Chelsea Manning posts 1st photo of herself since prison release
Photo of the then U.S. military private in a blond wig and makeup dated back at least 7 years
A day after her release from a Kansas prison, Chelsea Manning tweeted the first image of herself since saying in 2013 that she identifies as a female, following a conviction of contravening the U.S. Espionage Act, among other charges.
Manning was released early Wednesday after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence for the largest breach of classified information in U.S. history. Her sentence was commuted in January by Barack Obama in the final week of his presidency.
The picture she sent out on Twitter on Thursday shows a smiling Manning with short hair.
Manning was known as Pte. Bradley Manning when arrested for releasing documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks in 2010.
Upon a conviction on 20 charges in 2013, Manning declared in a statement: "I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female," adding, "given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible."
She then became engaged in a legal battle with the U.S. Department of Defence, seeking health-care services to help in transitioning while imprisoned.
A now-famous photo of Manning in a long-haired blond wig and makeup is believed to date from 2009 or 2010, when it was shared in an email with an army superior.
Manning indicated in January she planned to eventually settle in the Maryland area after her release.
She is considered on excess leave in active-duty status, receiving medical benefits but not pay pending an appeal of her court-martial conviction.
WikiLeaks set up a bitcoin fund to help Manning after her release.
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