Washington, DC. One of the heroes of America’s discourse on intelligence abuses is set to be released from US federal prison this week. Chelsea Manning will start a new chapter in her life shortly.
Private Chelsea Manning of the US Army, the longest-serving whistleblower in US history, is set to be released from prison this week.The transgendered soldier was sentence to 35 years behind bars in 2013, for her role in leaking more than 700,000 secret diplomatic and military documents and videos, to Wikileaks.
The leaked material included video footage of an Apache helicopter killing 12 civilians in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad in 2007. Manning was prosecuted, but nothing was done over the murder of the civilians by US prosecutors, who cited “prosecutorial discretion” as their right to refuse bringing charges.
“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,” Ms Manning’s attorneys said. Ms Manning, born Bradley Manning, had her sentence commuted by Barack Obama in one of his last acts as president.
Ms Manning has served seven years in an all-male prison after announcing her transition from male to female in 2013. The military allowed her to take cross-sex hormones and wear cosmetics, but had not allowed her to grow out her hair past military protocol, according to a Federal Prison Service spokesperson.
Serving in Iraq in 2010, Ms Manning gained access to hundreds of thousands of documents from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which she subsequently passed to Wikileaks.They cast doubt on official civilian death counts and exposed wide spread American abuses of prisoners at Guantanamo base in Cuba.