US whistleblower Chelsea Manning models for 'Vogue' magazine

Ms Manning has been photographed by Annie Leibovitz only months after her release from prison

US whistleblower Chelsea Manning models for 'Vogue' magazine

Picture by: Van Tine Dennis/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

US army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has modelled for a special swimsuit photoshoot for September's Vogue magazine.

The former US Army intelligence analyst was sentenced 35 years in prison in 2013 after leaking nearly 750,000 classified or sensitive documents to WikiLeaks.

She came out as transgender just a day after sentencing.

Ms Manning was released in May after the former US president Barack Obama commuted her sentence during his final days in office.

Manning has faced both praise and criticism in recent years, with Donald Trump earlier this year calling her an "ungrateful traitor". 

She has, however, built an active social media presence since her release, and her emoji-filled tweets often see her directly call out users & trolls who attack her on the platform.

The new issue of Vogue sees the whistleblower photographed by the high-profile celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz:

In an interview accompanying the photoshoot, Ms Manning explained that she now "feels natural" moving through the world as a woman.

She told the magazine: "It feels like it’s how it’s supposed to be, instead of this anxiety, this uncertainty, this ball of self-consciousness that comes with pretending to be male.

"It didn’t feel right. I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t describe it. Now that’s gone.”

On the subject of whistleblowing, she suggested that not everyone who witnesses wrongdoing has the means to do something about it.

She said: “Everyone keeps saying, You should have gone through the proper channels! But the proper channels don’t work.”