A free woman. U.S. Army Private First Class soldier Chelsea Manning stepped out for a shopping trip in NYC on Thursday, June 1. The transgender solider, who served seven years behind bars for leaking military intelligence reports and documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, was released from prison on May 17.
Manning donned a simple gray sweatshirt and brown cargo pants for the outing.
“I appreciate the wonderful support that I have received from so many people across the world over these past years,” Manning told ABC News on May 17 after being released from prison. “As I rebuild my life, I remind myself not to relive the past. The past will always affect me and I will keep that in mind while remember that how it played out is only my starting point, not my final destination.”
As previously reported, Manning, who went by the name Bradley, released approximately 750,000 documents to WikiLeaks, some of which were classified. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking information relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soon after she began her sentence in 2013, Manning changed her name to Chelsea and came out as transgender.
Three days before President Barack Obama left office, he commuted her sentence.
Obama explained his decision in a January press conference: “It was my view that given she went to trial, that due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received and that she had served a significant amount of time, that it made sense to commute — and not pardon — her sentence.”
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