A close friend of Chelsea Manning’s said that the convicted leaker of government secrets who is now running for Senate is safe and needs ‘space to heal’ after the 30-year-old tweeted a photo showing her legs standing on a ledge with the caption ‘im sorry’.
Kelly Wright, a friend of Manning’s who also is the communications director for her US Senate bid in Maryland, said the transgender woman’s adjustment to life outside of prison has been ‘extremely difficult’.
Wright added: ‘I have seen firsthand and up close the violence inflicted on her by years of imprisonment, solitary confinement and torture.
This is made worse by the impossibly high expectations our society sets for public figures, especially on social media.’
When asked whether Manning had suspended her Senate campaign, Wright said: ‘Negative.’
Manning posted two highly disturbing Tweets late on Sunday, sparking an outpouring of concern by social media.
The first tweet read: ‘im sorry – i tried – im sorry i let you all down – im not really cut out for this world – i tried adapting to this world out here but i failed you – i couldn’t do this anymore – i can take people i dont know hating me but not my own friends – i tried and im sorry about my failure’.
A close friend of Chelsea Manning said she needs ‘space to heal’ after ‘suicidal’ tweets
Manning is seen speaking in Milan, Italy on Sunday, hours before a pair of disturbing tweets
Manning posted then deleted the above tweet and one other which were highly disturbing
The second tweet simply said ‘im sorry’ and shows a picture looking down onto a street from the rooftop of a building several stories high.
The legs of a person are seen in the photo, wearing pink pajamas and with red-painted toenails standing inches from the edge of the roof. It is unclear when or where the photo was taken.
Ten minutes later the photo was taken down and a tweet from her account said she is safe.
‘Chelsea is safe. she is on the phone with friends, thanks everyone for your concern and please give her some space,’ someone wrote on Manning’s Twitter account early on Monday.
The disturbing messages came in response to an online debate with Dawn Ennis, a writer and former ABC News assignment editor who, like Manning, is transgender.
Ennis had criticized a message that Manning wrote on May 23, which said in part ‘voting wont change anything’ and called for something ‘radically different’.
It came in a thread in which Manning expressed discouragement over the campaign for US Senate, and general hopelessness that Democrats would retake the House or Senate in November election.
Manning (above on Sunday at a conference in Milan, Italy) had been arguing with Dawn Ennis on Twitter and expressing hopelessness about the political process and Democrats’ chances in November
Ennis immediately responded with this concerned tweet offering to get Manning help
Other friends responded to the disturbing messages with an outpouring of concern
Ennis responded: ‘When I suggested @xychelsea should consider not running, I stopped short of telling her what to do. But this tweet is just lunacy. Sorry, just cuz you’re one of the #girlslikeus you don’t get a pass. Tweeting ‘voting wont change anything’ is wrong and a lie! Just stop. Please.’
The disturbing tweets from Manning came in response to that message.
Manning lives in Bethesda, Maryland and was last seen publicly at a conference in Milan, Italy on Sunday.
The activist in January announced plans to run against incumbent Senate Democrat Ben Cardin.
Manning is a former Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in 2013 of violating the Espionage Act for leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks.
Former President Barack Obama commuted the 35-year sentence for that conviction and Manning was freed from prison in May of last year.
She has acknowledged leaking more than 700,000 military and State Department documents to anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks in 2010. She said she wanted to spark debate about U.S. foreign policy, and she has been portrayed as both a hero and a traitor.
Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her arrest, she came out as transgender after her 2013 court-martial. She was barred from growing her hair long in prison, and was approved for hormone therapy only after litigation.
For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255