Chelsea Manning prepares for freedom, as a woman

Chelsea Manning prepares for freedom, as a woman

Manning, who is a part of one of the biggest security breaches in American history, was sentenced to 35 years in prison after she had been convicted of leaking national security secrets.

Army spokesman Dave Foster said that Manning will continue as an active but unpaid soldier, moreover, she will still receive the medical treatment and care and she will be granted permissions to visit commissioners and participate in military exchanges.

The former whistleblower was granted clemency in the final days of President Barack Obama's administration, and her sentence was commuted.

If Manning's appeal of her court-martial conviction is denied, she could be dishonorably discharged and lose her health benefits.

Manning will be assigned to an Army post upon release, though the military department has not announced where the soldier will be stationed due to privacy and security concerns.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea". In a comment that might be said to contain more than a grain of wistfulness, given his own state of limbo, he said: "I'm grateful that Chelsea will finally have a chance to enjoy the freedoms she gave so much to defend". However, she will now have the opportunity to experience freedom with her friends and loved ones "after almost seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my healthcare and autonomy restricted, including through routinely forced haircuts", the Guardian reported. She will remain a private and have access to commissaries but will not be paid, pending the appeal of her court martial conviction.

"I hope to take the lessons that I have learned, the love that I have been given, and the hope that I have to work toward making life better for others", Manning said in the statement.

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Chase Strangio, a transgender human rights lawyer for the ACLU who worked on Manning's case and now considers her a personal friend, credits Obama's commutation in part to Chelsea's efforts to remain visible and counter the narratives being made about her in the media - sharing her thoughts in columns for the Guardian and through her Twitter account, which she updated regularly by dictating tweets to her lawyers over the phone.

A spokesperson for Manning's legal team declined to comment about where Manning will reside after her release.

Much of the content of the leaks, published through Julian Assange of WikiLeaks proved explosive, including a video of an Iraqi airstrike the organization titled "Collateral Murder", summary executions by US troops of Iraqi civilians, as well as details of corruption within Tunisian leader Ben Ali's government that potentially led to the Arab Spring.

Virtually unknown at the time of her arrest, Manning today is a well-known figure around the world.

Chelsea Manning gets to walk free on Wednesday, but the question remains if she will have the "freedom" that she has been dreaming about so far.

Presumably, this "health care" will include the hormone therapy and other treatments that help Manning maintain the delusion that he's a woman.

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