Chelsea Manning – the WikiLeaks Whistleblower responsible for arguably the biggest breach of classified information in U.S. military history – has walked free from prison where she was forced to live as a man.
Transgender army private Chelsea Manning – previously known as Bradley – has been released from jail after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence, which was commuted by then-US President Barack Obama in January.
Chelsea Manning, who declared the day after she was sentenced to 35 years in prison that she has felt like a female since childhood and identified herself as a woman named Chelsea, was released from a military prison in Kansas on Wednesday morning, according to The Washington Post.
Chelsea Manning – then known as Bradley – leaked 700,000 documents, diplomatic cables, videos, and battlefield accounts as part of the massive 2010 WikiLeaks revelations that have had Americans talking to this very day.
The 2010 WikiLeaks revelations are considered to be one of the largest leaks of state secrets in U.S. history.
On Monday, Chelsea Manning took to Twitter to announce that only two more days were remaining "until the freedom of civilian life."Chelsea Manning's lawyer revealed shortly after Obama commuted her 35-year sentence earlier this year that the transgender army private was excited about walking free but "anxious," according to the BBC.
After being forced to serve her sentence in jail for leaking classified secrets about the U.S. military as a man, the transgender Chelsea Manning, 29-years-old, is finally "ready to be able to live as the woman that she is," as said by her lawyer Nancy Hollander.
After WikiLeaks sources were identified, Chelsea Manning was convicted of 20 charges in connection with the massive leaks, including espionage. However, the jailed transgender army private was later acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy.Chelsea Manning, who walked free from prison and headed to Maryland to ease back into society, defended her decision to leak sensitive data about U.S. military, arguing that she wanted Americans to know about the true role of U.S. military and foreign policy.
However, the transgender army private later apologized for "hurting the U.S.," claiming that she was under the wrong impression that by leaking documents in WikiLeaks she could "change the world for the better."
Chelsea Manning's supporters have reportedly raised more than $135,000 for housing and other things to assist the transgender WikiLeaks Whistleblower in clawing her way back into society as a woman after living seven years in prison as a man.
Chelsea Manning's leak of classified U.S. military data included documents known as the Iraq and Afghanistan "War Logs," which included a clip of a U.S. Apache helicopter killing two journalists who worked for the Reuters news agency, according to the BBC.Chelsea Manning also leaked classified documents related to detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay and some 250,000 State Department cables. The transgender army private was called a hero among some, but others denounced her leaks and called her a traitor. Among those who have decried Chelsea Manning as a traitor who should remain in prison for the rest of her 35-year sentence, was U.S. President Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post.
Millions of Americans, including then U.S. President-elect Trump, exploded with outrage when then President Obama decided in January to commute Chelsea Manning's sentence, arguing that she had served enough time.In a tweet, Trump labeled Chelsea Manning as an "Ungrateful TRAITOR," and called Obama a "weak leader," referring to a column the transgender army private wrote in the Guardian.Obama's decision came in the last days of his presidency in January. Many critics of Chelsea Manning accuse the transgender army private for putting lives of U.S. military personnel and operations at risk.
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