18 May, 2017
A former Army intelligence analyst and transgender woman, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after being convicted in 2013 of stealing 750,000 pages of documents and videos before leaking them to WikiLeaks - one of the largest and most embarrassing leaks of classified information in United States history.
A media spokesperson for the Fort Leavenworth military prison confirmed to RT that Manning was released in the early hours of Wednesday morning around 2am. The 2010 WikiLeaks revelations are considered to be one of the largest leaks of state secrets in USA history.
As one of his final actions as commander-in-chief, Obama shortened her sentence - one of 1,715 commutations and 212 pardons granted by him during his term.
You make anything possible! https://t.co/HCNztVIZg7 @POTUS #timeserved pic.twitter.com/lZi0Me66sK - Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) December 8, 2016 Chelsea Manning also leaked classified documents related to detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay and some 250,000 State Department cables.
Manning attempted suicide twice a year ago alone and went on a hunger strike to denounce disciplinary measures to which she was subjected, including stints in solitary confinement.
Chelsea Manning will participate in a documentary about the transgender soldier to be executive produced by "Citizenfour" filmmaker Laura Poitras.
While Manning's court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman. But former President Barack Obama, during his final days in office, commuted the remaining 28 years on the sentence.
Manning, 29, was released from the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, at about 2:00am (local time), according to a brief statement released by the US Army.
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Previously known as Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst in Iraq said she wanted to expose what she considered to be the USA military's disregard of the effects of war on civilians.
In 2013 she was convicted of 17 of the 22 espionage charges against her, but acquitted of charges alleging she aided the enemy or that she meant to harm the national security interests of the country. "I never made any excuses for what I did", she wrote.
She wasn't able to flee overseas like Edward Snowden, who in 2013 released documents showing that the NSA was sweeping up U.S. citizens' communications metadata.
January 17, 2017: Days before leaving office, Obama grants clemency to Manning.
Manning's attorneys disclosed in September that she had been approved for gender reassignment surgery.
Manning attempted to end her life two times in the years since her 2013 sentence.
A fundraising page set up by friends and family in February to assist Manning after her release has raised $150,000. She would like war crimes to be punished and for those who commit them or make them possible to be held accountable.