Chelsea manning was born in Crescent, Oklahoma in 1987. Although she is currently serving a 35 year sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for leaking military and diplomatic documents to the public. Chelsea inhabits the D.C. suburbs of Maryland, which continues to be her home.
Chelsea joined the Army in October 2007 to help fight the “bad guys” after 911. As she explains, “I was pretty hopeful that we could still make a difference there. I hoped that I could help to bring as many of the soldiers that were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan home, and to protect the civilians that were stuck living in these countries at the time.”
While in Iraq, she served as an “all-source intelligence analyst.” Contrary to popular belief, she does not dislike the Army, but rather, feels that the army is being misused by civilians, and that both soldiers and Iraqi civilians were dying unnecessarily as a result.
Chelsea is appealing her court martial and 35 year sentence. She feels that it is important to continue to effect positive change in the world, despite her current circumstances.
Chelsea has written extensively for The Guardian, on many civil rights, transparency, privacy and security issues. She also has a Medium blog and tweets regularly (by dictating tweets to her supporters over the phone).
Chelsea is asking President Obama to commute her sentence. She has already served 6 1/2 years, 11 months of which was in solitary
confinement, which the UN considers to be torture. She wrote about her experiences in solitary confinement for the Guardian.
You can learn more about Chelsea by listening to her Amnesty International podcast. Since the public is not allowed to hear a recording of Chelsea’s voice, she is “voiced” by actress Michelle Hendley: