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Chelsea Manning Freed After 7 Years in Prison

 This undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army shows Pfc. Chelsea Manning wearing a wig and lipstick. (U.S. Army via AP)


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.

U.S. Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told The Associated Press that Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth military prison, but that she couldn't provide any further details. Manning tweeted after she was granted clemency that she planned to move to Maryland. The Crescent, Oklahoma, native has an aunt who lives there.

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. President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency in his final days in office in January.

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 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."

In a statement last week — her first public comments since Obama intervened — Manning thanked that former president and said that letters of support from veterans and fellow transgender people inspired her "to work toward making life better for others."

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea," she said. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world. Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine."

Her attorneys have said Manning was subjected to violence in prison and argued the military mistreated her by requiring her to serve her sentence in an all-male prison, restricting her physical and mental health care and not allowing her to keep a feminine haircut.

The Department of Defense has repeatedly declined to discuss Manning's treatment in prison.

The Army said Tuesday that Manning would remain on active duty in a special, unpaid status that will legally entitle her to military medical care, along with commissary privileges. An Army spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson, said Manning will be on "excess leave" while her court-martial conviction is under appellate review.

Chat Military 18.05.2017 1 164
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  •  Anonymous: 

    To every single person on here upset about 'Chelsea' but support Trump, you are hypocrites plain and simple. One, Trump is a draft dodger. As a person who served in the military for 6 years, I have no respect for that. Two, Trump met with foreign leaders while at his private resort with confidential information readily available. He even admitted on his unsecured Twitter account to the meeting that is in question, even though several of his administration went on National TV denying it. Where is your outcry?
    Remember the emails that you all got so upset about with Hillary? Pence used an unsecured AOL email account to do official government business on. I hear no outcry about that? Hillary at least used a secured server, Pence couldn't even do that! Oh, but she allegedly deleted some emails. Funny, because the Bush administration also used private email servers for official business and deleted MILLIONS, yes you read that right MILLIONS of emails. 
    I'm not defending D's or R's, I'm merely pointing out the hypocrisy that I keep seeing, and it's bullcrap. All of you need to just admit that and maybe we can have a dialog on how to fix it.

    2 points

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