Army confirms Pvt. Chelsea Manning released from military prison
By JIM SUHR
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier convicted of giving classified government materials to WikiLeaks, was released from a Kansas military prison early Wednesday after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence, Army officials said.
President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency in his final days in office in January. NBC News, citing an unnamed U.S. Army official, reported that Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth military prison at around 2 a.m. Central Time. The BBC, also citing an unnamed Army representative, reported that she had left the facility.
The Associated Press has not confirmed these reports and it is not clear where she was headed.
Manning, who was known as Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
The Crescent, Oklahoma, native tweeted after being granted clemency that she plans to move to Maryland. Neither she nor her attorneys explained why, but she has an aunt who lives there.
Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, has acknowledged leaking the materials, which included battlefield video. She said she wanted to expose what she considered to be the U.S. military’s disregard of the effects of war on civilians and that she released information that she didn’t believe would harm the U.S.
Critics said the leaks laid bare some of the nation’s most-sensitive secrets and endangered information sources, prompting the State Department to help some of those people move to protect their safety. Several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures.
Manning, who was arrested in 2010, filed a transgender rights lawsuit in prison and attempted suicide twice last year, according to her lawyers.
Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence to about seven years, including […]