Chelsea Manning, the first convicted source to Wikileaks is free from prison as of a few hours ago. After an intensive 7 year fight and a huge 35-year sentence set to be served, Manning walks freely from the Fort Leavenworth military prison today. Bringing an end to one of the most controversial criminal cases in American history over the leaking of classified government secrets.
Manning, a military analyst convicted for allegedly turning over classified information from the military to Wikileaks, received an unprecedented 35-year prison sentence during her original trial back in 2013. After spending 7 years behind bars, she was acquitted amid President Barak Obama, after he commuted a bulk of Manning’s sentence just before leaving office.
Nor the military nor Manning’s legal team released any information on her immediate plans. The military had disallowed reporters from waiting near the gate to the prison barracks. Manning has said that she intends to live in Maryland, near family, once everything settles, taking the next few weeks to adjust. Manning’s support network has also raised her an additional $147,000 via a GoFundMe campaign to help her get started.
To celebrate Chelsea’s release and ensure her safety, she posted the following on her personal Twitter:
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 17, 2017
Chelsea Manning is the first ever alleged Wikileaks source to have been identified and harshly prosecuted, she is also the first ever alleged Wikileaks source to be released from prison. While she was convicted on charges of leaking classified military documents to Wikileaks, the whistleblowing publication has never revealed a single source, never commenting on the authenticity of the Manning claims.
Chelsea Manning, previously known as Pvt. Bradley Manning in 2010, was arrested on suspicion of having stolen hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic files from a classified computer network, to which she had access to as an intelligence analyst. Three short years after her conviction, she revealed that she was a transgender woman, changing her name to Chelsea.
Manning’s heroic actions brought light to a horrific trove of dark war secrets, including raw evidence of unknown civilian killings in the Iraq war, back-room diplomatic dealings and discussion of local corruption around the world, and intelligence assessments about Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Even after being prosecuted under the judgment of her being a traitor, Chelsea has become an icon to anti-war and anti-secrecy activists around the globe. Her harsh treatment within numerous prison facilities and illegal holding sparked dozens on dozens of protests for her freedom. After a lengthy three-year trial, she was convicted of numerous violations of the Espionage act.
Following her 2013 conviction, Manning was taken to Fort Leavenworth to serve her sentence. There she publicly struggled with her transition from a male to a female in an all male military prison. Twice last year she tried to take her own life.
Chelsea Manning’s release is monumental in nearly every digital community across the Internet. Free speech activists, Whistleblowers, Privacy activists among dozens of others are showing monumental support for her.
Welcome home Chelsea, it’s good to have a true hero back!!
For anyone that wants to help Chelsea Manning, you can donate to her directly via her GoFundMe Page here.