Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chelsea Manning Released From Prison Today

Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents via Wikileaks, has been released from prison today.

From The New York Times:

Sentenced to an unprecedented 35-year prison term for disclosing archives of secret files to WikiLeaks, Ms. Manning spent about seven years in prison — already double the second-longest sentence in any leak case. She was freed 28 years early because President Barack Obama, in one of his final acts, commuted the bulk of her remaining sentence.

Ms. Manning was known as Pvt. Bradley Manning in 2010 when she was arrested on suspicion of having copied hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic files from a classified computer network, to which she had access as a low-level intelligence analyst at a forward operating base in Iraq. After her conviction, she announced that she was a transgender woman and changed her name to Chelsea.

Hoping to inspire “worldwide discussion, debates and reforms,” as she wrote at the time, Ms. Manning had uploaded the files to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks. It published them in batches, working with traditional news organizations, including The New York Times.

Her leaks brought to light numerous hidden facts, including previously unknown civilian bystander killings in the Iraq war, back-room diplomatic dealings and discussion of local corruption around the world, and intelligence assessments about Guantánamo Bay detainees.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea," she said in a statement last week ahead of her release. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world."

Manning attempted suicide twice during her 7 years at Fort Leavenworth.

She will remain on unpaid active duty while her military court conviction is under appeal. During that time she will continue to receive health benefits from the Army.

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