Chelsea Manning Leaves Prison a Free Woman

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Those who supported Manning's leaks said that the information she released led to the end of the Iraq war and brought the realities of the overseas war home to the U.S.

The former military intelligence analyst, then known as Private First Class Bradley Manning, was convicted of providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks, an worldwide organisation that publishes such information from anonymous sources. Thank you so much, I want you to know you've been my hero since high school and I'm just so happy for you! "Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past", added Manning, 29. On Jan. 17, President Obama commuted the bulk of Manning's 35-year prison sentence, enabling her to be released this year.

In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in military prison, and was discharged from the U.S. army for her role in exposing the actions of the military.

She became known around the world for her actions but was condemned for sharing some of the country's most sensitive secrets and endangering sources, many of whom had to be moved. While in prison, Manning-born Bradley-came out as transgender and changed her name to Chelsea, but was forced to remain in the all-male prison.

The money will pay for Manning's living expenses for her first year out of prison.

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Manning had been held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, during which time she transitioned to a woman but was denied permission to grow her hair.

Military prosecutors had argued that Manning's leaks severely damaged US intelligence.

After seven years in prison, whistleblower Chelsea Manning has walked free.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea".

"PVT Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review", the Army said in a statement Wednesday.

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After leaving Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Kansas, Manning has clearly been making the most of her freedom - posting a picture of herself enjoying a slice of pizza.

She has reportedly tried to commit suicide twice a year ago and spent time in solitary confinement as punishment at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth.

Last September she went on hunger strike after demanding gender confirmation treatment, and was eventually given her request by the Army. Army regulations require that any book or other publishable writings by Manning involving military matters, national security issues or subjects of significant concern to the Defense Department Manning must "consult with" a military public affairs office.

Last week, Manning tweeted her excitement about her impending release: "Freedom was only a dream, and hard to imagine".

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