Washington, Sep 18: Chelsea Manning, the transgender US soldier convicted of espionage for leaking national security secrets, has said that she was not a traitor as her critics have claimed and did what she thought was right, the media reported.
Manning made the remark on Sunday while addressing a crowd at the annual conference for The Nantucket Project in Massachusetts, reports Politico news.
“I believe I did the best I could in my circumstances to make an ethical decision,” she told the crowd when they asked if she was a traitor.
The 29-year-old Manning is a transgender woman who was known as Bradley Manning when she was convicted in 2013 of leaking a trove of classified documents.
She was released from a military prison in May after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence, which was commuted by former President Barack Obama in his final days in office.
Tom Scott, who co-founded The Nantucket Project, said he invited Manning for “clarity of understanding”, Politico reported.
Scott said some of the attendees were upset that Manning was invited, but he did not consider retracting the invitation.
On September 15, Harvard University reversed its decision to name Manning a visiting fellow, a day after CIA Director Mike Pompeo scrapped a planned appearance over the title for Manning.
“I’m not ashamed… I view that just as much of an honoured distinction as the fellowship itself.”