Manning Seeks Commuted Sentence for Leaks

| November 15, 2016

WASHINGTON � U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, is asking President Obama to commute her sentence to time served.

The transgender soldier said in her application to the president, released by her attorneys, that there is no historical precedent for such an extreme sentence for leaking documents.

Manning, a former intelligence analyst in Iraq, has served more than six years of a 35-year sentence for leaking more than 700,000 secret military documents as well as battlefield videos to WikiLeaks.

Since being convicted, the soldier, originally called Bradley Manning, has said she identifies as a women. She tried to commit suicide last month while in solitary confinement, where she was placed after an earlier suicide attempt.

Manning wrote in her application to the president that she is living through "a cycle of anxiety, anger, hopelessness, loss and depression."

"The sole relief I am asking for is to be released from military prison after serving six years of confinement as a person who did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members," Manning said.

She is being held at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas. Manning is not asking for a pardon, meaning her conviction will stay on her record.

Manning's petition includes letters of support from Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam war, as well as journalist Glenn Greenwald and former military commissions chief prosecutor Morris Davis.

Davis said in a letter accompanying Manning's petition that much of the information Manning leaked had little value and could be found through open sources on the Internet.

Manning has said she released the information to raise public awareness about the impact of the Iraq war on civilians. Prosecutors say Manning is a traitor who put the United States and U.S. armed forces at risk.

Source: Voice of America

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