Army whistle-blower and traitor Chelsea Manning is a free man after having served nearly seven years of a 35 year sentence.
The Army confirmed that he was released from Fort Leavenworth military prison at around 3 a.m. ET.
Manning made his first statement via the ACLU:
“After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived,” said Manning. “I am looking forward to so much! Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past. I’m figuring things out right now — which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me.”
He also posted a picture of his shoes on Twitter. LOL!
— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) May 17, 2017
Manning will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, and as such will be eligible for health care and other benefits from the army. It is highly unlikely he will serve again. Manning’s court-martial conviction is under appeal; his current status is classified as a special type of active duty.
Manning told The Guardian:
“I’m looking forward to breathing the warm spring air again.
“I want that indescribable feeling of connection with people and nature again, without razor wire or a visitation booth.
“I want to be able to hug my family and friends again.
“And swimming – I want to go swimming!”
Manning was convicted for leaking hundreds of thousands of military intelligence records he he had access to as an Army intelligence analyst.
He downloaded them from his computer onto a CD. He shared them with WikiLeaks Julian Assange who posted the first documents in February 2010.
The documents included military combat reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as classified State Department cables.
Later in 2010, Manning was arrested in Baghdad.
In 2013, Manning was convicted on 22 charges and was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison.
The day after sentencing, Manning disclosed that she was changing her gender identity. He asked to be referred to as Chelsea. The American Taxpayers paid for it!
The 35-year prison term Manning received as punishment was described as unprecedented when it was handed down. Before he left office, President Obama shortened the sentence to about seven years.
Manning’s court-martial conviction is still under appeal; his current status is classified as a special type of active duty.
Obama’s clemency garnered rebuke from both sides of the isle and created a huge stir in social media.
“This is just outrageous. Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said. “President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”
Senator John McCain called the decision, “a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline.”
He added: “It is a sad, yet perhaps fitting commentary on President Obama’s failed national security policies that he would commute the sentence of an individual that endangered the lives of American troops, diplomats, and intelligence sources by leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents to Wikileaks, a virulently anti-American organization that was a tool of Russia’s recent interference in our elections.”
Even Obama appointee, Defense Secretary Ash Carter was also on record being opposed to the idea of commuting Manning’s sentence.
Manning placed this country at risk. He should stay in jail. Period. He is no hero.