It looks like Chelsea Manning, the former US Army soldier who went to prison for passing classified materials to WikiLeaks, wants to head to Capitol Hill as a senator.
The 30-year-old, transgendered Manning, once known as Bradley, filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission this week, saying she’ll be running for the US Senate as a Democrat from Maryland.
Along with Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who caused a global uproar over government surveillance by leaking NSA documents, Manning is perhaps the best-known whistle-blower/leaker of recent years.
The hundreds of thousands of files she handed over to WikiLeaks in 2010 included a graphic video of Iraqis being gunned down during a US helicopter attack in Baghdad. They also included a cache of top secret military documents that came to be known as the Afghan War Diary, and a set of diplomatic cables that led to “Cablegate.”
Last year, Manning, who said she leaked the documents to spark a debate about US military and foreign policy, was offered a spot as a visiting fellow at Harvard University. The school caused an outcry, though, after it rescinded the offer following a protest by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. In September, a profile of Manning in Vogue magazine ran alongside a picture of her in a swimsuit, taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Manning was released from prison in May, after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence and being granted clemency by then President Barack Obama.
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