Soldier Chelsea Manning was released Wednesday from Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking thousands of classified documents.
Manning’s sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama days before he left office.
In 2013 Manning was convicted for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. WikiLeaks later released the documents to the public. Manning was initially sentenced to 35 years in prison—the longest sentence ever ordered for a leak conviction—and scheduled for release in 2045.
In previous comments, Manning noted that she plans to return to her home in Maryland following her release.
Decision: I plan on moving back to Maryland this summer. (Takoma Park? Bethesda?) Can’t wait to go home =D
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) January 24, 2017
In her last post to Twitter prior to her release, Manning said she had “two more days until freedom of civil life… Now hunting for private #healthcare like millions of Americans.”
Two more days until the freedom of civilian life ^_^ Now hunting for private #healthcare like millions of Americans =P
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 15, 2017
While Manning’s court-martial conviction is under appeal, she will continue as an active-duty Army private and remain eligible for healthcare benefits. While in prison, Manning, a transgender soldier, changed her name and underwent hormone treatment.
According to a U.S. Army spokesperson, “Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review.”
“I appreciate the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years,” Manning told ABC News before her release.
“As I rebuild my life, I remind myself not to relive the past. The past will always affect me and I will keep that in mind while remembering that how it played out is only my starting point—not my final destination.”
H/T: The Hill
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