Government Leaker Chelsea Manning Released From Prison After Obama Commutation

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Earlier this week Manning released a statement saying that she now can imagine a future as Chelsea. "I am looking forward to so much. I'm figuring things out right now - which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me", she said.

She commemorated her "first steps of freedom" on her newly acquired Instagram account-the app was created in 2010, the same year she went to prison.

The New York Times reports that Manning was "sentenced to an unprecedented 35-year prison term for disclosing archives of secret files to WikiLeaks", some of which the newspaper published, but was not criminally charged for doing so.

Manning had to serve her sentence in an all-male military prison despite a request to transfer to a civilian prison. She attempted suicide twice during her time in prison. Her sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama in January.

In a statement read by her attorney on the Today show in August 2013, Manning said, "As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me".

She defended the leaking by saying she had wanted to spark a public debate in the U.S. about the role of the military and USA foreign policy, but later apologised for "hurting the US", saying she had mistakenly believed she could "change the world for the better". Around the time Obama commuted her sentence, The Blaze's Matt Walsh wrote a piece on Manning, with the headline, "Bradley Manning is still a traitor". She even began a hunger strike in order to protest against the harsh conditions in which she was held.

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Chelsea Manning will be on a special, unpaid off-duty status that will allow the transgender soldier to wear her preferred civilian clothing, including women's attire.

That and the fact she's issuing press releases - including a pre-release release - makes you wonder if she plans to take the trans celebrity path of Caitlyn Jenner.

In a statement last week - her first public comments since Obama intervened - Manning thanked that former president and said that letters of support from veterans and fellow transgender people inspired her "to work toward making life better for others".

Now 29, Manning said at the time she hoped to encourage debate about America's wars, but the leaked files stretched far beyond the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, with diplomatic cables embarrassing senior officials on almost every continent. While in military prison, she reportedly received gender-supporting treatment.

Manning was sent to the Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.to serve out her sentence.

She will now assist with a documentary about her life. I am Chelsea Manning.

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