Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning shares photo on social media after finally undergoing gender transition surgery
Manning, a transgender former Army private convicted of leaking sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, had her sentence commuted after seven years by then-President Obama.
Chelsea Manning, the former Wikileaks whistleblower, is currently recuperating from a gender reassignment procedure. The 30-year-old shared a photo on Twitter Saturday afternoon in which she was seen lying on a bed in a hospital gown.
"[A]fter almost a decade of fighting - thru [sic] prison, the courts, a hunger strike, and thru [sic] the insurance company - I finally got surgery this week," the caption read. Manning's post has so far garnered over 31,000 likes and has been retweeted more than 1,600 times.
after almost a decade of fighting - thru prison, the courts, a hunger strike, and thru the insurance company - I finally got surgery this week ✨🎀💉🏥✨🌈💕 pic.twitter.com/I7WeIrR8jP— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) October 20, 2018
Manning spoke about how living in the US "feels like a prison" during a public appearance at the Royal Institution in London earlier this month. "This whole notion that you get out of prison and you are free now turned out to be a bit of a downer in that sense," she said on Monday. "Because what happened, we really built this large, big prison, which is the United States, in the meantime - it was already happening, it just really intensified."
According to her, the surveillance systems and police officers deployed in the US are very similar to life in prison. "You think about the surveillance systems, the cameras, or the police presence and you think about the fact that we have walls around our country, and that is very much the same thing that is inside a prison," she told the crowd. "I see a lot of similarities between the world out here and the world that was in there."
Manning leaked over 750,000 classified and sensitive military and diplomatic documents to Wikileaks back in 2010, after which she served seven years of a 35-year-sentence. While she was known as Private Bradley Manning at the time of her arrest, she came out as transgender in 2013. Her sentence was commuted in January 2017 by former President Barack Obama. However, Donald Trump, who was President-Elect at the time, said Manning should never have been released from prison and called her a "traitor".
The Press Association asked Manning whether she regretted her decision to leak the documents, to which she replied: "I did what I did because of what I had available to me. In that timeframe, what I knew and what I understood, and the background that I had and who I am, the values set that I have, and also the short time that I had to make decisions. The way I see it, is I don't go back in time...what I really try to tell people is that if I had done anything differently it would have been a completely different person."
The erstwhile whistleblower placed her name in the running for a US Senate seat in Maryland recently. However, she lost in the Democratic primary, Daily Mail reports.