Chelsea Manning released after 35-year sentence commuted

WASHINGTON — Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst behind one of the largest classified information leaks in US history, was released from military prison early Wednesday morning, an Army spokeswoman said.

She was released from United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas around 3 a.m. ET, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson told CNN.

Amnesty International, which had campaigned for Manning’s release, was quick to applaud the decision.

“While we celebrate her freedom, we will continue to call for an independent investigation into the potential human rights violations she exposed, and for protections to be put in place to ensure whistleblowers like Chelsea are never again subjected to such appalling treatment,” a statement said.

Manning was convicted in 2013 of stealing 750,000 pages of documents and videos before leaking them to WikiLeaks.

Manning — known then as Bradley Manning — was sentenced to 35 years in prison on 20 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act.

After the 2013 sentencing, the ex-intelligence agent changed her name to Chelsea Manning and became a transgender woman.

During one of his final acts in office, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in January, thereby giving her an early release date.

Last week, Manning tweeted her excitement about her impending release: “Freedom was only a dream, and hard to imagine. Now it’s here! You kept me alive <3”