Former WikiLeaks whistleblower, eyes Senate seat in Maryland
Washington: Former US military whistleblower Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in military prison for leaking classified data, is running for the US Senate in Maryland.
Federal election filings show Ms Manning is running as a Democrat and will likely challenge the two-term Democrat, Senator Ben Cardin, who is an overwhelming favourite to win.
Senator Cardin was elected in 2006 was easily reelected in 2012, beating his Republican challenger by 30 points in the heavily-Democratic state. Ms Manning, known as Bradley Manning at the time of the arrest, had been working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
In 2010, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks — the biggest breach of classified data in the history of the US.
She came out as transgendered shortly after her sentencing, but the military denied her request for hormone therapy treatment while behind bars. She was placed in solitary confinement after attempting suicide twice.
Former president Barack Obama granted her clemency before leaving office last year.
His decision to commute the sentence to about seven years drew strong criticism from members of Congress and others.
When Ms Manning was released last May, she told The Associated Press in an email she was eager to define her future, but made no mention of politics. In September, she spoke at the annual Nantucket Project conference — a venture founded to bring together creative thinkers to uncover ideas. Her appearance came just after Harvard University reversed its decision to name Ms Manning a visiting fellow.
CIA director Mike Pompeo had scrapped a planned appearance at the Nantucket event over the title for Ms Manning, calling her an “American traitor.”