Chelsea Manning to Remain on Active Duty After Prison Release…for Now
Pvt. Chelsea Manning, who entered the US Army as Bradley Manning, will be released from Leavenworth prison on May 17. She/he will be an unpaid soldier on active duty, entitled to medical benefits and access to commissaries, until the final appeal ruling on her conviction. Obama granted clemency on the 35 year sentence in the final days of his presidency.
Manning frequently claimed she was subjected to violence while a prisoner in the men’s prison at Leavenworth, which is actually common in any prison for any prisoner, but likely worse for someone who was “transitioning.” Last year she was told she could receive transgender surgery paid for by the US government. She did receive hormone therapy and gender dysphoria treatment during her time in prison. Manning became the face of the transgender movement during her time behind bars.
Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking 700,000 secret military and State Department documents, as well as battlefield video to Wikileaks. The conviction was for 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud. She was six years away from being eligible for parole.
As a US intelligence analyst, Pvt. Manning had direct access to secret information on a variety of subjects. Some of the things leaked were damaging to the United States’ relationship to other nations, including the Middle East and Russia.
As an example, a video of a helicopter attack that killed at least a dozen people near Baghdad, including a Reuters journalist and his crew, as well as several other people, also revealed the crew laughing at their deaths.
Manning released diplomatic cables that painted the US in a bad light, including cables from the Saudi King, who repeatedly asked Obama to attack Iran because of their nuclear program.
Manning released a secret intelligence program by the US government that was being run against the leadership of the United Nations. Not to mention information in 2010 on the corruption of the government of Afghanistan, when it was revealed that Ahmad Zia Massoud, then vice president under Hamid Karzai, was carrying $52 Million when stopped in Dubai.
You can read more of the things Manning released to Wikileaks here.
For now, Manning will remain as an unpaid, active duty Private in the Army. It is unknown where they will send her.