US transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning officially files to run for Senate

January 19, 2018 2:05 am
Transgender former soldier Chelsea Manning (AFP photo)
American whistleblower Chelsea Manning has officially registered as a candidate in the 2018 US Senate race for the state of Maryland.
The 30-year-old transgender woman filed to run for the Senate and will seek a Democratic nomination, according to data published by the Maryland State Board of Elections on Thursday.
Manning also tweeted a photo later in the day and said she was “officially on the ballot.”
The American whistleblower will likely challenge two-term Senator Ben Cardin in the primary. The senior Senator, who expects re-election in November, looks forward to a ‘strong campaign’ against Manning or any other contenders.
The former US Army soldier, named Bradley Manning, was released from prison in mid-May after serving seven years for leaking 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks.
The transgender whistleblower was convicted in 2013 for classified documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Assigned in 2009 to an Army unit in Iraq as an intelligence analyst, Manning had access to classified databases. In early 2010, Manning leaked classified information to WikiLeaks and confided this to Adrian Lamo, an online acquaintance, which made her a hero to open-government activists.
She disclosed diplomatic cables from American embassies around the world, incident logs from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, intelligence dossiers about Guantánamo Bay detainees and a video of a helicopter airstrike in Baghdad in which two Reuters journalists were killed.
Chelsea was initially sentenced to 35 years behind bars for espionage, by far the longest punishment ever imposed in for a leak conviction. Then-US president Barack Obama commuted her sentence to time served plus 120 days in the final days of his administration.
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