Chelsea Manning, after being pardoned by formed President Barack Obama, walked freely out of prison today, despite still being considered a traitor to the nation, leaking classified documents.
Manning was originally sentenced to 35 years for giving WikiLeaks a stack of documents. Her sentence was the second longest ever for a leak.
She was released from military prison, although, wishing to avoid a spectacle, the prison would not allow any reporters on the scene. Manning’s personal teams as well would not comment on her immediate whereabouts or plans.
Manning did manage to fundraise over $100,000 for money to live on through GoFundMe.com.
“I look forward to working with her in the coming days and weeks to provide her with the support and stability she wants and needs to heal and plan out the next stages of her life,” said Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who helped represent Ms. Manning in a suit over her medical treatment in prison. “The traumas of the past few years will not simply evaporate when she walks out of the prison.”
The New York Times reports:
A member of her support network said that her legal team — which also includes Nancy Hollander, who worked on her appeal — intended to put out an announcement when she was safely resettled on Wednesday, and that it was possible Ms. Manning would choose to say something on her Twitter account, @xychelsea, which has been operated until now by a friend in telephone contact with her.
But Ms. Manning was not expected to give interviews or make broader public statements for at least several weeks, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Ms. Manning was known as Pvt. Bradley Manning in 2010 when she was arrested on suspicion of having copied hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic files from a classified computer network, to which she had access as a low-level intelligence analyst at a forward operating base in Iraq. After her conviction, she announced that she was a transgender woman and changed her name to Chelsea.
Hoping to inspire “worldwide discussion, debates and reforms,” as she wrote at the time, Ms. Manning had uploaded the files to the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks. It published them in batches, working with traditional news organizations, including The New York Times.