Chelsea Manning Free After Seven Years In Military Prison

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2017

Born a male in a small rural Oklahoma town, Manning grew up in Wales after her parents divorced; Manning's father kicked her out of the house when he learned of his child's sexual orientation.

Roughly five months after arriving in Baghdad, Manning downloaded and began leaking more than 725,000 secret U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks, including diplomatic cables, battlefield reports, and five Guantanamo Bay detainee profiles.

Manning was arrested in July 2010 over the release of a huge trove of more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic documents via WikiLeaks. Manning claimed to have sent 260,000 State Department cables to WikiLeaks after copying compact discs of data, according to chat logs Lamo submitted to Wired.com.

May 29, 2010: Manning is detained by military authorities on suspicion of leaking the classified video. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

March 13, 2011: Manning is held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day, stripped naked each night and given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed. Army regulations require that with any book or other publishable writings by Manning involving military matters, national security issues or subjects of significant concern to the Defense Department, Manning first must "consult with" a military public affairs office. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley resigns after causing a stir by describing Manning's treatment in the Quantico brig as "ridiculous" and "stupid".

WikiLeaks posted a Bitcoin donation address on Twitter early Tuesday with the hopes of bringing in donations in time for Manning's release from prison Wednesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union has been a vocal supporter throughout Manning's trial and sentencing, and eventually helped her sue the military for repeated refusals to give Manning access to drugs for her gender dysphoria.

February 3, 2012: Military District of Washington commander Maj.

February 28, 2013: Manning pleads guilty to leaking military information.

June 3, 2013: Court martial trial begins. He was convicted of several violations of the Espionage Act.

After seven years in captivity, military whistleblower Chelsea Manning is free. After the sentencing, Manning changed her name to Chelsea and identified herself as a transgender.

September 23, 2014: Manning sues in federal court in the District of Columbia, asking a judge to order the Defense Department to provide hormone therapy and other treatment for her gender identity condition.

Manning's immediate plans, including living arrangements, remained unclear.

Manning was released Wednesday from a lockup at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth.

October 2016: Manning's attorneys announced that she attempted suicide for the second time in recent months at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth.

President Barack Obama's decision in January to commute Manning's sentence to about seven years, including the time she spent locked up before being convicted, drew strong criticism from members of Congress and others, with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan calling the move "just outrageous". Despite protests from Republicans, Manning was released from jail on May 17, 2017.

"President Obama's act of commutation was the first time the military took care of this soldier who risked so much to disclose information that served the public interest", Manning attorneys Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward said in a joint statement last week.

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