Chelsea Manning, the transgender army private jailed for one of the largest leaks of classified documents in U.S. history, was released from a military prison Wednesday after seven years behind bars.
Chelsea Manning was convicted for a 2010 US intelligence leak that exposed information about the nation's military and diplomacy efforts.
Manning entered the army as a man, known as Bradley, and was convicted of releasing hundreds of thousands of secret documents to the website Wikileaks.
"After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived", Manning said in a statement.
Yet in January, the then outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama shortened the sentence to seven years after she had requested clemency.
Manning was convicted and sentenced to a 35-year prison term, the longest such sentence ever given in any leak case.
Manning also provided Wikileaks with detailed records about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and with files detailing the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. As such, she may be entitled to military benefits, including health care.
Cars exit and enter US Army facility Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth Kansas
One of the files released by Manning was a shocking 2007 video, "Collateral Murder", of a USA helicopter killing 12 civilians, including two Reuters staff, in Iraq, noted Common Dreams in 2015; none of the us military personnel involved in the killings were charged.
"We can all finally truly celebrate the strength and heroism she has shown in surviving and sharing her truth and life with all of us", Chase Strangio, Manning's attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in Wednesday's statement that included Manning's post-release comments. "I've been rooting for you the whole time", one person wrote.
After leaving Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Kansas, Manning has clearly been making the most of her freedom - posting a picture of herself enjoying a slice of pizza.
The US Army has previously confirmed Manning will remain an active duty soldier, although in an unpaid status.
And on Wednesday Purse Films announced at the Cannes Film Festival, that they're beginning a documentary following Chelsea as she adapts to the real world after seven years in prison, for crimes the American government claims-and many fellow military and former military concur-put American soldiers in harms way.
"I think he or she should not have been released as soon", said Marian Onamer. In that environment, Manning struggled, and twice attempted suicide.
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