- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chelsea Manning took to social media on Thursday to celebrate Vogue magazine’s September issue, which features the transgender activist in a one-piece swimsuit.

The ex-soldier formerly known as Private First Class Bradley Manning was released from a federal prison in May because of a commutation of sentence by former President Obama. That freedom — the result of Mr. Obama’s decision to end a 35-year prison sentence for espionage after just seven years — is on full display in a photo taken by Annie Leibovitz for the lifestyle magazine’s latest publication.

“Guess this is what freedom looks like,” the 29-year-old said to 280,000 followers on Twitter and another 63,000 on Instagram.

Critics were quick to note that Vogue’s profile piece gives a large platform to the same person who leaked more than 700,000 classified documents and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks in 2010.

The Daily Wire, for instance, blasted the decision to give an “American traitor” the spotlight.

“It remains unclear how many, if any Americans were killed due to the leaks,” the website wrote Thursday, “But Arizona Senator John McCain said in January of 2017 that he’s confident the Taliban used the information and retaliated against those named. McCain told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly he felt ‘sorrow for the families of those individuals who identified in these leaks in Afghanistan that the Taliban went after and murdered.’”

Yahoo News also spoke to the former intelligence analyst, but the website focused more on future plans and a potential run at political office.

“I’m certainly not going to say no, and I’m certainly not going to say yes. My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go,” Ms. Manning said. “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.”

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