Chelsea Manning, the army private who was jailed in military prison since 7 years for revealing the extremely confidential files and data of US Army to WikiLeaks which was the largest leak in history of America, was released on Wednesday.

29-year-old Chelsea Manning walked out from the maximum security military prison, the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In July 2010, Chelsea Manning – then a male soldier known as Bradley was arrested over the release and leak of more than 7,00,000 files of the most classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. Due to the large number of leaked documents which Manning has access to because she was commissioned as intelligence agent in Iraq, Manning’s sentence for whistle blowing was the longest in the history of America.

Manning learned about Julian Assange and his website – WikiLeaks and decided to expose the truth in front of public. She downloaded 2,50,000 documents including a video of an American helicopter gunning down civilians and two reporters and saved it in a CD titled as ‘Lady Gaga’. She first tried to contact the mainstream press like the New York Times and The Washington Post, but after inactive response, Chelsea decided to directly contact Assange to post the documents on WikiLeaks. Cablegate wasn’t just the biggest leak of all times, it was the most explosive data that WikiLeaks ever handled and more importantly, Cablegate changed the paradigm for publicizing classified information in national interest.

Charged by 34 offences including espionage, the most serious offence was ‘aiding the enemy’ which could have led to death sentence but Manning was cleared of it. But still, she was sentenced to 35 years of prisons. During her life in prison, she revealed her gender preferences and is now openly a transgender woman. Some consider him a hero who change the approach of how journalism works and how national and international politics works; while some consider her to be a traitor.

The 29-year-old was released, thanks to former President Barack Obama who commuted her sentence in January – one of his final acts as president. Chelsea has been active on Twitter soon after her release and has been posting pictures of her enjoying the civilian life. She tweeted that she wants to return to the state of Maryland, where she once lived. An online campaign has raised over 130,000 euros to help pay for Manning’s living costs after her release.

 

So after 7 years, it is proved that one should not be punished for telling the truth. Because how could you not celebrate truth? How could a country hide truth from people? Chelsea Manning is a hero, the extreme most whistle blowing case ever. Chelsea Manning is free because public deserve the truth and whistle-blowers deserve protection.