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Manning Rejects ‘Pacifist’ Label After Document Leaks

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning said in a statement to a London newspaper that she does not consider herself a pacifist for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. Rather, she sees herself as an advocate for transparency.

Manning is serving a 35-year sentence for a July conviction on espionage and other offenses for sending more than 700,000 documents to the anti-secrecy website.

Manning said in a statement to the Guardian newspaper published Wednesday that she was surprised to learn a peace award had been accepted on her behalf.

But Manning’s lawyer, David E. Coombs, said in a post on his website Wednesday that they had discussed the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award three times.

Coombs said he had spoken with Manning Wednesday morning and she remembered the conversations. Coombs said Manning said she had recently received mail about the award, and thought it was about a new award.

In the statement to the Guardian, Manning said she does not consider herself a pacifist, anti-war or a conscientious objector, but rather a “transparency advocate.”

Manning, previously known as Bradley, said after her sentencing that she wishes to live as a woman.

In Wednesday’s statement, Manning said she’d prefer not to be referred to by her military rank, preferring the title “Ms.”

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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