WASHINGTON – Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier convicted in 2013 of illegally disclosing classified government information, will remain on active duty in a special status after her scheduled release from prison Wednesday, the Army said Tuesday.
An Army spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson, said Manning will be on “excess leave” while her court-martial conviction is under appellate review. In that status she will be unpaid but will be legally entitled to military medical care.
“In an active-duty status, although in an unpaid status, Manning is eligible for direct care at medical treatment facilities, commissary privileges, morale welfare and recreation privileges, and exchange privileges,” Johnson said in a written statement.
A former intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning is being released in accordance with former President Barack Obama’s decision to grant her clemency in his final days in office.
Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking secret military and State Department documents and battlefield video. A native of Crescent, Oklahoma, she was convicted in a military court martial of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
Manning acknowledged leaking the materials, saying she wanted to expose what she considered to be the U.S. military’s disregard of the effects of war on civilians. She also said she released information that she didn’t believe would harm the U.S., but critics said the leaks endangered information sources.
She served nearly seven years of her 35-year sentence at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. She was known as Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison.