning has clearly been making the most of her freedom - posting a picture of herself enjoying a slice of pizza.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign, created in February of this year, raised $157,681 for Manning upon release.

Manning, an 29-year-old Army intelligence analyst, leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency in his final days in office in January. The military also allowed her to begin taking hormones in 2013.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been a vocal supporter throughout Manning's trial and sentencing, and eventually helped her sue the military for repeated refusals to give Manning access to drugs for her gender dysphoria.

Then in November of 2015, Manning fought once again with the prison system, this time to be able to grow out her hair.

"Chelsea Manning is the LGBTQ movement's greatest-ever anti-war activist and whistleblower about government crimes, and yet she was shunned by virtually every large LGBTQ non-profit", Thayer said.

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

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea", Manning said in a statement released by her lawyers last week.

In a statement to ABC News, Manning said she appreciated the support she had received from people all over the world.

Manning said she released the documents to WikiLeaks because she felt the US military was ignoring the trauma that many civilians suffered from as a result of war.

Last September she went on hunger strike after demanding gender confirmation treatment, and was eventually given her request by the Army.

"I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public".

  • Larry Hoffman