President Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence

Pierluigi Paganini January 18, 2017

President Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence for leaking confidential documents to Wikileaks in 2010. He will be released on May 17th.

President Barack Obama took a historic decision, he has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks in 2010. The news was reported by The New York Times, Manning is due to be released on May 17th.

Chelsea Manning, born as Bradley Manning, was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 when he was serving the US Army passed diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks.

The data leak was one of the largest breaches of classified documents in the history of the United States.

At the time of the data leak, Bradley Manning was serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He provided more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, the huge trove of documents includes the video of a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that caused the death of two Reuters employees.

Recently Wikileaks announced the Assange’s intention agree to US extradition if Obama grants Manning’s clemency.

“Obama may well have just saved Chelsea Manning’s life,” commented Sarah Harrison, who has defended Manning as Active Director of the Courage nonprofit. “Freeing her is clearly and unambiguously the right thing to do.”

She confirmed anyway the criticism for the President Obama’s decision to persecute Manning under the Espionage Act.

“Today’s news will not make good the harm done on Obama’s watch,” Harrison added. “Chelsea’s conviction under the Espionage Act and 35-year sentence set a terrible precedent that is left entirely intact by this commutation. Who knows what Donald Trump will do with this precedent, and these powers, that Obama has left him?”

The Manning’s commutation was part of a larger effort of the US Government that resulted in 209 commutations and 64 pardons. President Obama issued 1,385 grants of commutation during his administration, none made like him.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Chelsea Manning, Obama)

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