Obama commutes most of Manning's sentence

President Obama commutes the sentence of former soldier who leaked 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks website.

Ben Ariel,

Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning
Reuters

President Barack Obama on Tuesday commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, who was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to the WikiLeaks website.

Manning, a transgender woman and former United States Army soldier, was serving a 35-year sentence but will be released on May 17, according to a statement from the White House quoted by CNN.

After her sentencing in 2013, her attorney indicated that his client was a female, and asked that she be referred to as Chelsea and using feminine pronouns.

The material, which WikiLeaks published in 2010, included a classified video of an American helicopter attacking civilians and journalists in Iraq in 2007. Labeled "Collateral Murder," the film drew criticism from human rights activists for the deaths of innocent people.

Manning was found guilty on 20 out of 22 possible charges (including violating the U.S. Espionage Act), but was not convicted of the most serious one; aiding the enemy, which could have earned the private a life sentence.

Manning had downloaded and leaked 400,000 Pentagon field reports from Iraq and 90,000 similar documents from Afghanistan, as well as over 250,000 State Department cables.

Earlier this month, noted CNN, WikiLeaks said it would agree to a U.S. extradition request for the site's founder, Julian Assange, if Obama granted clemency to Manning. However, it was not immediately clear if WikiLeaks would make good on its promise.




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