Chelsea Manning set for release next week

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Chelsea Manning - the Army intelligence soldier who vaulted Wikileaks to notoriety after leaking nearly three-quarters of a million classified US war reports and diplomatic cables to the stateless website - will be released from the military prison at Ft.

The commutation followed a November 2016 request from Chelsea Manning's appellate legal team - Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward of Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward, PA - to the U.S. Army, the Office of the Pardon Attorney, and White House Counsel seeking the commutation of Manning sentence to time served and "a first chance to live a real, meaningful life".

A transgender soldier has issued her first statement since former President Barack Obama commuted her 35-year prison sentence for leaking intelligence, saying on Tuesday she wants to help others after her release from prison next week.

Manning's release would close out a almost decade-long saga surrounding her decision to record State Department communiques and battlefield "significant acts" reports from her classified SIPRNET computer terminal in Iraq and send them to Wikileaks, a then-little-known hacktivist site that published the leaks in 2010, to much media fanfare, as the "Iraq War Logs" and "Afghan War Diary".

Manning said she would be "forever grateful" to all those who had supported her and President Obama, and now hoped to make "life better for others".

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"I can see a future for myself as Chelsea,"' Manning, a transgender woman who began her transition while in custody, said in a statement. "I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world", said the 29- year-old, who still identified as male when she was arrested. Earlier reports suggested May 17 as a likely release date. She was known as Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

The leaks, some of the largest in American history, were embarrassing to officials in Washington and USA embassies overseas - and a powerful window into how the United States waged diplomacy and war after September 11. It has been far too long, too severe, too draconian. Several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures.

Manning has previously said she released the files in the interests of transparency and accountability.

"Now, freedom is something that I will again experience with friends and loved ones after almost seven years of bars and cement, of periods of solitary confinement, and of my health care and autonomy restricted, including through routinely forced haircuts", she added.

Manning twice attempted suicide a year ago at the male military prison where she is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

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