From graphic videos of U.S. military assaults in Iraq and Afghanistan, to candid comments by heads of state, secrets leaked by transgender army private Chelsea Manning caused Washington major embarrassment and upset relations with its allies. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
As a prisoner at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, she had to conform to male grooming standards before her 3 a.m. ET release.
Pvt Manning, who was arrested in 2010, filed a transgender rights lawsuit in prison and attempted suicide twice past year, according to her lawyers. Aside from suicide attempts, she had also been put in solitary for a hunger strike in protest at her treatment as a transgender woman in a men's prison.
"First steps of freedom!" she said. "Now hunting for private #healthcare like millions of Americans".
A GoFundMe page set up by her supporters said she was headed home to Maryland, where she has family.
"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea", she said.
"She is a very driven person and I know she intends to continue what she has always done, which is advocating for others and using her voice to try to make the world a better place so I'd expect that we will be hearing from her before too long", said Greer.
Chase Strangeo, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "Chelsea Manning is just this exceptional human being who continued to see the goodness even in the face of frightful evidence to the contrary".
Manning's defense team is intent on protecting her.
However, not everyone had positive things to say on Manning's release.
Chelsea Manning's incarceration sparked controversy in the United States of America at the time of her trial.
Labelled a traitor by right-wing President Donald Trump, she has gained the support of celebrities and is seen by many Americans as a courageous rights activist who was handed an unfair sentence for revealing civilian deaths caused by USA bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Indeed, Manning has repeatedly expressed remorse for her crimes, writing in her commutation application, "I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public".
July 5, 2016: Manning tries to kill herself in the military lockup at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth, according to her attorneys.
"Hugs for Chelsea", a digital album available for a $25 donation, features tracks by artists known for their left-wing activism including Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Sonic Youth co-founder Thurston Moore. Organized by Evan Greer, a transgender activist and friend of Manning's, the album is available here.
The rumor came Wednesday, the same day Manning was released from prison after spending seven years there for leaking military information to WikiLeaks.
Manning remains on active duty status pending the conclusion of her appeals.
Nelson also told host Mary Louise Kelly that there's a difference between Manning's case and that of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, who leaked information.
She is also still employed by the army, and retains its insurance coverage.
Last week, Manning tweeted her excitement about her impending release: "Freedom was only a dream, and hard to imagine".
The fashion industry's head honcho Anna Wintour is reportedly asking designers to submit ideas for a Vogue fashion spread featuring Chelsea Manning. "If hundreds of thousands of people had access to the material.no one had the guts?"