Manning is one of 273 people “given a second chance”, the White House announced Tuesday, tallying up Obama’s commutation grants and pardons.
Just three days before leaving office, Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence for leaking a huge trove of classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010.Manning was arrested in 2010 after leaking 700,000 military files and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, and her sentence exceeded that received by other individuals recently convicted of releasing classified material.Manning has been jailed for almost seven years after being sentenced to 35-years for the leak of more than 700,000 sensitive government documents.The organization promised if President Obama granted Chelsea Manning clemency that its founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange would agree to U.S. extradition.Manning is now set to be freed on 17 May of this year, according to The New York Times.
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“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing”, he said during the White House press briefing.In November, Manning, who is held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, pleaded with the president, citing her hard predicament. Later that month, the Army punished Manning in retaliation for a suicide attempt, and she spent a week in solitary confinement.Among the records and cables that Manning released through WikiLeaks, one video showed USA forces executing an airstrike in Iraq that killed two Reuters journalists and at least 16 more civilians. Assange has spent over 4 years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has continued to run Wikileaks. “There are very serious consequences when you release the kind of documents she did.at the end of the day, there was enormous damage done”.Snowden pleaded with Obama on Twitter last week to commute Manning’s sentence to “save her life”. I have never made any excuses for what I did.Tuesday’s announcement notably did not include any mention of Edward Snowden, another famous leaker who is now living in exile in Russian Federation. The military reluctantly agreed to adopt her chosen first name, Chelsea, in her medical records, although an Army doctor refused to change her gender marker.