In first TV interview, Chelsea Manning sheds tears of gratitude

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning couldn’t hold back the tears in her first television interview since her release from a military prison last month.

She grew emotional when asked by ABC News what she would say to President Barack Obama if she were face to face with him.

‘Thank you,’ she said through tears,

‘I was given a chance, that’s all I wanted. That’s all I asked for, was a chance, that’s it. And this is my chance.’

As one of his last acts in office, Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence to seven years total confinement in January 2017.

In 2009, Manning was assigned to an Army unit in Iraq as an intelligence analyst. She had access to classified information and leaked some of the information she had access to WikiLeaks.

She was charged with espionage and 21 other offenses, including stealing government property and a number of disobedience charges.

The most serious offence Manning was found guilty of was aiding the enemy ‘through indirect means.’

‘I’ve accepted responsibility,’ she now says. ‘No one told me to do this, no one directed me to do this. This is me. It’s on me.’

Manning publicly came out as a trans woman on 22 August 2013, the day after she was sentenced to prison by court-martial.

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