Chelsea Manning Released From Leavenworth

Chelsea Manning Released From Leavenworth

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The U.S. Army says Pvt. Chelsea Manning has been released from a Kansas military prison after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence.

Manning, who as Bradley Manning was stationed at one time at Fort Drum, was convicted for leaking classified government materials to WikiLeaks.

Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith says the transgender soldier was released from Fort Leavenworth on Wednesday. 

Former President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency during his final days in office.

Manning, an Oklahoma native, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud. 

She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

The former intelligence analyst in Iraq acknowledged leaking the materials, saying she wanted to expose what she considered to be the U.S. military's disregard of the effects of war on civilians.

Manning said in a statement Wednesday she's uncertain where her life will take her.

She said that "whatever is ahead ... is far more important than the past," and that she's "figuring things out right now." 

The statement was emailed just hours after she was released.

Minutes later, she tweeted a photo of her feet in tennis shoes, with the caption: "First steps of freedom!!"

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