Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning will be released Wednesday from the military prison at Fort Leavenworth without fanfare or public appearances, her attorney says.
“For her security and for privacy reasons, there’s going to be nothing,” said Nancy Hollander, a New Mexico lawyer on Manning’s appellate team.
In January, President Barack Obama commuted a 35 year court-martial sentence imposed on Manning, who in 2013 was convicted of providing hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents to the website WikiLeaks. Obama shortened the punishment to seven years from the date of Manning’s May 17, 2010, arrest.
A U.S. Army statement confirmed only that “Manning will be released from confinement in accordance with President Obama’s order.” No specifics of the release or other information would be provided “to ensure the privacy and security of Inmate Manning.”
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Manning, a transgender woman formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, last week issued her first public statement since the clemency was announced.
She thanked the former president and supporters — including, she said, “veterans, trans young people, parents, politicians and artists” — who wrote to her.
“For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,” Manning said.
During her confinement at the fort’s all-male U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Manning sued the Defense Department for not providing medical treatment for her gender dysphoria. Last year she reportedly attempted suicide twice and ended a hunger strike when the Army agreed to treat the dysphoria with surgery.
Obama’s commutation order was announced three days before he left the White House, igniting critics who charged that Manning’s actions put at risk the lives of U.S. military personnel. To Manning’s supporters, the leaks shed light on war’s impact on Afghan and Iraq civilians. Her lawyers said she had served more time behind bars than any whistleblower in U.S. history.
Hollander declined to say where Manning would be headed after her release.
An Oklahoma native, Manning, 29, pledged in her statement “to work toward making life better for others.”