Chelsea Manning breaks silence in first interview

She said she failed to bring up her concerns through the chain of command because those channels "don't work."
By James Smith | Jun 11, 2017
Chelsea Manning, the now notorious transgender U.S. Army intelligence analyst who spent seven years in confinement for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents, thanked former President Barack Obama for commuting her sentence during an interview with ABC News airing Friday.

"I've been given a chance," Manning said tearfully, as reported by USA Today. "That's all I asked for was a chance. That's it, and now this is my chance."

Manning explained what motivated her to violate the law by leaking classified documents.

"We're getting all this information from all these different sources and it's just death, destruction, mayhem," said Manning. "We're filtering it all through facts, statistics, reports, dates, times, locations, and eventually, you just stop. I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and I started seeing people."

She said she failed to bring up her concerns through the chain of command because those channels "don't work."

At that time of the illegal disclosures, Manning was 22 years old and an Army private named Bradley Manning. Shortly after she was sentenced in August, 2013, she came out as transgender.

When the military refused to provide Manning with treatment for her gender dysphoria, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in September 2014. Her ACLU attorney, Chase Strangio, said Manning was "the first military prisoner to receive health care related to gender transition and was part of a shift in practice that lead to the elimination of the ban on open trans service in the military," the ABC News report said.

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