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Image credit: Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning walks free from prison

Her sentence was commuted in January by President Obama.
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Elijah Nouvelage / Reuters

Chelsea Manning took her first steps as a free woman moments ago. Charged with espionage and the capital offense of aiding the enemy, she faced a 35 year sentence for 20 charges, stemming from classified information the then-Bradley Manning submitted to Wikileaks. The soldier's sentence was commuted by President Obama in January. She will be on unpaid active duty in the military while her military court conviction goes through the appeal process, BBC notes. Should the appeal not be approved, Manning could be dishonorably discharged.

The other side of this story involves Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. In January Wikileaks tweeted that Assange would agree to US extradition if Manning was granted clemency by President Obama. Assange could be arrested for his part in Wikileaks' publication of classified military files pertaining to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A scan through Wikileaks' Twitter feed shows support for Manning, but no word from Assange about turning himself over to authorities. Rather, the account retweeted a BBC News story regarding Sweden's apparent lack of progress in a case regarding an alleged sexual assault committed by Assange. Assange has had asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy for almost five years.

On Assange's timeline, the only mention is that Manning's release is "an epic victory. I can't wait to see her" with a New York Times link attached.

Assange has retweeted a news article from The Guardian about former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and others urging Donald Trump to drop the anti-clemency case against him.

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