US Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from prison

The tweet read, "First steps of freedom!".

It was retweeted nearly 7,000 times in the first hour after it emerged online, and received more than 1,000 likes on her newly set up Instagram account.

Manning, behind one of the largest classified information leaks in U.S. history, left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas in the morning, Lt. Col. Jennifer Johnson told CNN.

Before his time as president ended, Barack Obama shortened Manning's sentence last January.

The 29-year-old served seven years in jail over what is believed to have been the biggest breach of classified information in United States military history.

Manning, who is transgender and was known as Bradley Manning before she transitioned in prison, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations.

Chase Madar, Manning's biographer, argued that she carried out an act of public service by leaking the documents, adding that none of the information leaked by Manning was top secret.

As a prisoner at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, she had to conform to male grooming standards before her 3 a.m. ET release. The State Department had to move people to protect their safety and several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures.

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"It was by far the longest sentence given to any whistleblower in US history", Pulse said, saying the film would depict "the journey of her fight for survival and dignity, and her transition from prisoner to a free woman".

She served seven years of a 35-year sentence for leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military files to Wikileaks.

Manning attempted suicide twice past year - once in July, another in November - while imprisoned in Kansas. Chelsea Manning will be on a special, unpaid off-duty status that will allow the transgender soldier to wear her preferred civilian clothing, including women's attire. As such, she may be entitled to military benefits, including health care.

"For the first time, I can see a future for myself as Chelsea", Manning said in a pre-release news release, according to BBC News. She also began a hunger strike last September over what she says was the lack of treatment she was receiving for her gender dysphoria.

Manning will remain on active army duty while her military court conviction remains under appeal.

Virtually unknown at the time of her arrest, Manning today is a well-known figure around the world.

She hopes to reside in the Washington area, the attorney said, explaining her supporters there will be vital, not only to her transition to civilian life but also to her transition to living openly as a transgender woman. "I have never made any excuses for what I did", Manning wrote in her petition in November to have her sentence commuted.

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