Whistleblowing Manning begins tweeting from prison

Screenshot from https://twitter.com/xychelsea
The former Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower, who passed classified US documents to Wikileaks, has begun tweeting from prison. Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley, is using the handle @xychelsea.

Born Bradley Edward Manning, the Army private came out as a transgender woman in April 2013, and legally changed her name to “Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.” The Army court of criminal appeals recently ruled the Army was obligated to refer to Manning as a woman.

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Manning had nearly 13,000 followers by Friday afternoon.

Given the conditions of her custody – which do not extend to internet access – she will dictate comments by phone to supporters who will then post on her behalf,” announced the Guardian. Manning has written several columns for the UK paper since last month.

Transgender people are currently not allowed to serve in the US military, though the new defense secretary recently said he was “very open-minded” about welcoming transgender personnel.

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Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence in the military’s maximum-security Fort Leavenworth prison, following the 2013 conviction under the Espionage Act and US military laws, for handing over a trove of secret government documents to Wikileaks.

The documents included videos of US airstrikes that killed civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, 250,000 US diplomatic cables, and 500,000 Army reports that became known as the “Iraq war logs” and “Afghan war logs.”

She will be eligible for parole in seven years.