Chelsea Manning was released from the Military Corrections Complex at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas on Wednesday—nearly three decades before the Army private’s sentence was up for leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks.
The intelligence analyst, who left the barracks at 2am (CDT), was court-martialed and convicted of leaking more than 700,000 documents and video about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. She came out as a transgender woman shortly after being handed an unprecedented 35-year prison sentence in 2013. Then-President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s term in January and set a May 17 release date. Manning, whom President Trump has called a “TRAITOR” on Twitter, had been in prison longer than any other US leaker convicted under the Espionage Act. She was eligible for parole in six years.
Because Manning’s conviction is under appeal, she is to remain in the military on “excess leave in an active-duty status” entitling her to healthcare, the military said. If she loses her appeal, she might be dishonorably discharged and could lose her healthcare and other benefits. Neither the military nor Manning’s supporters said where she would be living. But Manning tweeted in January she would return to Maryland, where she previously resided.