Timeline: Chelsea Manning's long journey to freedom

Here’s the rundown of events that led to Manning’s release from military prison in Kansas, after serving seven years of her 35-year sentence

17 December 1987 Bradley Manning is born in Crescent, Oklahoma, to an American father and Welsh mother.

November 2001 Manning and her mother move to Haverfordwest in Wales after her parents’ divorce. The teenager shows an aptitude for computers at school. She returns to the US to live with her father in 2005.

October 2007 At 19, Manning joins the US army. Her father, Brian, had served in the US Navy as an intelligence analyst.

October 2009 Manning is sent to Iraq, where she works as an intelligence analyst at a US army base outside Baghdad. In that role, she is given access to top secret intelligence databases.

November 2009 Manning makes contact with WikiLeaks for the first time after it leaked 570,000 pager messages from 9/11.

January 2010 Manning uploads the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs to the WikiLeaks portal from a Barnes & Noble store in Maryland while on leave.

April 2010 WikiLeaks posts a video of Iraqi civilians and journalists being killed by a US helicopter gunship some time in July 2007, publishing it under the title Collateral Murder.

27 May 2010 Manning is arrested at Forward Operating Base Hammer outside Baghdad, and transferred four days later to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. While being held in Kuwait, she is found with a sheet that she has fashioned into a noose, having had suicidal thoughts.

5 June 2010 Manning is charged with leaking classified information.

25 July 2010 A series of reports on the Afghanistan war, based on US military internal logs, are published by the Guardian, the New York Times and other media groups.

29 July 2010 Manning is moved to Quantico in the US, where she is held in a solitary cell for 23 hours a day. The UN later denounces her conditions as a form of torture.

22 October 2010 The Iraq war logs are published, detailing civilian deaths, torture, summary executions and war crimes in what Manning summed up as the “true nature of 21st-century asymmetric warfare”.

28 November 2010 250,000 US embassy cables are published by the Guardian and other international outlets, revealing what diplomats really think about their postings and exposing widespread corruption in regimes across the Middle East.

24 April 2011 The Guantánamo files are released by the Guardian and the New York Times, containing the US’s secret assessments of detainees at the US base in Cuba.

16 December 2011 Manning’s first pre-trial hearing begins.

28 February 2013 Manning pleads guilty to leaking military information, but not guilty to 12 of the most serious charges, including “aiding the enemy”.

3 June 2013 Manning’s court martial begins at Fort Meade, Maryland.

30 July 2013 Manning is cleared of “aiding the enemy”, the most serious charge, but is found guilty of a total of 20 counts, including several under the Espionage Act.

21 August 2013 Manning is sentenced to 35 years. The next day she announces through her lawyer that she is transgender and wishes to be known as Chelsea Manning.

17 January 2017 Barack Obama commutes Manning’s sentence and sets the date of her release.

17 May Manning is freed from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. “Whatever is ahead of me, is far more important than the past,” she says in her first comment as a free woman.

First steps of freedom!! 😄https://t.co/kPPWV5epwa#ChelseaIsFree pic.twitter.com/0R5pXqA1VN

— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 17, 2017


Ed Pilkington in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

The GuardianTramp

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