Chelsea Manning released from prison

Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier convicted of giving classified government materials to WikiLeaks, will participate in a documentary about her.

Manning, 29, was released from the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, at about 2am, according to a brief statement released by the US Army.

"When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty for others", Manning said after her sentencing in a letter sent to then President Barack Obama.

Manning later took to social networking, posting photos of her lunch - "So, (I'm) already enjoying my first hot, greasy pizza", she declared of the slice of pepperoni - and her feet in tennis shoes, captioning that her "First steps of freedom!".

"It was by far the longest sentence given to any whistleblower in USA history", Pulse said, saying the film would depict "the journey of her fight for survival and dignity, and her transition from prisoner to a free woman".

The statement was emailed just hours after her release from a military prison in Kansas. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world".

Manning, a native of Oklahoma, had a hard childhood, seeing her parents divorce and being mocked as effeminate as a young boy named Bradley. She eventually got the treatment after an ACLU-assisted lawsuit.

Manning was serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq when she made the controversial disclosures. Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said this means Manning can wear her preferred civilian clothing, including women's attire, while on excess leave.

Filming will commence with Manning's departure from Leavenworth Prison in Kansas, according to a press release.

"Part of the reason that the White House justified granting her clemency was because it was so much longer than other recent leak sentences".

Chelsea Manning is free today.

She also leaked documents related to detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay and some 250,000 State Department cables. Manning laid its civilian toll bare in an Apache airstrike video that WikiLeaks published under the name "Collateral Murder".

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

"Chelsea is someone who has taken on a great personal risk and tremendous personal cost to do something she thought was in the best interest of the public", said Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and a well-known transgender activist.

Strangio wrote that Manning endured solitary confinement, denial of health care as a transgender woman and separation from her family while incarcerated.

Col. Denise Lind, the presiding judge at Manning's trial, acquitted her of aiding the enemy. Manning also went on a hunger strike in 2016 before the Army agreed to gender reassignment surgery.

Pulse Films has acquired the exclusive rights to her story and had access to her legal team for two years to make the movie, which has been co-financed by the British Film Institute (BFI) and executive produced by Oscar victor Laura Poitras.

  • Zachary Reyes