Key dates in the case of WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning

Elias Hubbard
May 19, 2017

Chelsea Manning has walked out of a United States military prison on Wednesday, seven years after being arrested for passing secrets to WikiLeaks in the largest breach of classified information in USA history.

Those who supported Manning's leaks said that the information she released led to the end of the Iraq war and brought the realities of the overseas war home to the U.S.

Manning, an 29-year-old Army intelligence analyst, leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. "I am looking forward to so much!"

Manning was convicted under the Espionage Act, a World War I era law that was meant to stop people from supporting enemies of the US during wartime.

Before he left office, former president Barack Obama commuted the final 28 years of Manning's 35-year sentence.

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

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".

The soldier was actually born Bradley Manning, but revealed after being sentenced to prison that she always felt like a woman and wanted to live her life as Chelsea rather than Bradley.

Manning announced her gender transition while the US Army kept her in the men's prison.

In a statement released by her legal team, Ms Manning expressed joy and optimism for her future.

The U.S. Army released Private Chelsea Manning early Wednesday morning from the disciplinary barracks here. And Fox News' "Fox & Friends" has demonstrated a history of misgendering Manning, according to Media Matters, calling her everything from "Bradleen" to "gender bender".

According to a GoFundMe page that raised over $150,000 to help her transition back to public life, Manning will return to Maryland.

The 29-year-old served seven years in jail over what is believed to have been the biggest breach of classified information in USA military history. "She has repeatedly been punished for trying to survive and now is being repeatedly punished for trying to die", Chase Strangio, her attorney, wrote in an email to the Associated Press.

"Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review", said Foster, the Army spokesman.

Manning, who was arrested in 2010, filed a transgender rights lawsuit in prison and attempted suicide twice a year ago, according to her lawyers.

"We are able to confirm that Chelsea Manning has been released safely from military prison", Hollander and Ward said. These however were not classified as "top secret", and Manning is seen as a whistleblower by her supporters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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