For­mer Wik­iLeaks whistle­blower, eyes Se­nate seat in Mary­land

Fiji Sun - - World News -

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.”

Chelsea Man­ning.

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