Birthday: December 17, 1987
Age: 33 Years
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Also Known As: Chelsea Elizabeth Manning
Born in: Crescent, Oklahoma
Famous as: Whistleblower
Height: 1.57 m
father: Brian Manning
mother: Susan Fox
U.S. State: Oklahoma
education: Tasker-Milward V.C. School, Montgomery College
awards: Seán MacBride Peace Prize
Sam Adams Award
Who is Chelsea Manning?
Born as Bradley Manning, Chelsea Manning a native of Crescent, Oklahoma, is a transgender and former U.S Army Intelligence Officer who was charged with treason and imprisoned for the leaking of thousands of top-secret documents to WikiLeaks, awhistleblower organization founded by Julian Assange. While on duty in Iraq in 2009, Manning had access to classified information that she later on described as profoundly disturbing and troubling. She subsequently made the decision to leak these documents as a whistleblower to the actions of the U.S Government, its military, and allies. Manning was arrested after a hacker named Adrian Lamo exposed her to the Defense Department. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. She was subsequently granted the legal right to identify herself as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, a transgender. President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence after international support for Manning in favor of her release poured in. In early 2018, Chelsea announced that she would contest for the Senate position from the district of Maryland.
Childhood & Early Life
Chelsea Elizabeth Manning was born Bradley Edward Manning on 17 December 1987, in Crescent, Oklahoma to Susan Fox and Brian Manning. Her father served as an intelligence analyst in the United States Navy for five years.
Manning has one older sister named Casey Manning who was born in 1976. Casey took care of her as a child because their mother was an alcoholic.
Chelsea Manning’s parents divorced when she was 13 resulting in her moving out with her mother into a rented apartment in Crescent, Oklahoma. During this period, Chelsea’s mother attempted suicide but was saved after her sister drove them to a hospital in the nick of time.
Manning and her mother moved to Haverfordwest, Wales in November 2001. Manning went to Tasker Milward secondary school located in the town of Haverfordwest where she continued to pursue his interest in computers.
In 2005, after graduating from high school, Manning returned to the United States and moved in with her father, his second wife and her child in their house in Oklahoma City. Manning managed to acquire a job as a developer with a software company named Zoto but left the job after only four months.
Chelsea Manning then lived with an old school friend and then her aunt Debra after an altercation with her stepmother in March 2006. While living with her aunt, Chelsea worked several low paying jobs and also spent a semester at Montgomery College studying history and English, but quit after failing an exam.
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In 2007, Chelsea Manning joined the Army after her father’s constant persuasions. Chelsea also believed that joining the army might resolve her gender identity disorders.
On joining the army, Chelsea was the target of severe bullying over here also. After a short time, she was posted at Fort Drum in New York where she began dating Tyler Watkins a graduate of Brandeis University who was the one who introduced her to the Boston hacking community.
In early 2009, Manning was stationed at an isolated site in Iraq which is close to the Iranian border. The site was called Forward Operating Base.
Manning’s duties as Intelligence officer allowed her access to a lot of sensitive information which included everything from top-secret intelligence reports to videos of unarmed civilians being shot at and killed. This horrified and had a profound effect on Manning.
In November 2009, Manning reportedly made contact with the WikiLeaks organization run by Julian Assange, after unsuccessful attempts at trying to contact The New York Times and The Washington Post.
In February 2010, Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks, while on leave in Rockville, Maryland.
Manning suffered from behavioral issues upon her return to Iraq. She was demoted and threatened with dishonorable discharge from the Army if her behavior didn’t improve.
Manning then reached out to a stranger online. This was a hacker named Adrian Lamo. Manning confided in Lamo about the leaks. Lamo subsequently contacted the Defense Department and informed them about the leak. This led to Manning’s arrest.
Manning was first taken as a prisoner to Kuwait. While here, she exhibited suicidal behavior. She was subsequently moved to a Marine base in Virginia.
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In 2011, Manning was transferred to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas after an international outcry against the conditions of her imprisonment.
In January 2013, the judge in Manning’s case ruled in her favor after stating that her imprisonment had been unduly harsh.
On 21 August 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning was dishonorably discharged from army, reduced in rank and forced to forfeit all pay.
She was hospitalized on 5 July 2016 after a suicide attempt. She faced a disciplinary hearing as a result of this attempt and was sentenced to solitary confinement as a result.
On 4 October 2016, the first night of her solitary confinement, she attempted suicide again.
On 17 January 2017, President Barack Obama granted clemency to Chelsea Manning, cutting her 35-year sentence down to seven years. Manning was released from prison on 17 May 2017.
In early 2018, Chelsea Manning announced that she would be running against Maryland’s two-term U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in the Democratic primary.
Awards & Achievements
In 2011, she was awarded the ‘Whistleblowerpreis’ by the German Section of the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms and the Federation of German Scientists.
In 2012, Global Exchange awarded her the ‘People’s Choice Award’.
In 2013, the International Peace Bureau awarded Chelsea Manning the Sean MacBride Peace Prize.
In 2014, she was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence by Sam Adams Associates.
She was awarded the EFF Pioneer Award in September 2017 for her actions as a whistleblower.
In November 2017, she was named ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ by Out magazine.
In December 2017, Foreign Policy (American news publication) honored Chelsea by ranking her as one of its ‘forty-eight 2017 Global Thinkers’.
Personal Life & Legacy
The day after her sentencing, on 22 August 2013, Chelsea Manning announced that she is a transgender.
In April 2014, Manning was granted the right to be legally recognized as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning after filing a court petition.