Former military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning - responsible for a massive leak of classified material on WikiLeaks - has left prison after serving seven years out of a 35-year jail sentence.
Manning's clemency application to Obama maintained his belief that he was unfairly sentenced to such a long period in prison, saying, "I have never made any excuses for what I did". 1st Class Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud.
The decision angered national security experts who say Manning put United States lives at risk, but it won praise from transgender advocates who have embraced her transition to a female gender identity.
The former intelligence analyst in Iraq acknowledged leaking the materials, saying she wanted to expose what she considered to be the USA military's disregard of the effects of war on civilians.
An Army spokeswoman, Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer Johnson, said Manning will be on "excess leave" while her court-martial conviction is under appellate review.
"I am looking forward to so much!"
Lady Gaga has told Julian Assange "you may be an enemy of the state but you are not an enemy of humanity" in a new video released by WikiLeaks to mark Chelsea Manning's release from prison.
She hopes to reside in the Washington area, the attorney said, explaining her supporters there will be vital, not only to her transition to civilian life but also to her transition to living openly as a transgender woman. Whatever is ahead of me is far more important than the past.
"She has experienced trauma over the past seven years of her confinement and the trauma from those experiences won't just evaporate the day she walks out of prison", said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Chase Strangio, who represented Manning. "I'm figuring things out right now-which is exciting, awkward, fun, and all new for me", Manning said in a statement.
Manning, the transgender soldier convicted of giving classified government materials to WikiLeaks, will participate in a documentary about her.
"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea", Manning said in a recent statement. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world", she said in a written statement.
"Whatever is ahead of me, is far more important than the past", said the 29-year-old, who served seven of a 35-year sentence over one of the largest leaks of classified documents in U.S. history. Many critics of Chelsea Manning accuse the transgender army private for putting lives of USA military personnel and operations at risk.