Chelsea Manning ‘files to run for Senate in Maryland’

Chelsea Manning, the former US army soldier jailed for giving sensitive documents to WikiLeaks, has filed documents to run for the US Senate, the Washington Post reported. 

Ms Manning, a former intelligence expert previously known as Bradley Manning, was released from military prison in 2017 after Barack Obama waived her sentence. 

The 30-year-old would be taking on the incumbent Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Democrat who has held the seat for more than a decade. 

Miss Manning was arrested in May 2010, while serving with the US army in Iraq, after she confessed to a computer hacker, Adrian Lamo, that she was the source of Wikileaks’ documents.

Wikileaks had published hundreds of thousands of documents that Miss Manning had downloaded from military computers – among them the Iraq and Afghan war logs, diplomatic cables and Guantanamo Bay files.

It was the biggest leak of classified documents in history. She was sentenced to 35 years  in August 2013.

She was released in May last year after Mr Obama said that he had decided to commute her sentence because it was far more severe than other leakers, charged with similar crimes.

 She first indicated she was considering running for political office in an interview with US Vogue in August. 

“I’m certainly not going to say no, and I’m certainly not going to say yes,” she told the magazine at the time. 

“My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go.

“I have these values that I can connect with: responsibility, compassion.

“Those are really foundational for me. Do and say and be who you are because, no matter what happens, you are loved unconditionally.”

She also said at the time that she does not regret leaking the documents, despite her seven years in prison, but believes there should be a better way for whistleblowers to raise concern.

“I’ve accepted responsibility for my own decisions and my own actions,” she said.

“I think it’s important to remember that when somebody sees government wrongdoing – whether it’s illegal or immoral or unethical – there isn’t the means available to do something about it.

“Everyone keeps saying, You should have gone through the proper channels! But the proper channels don’t work.”

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