On Wednesday, Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier convicted of leaking huge amounts of classified material to WikiLeaks in 2010, will be released from Fort Leavenworth military prison, seven years into a 35-year sentence. Former President Barack Obama commuted her sentence before leaving office in January. Manning will remain on active duty without pay, the Army said Tuesday, but will keep her military medical care and commissary privileges. She has said she will move to Maryland after she is out of prison, but details of her release are being held secret for security considerations. She is appealing her 2013 court-martial conviction. Peter Weber
WikiLeaks tweeted Thursday that founder Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the U.S. from his hideout at the Ecuadorean embassy in London — if President Obama grants Chelsea Manning clemency:
If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case https://t.co/MZU30SlfGK
Assange could potentially face the death penalty in the United States due to the fact that WikiLeaks released massive numbers of classified documents pertaining to the Afghan and Iraq wars in 2010.
Manning, a former U.S. Army soldier and whistle-blower, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in 2010. It was reported Wednesday that she is on the "short list" for commutation before Obama leaves office. Edward Snowden, who leaked confidential materials from the NSA, has also pleaded for Obama to free Manning before Trump assumes the White House. Jeva Lange
Chelsea Manning, the Army private sentenced to 35 years in prison for passing along classified files to WikiLeaks, will undergo gender transition surgery, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Tuesday.
Manning, 28, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, was convicted in 2013 of giving more than 700,000 documents, videos, and cables to WikiLeaks. Known at the time as Bradley Manning, she later announced she identified as a woman, and in 2015, she began hormone therapy. This July, her attorneys said she attempted suicide because she was being denied the appropriate treatment for her gender dysphoria, a condition where a person feels their physical gender is opposite of the one they identify with.
On Friday, Manning began a hunger strike, but said on Tuesday she ended it now that the Army has allowed her to undergo the surgery, recommended by her psychologist in April. "I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing," Manning said in a statement. "I applaud them for that. This is all I wanted — for them to let me be me." The ACLU says never before has a transgender inmate undergone such surgical treatment while incarcerated, The Guardian reports.Catherine Garcia