Outgoing US President Barack Obama has performed one of last duties as US President by commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the analyst who was convicted of involvement in the 2010 leaking of information to Wikileaks. The information lead to the largest uncovering of secret information of military and diplomatic services in US history.
So far Ms. Manning who is now a transgender woman, currently being held in a men’s prison, has so far served seven years of a 35 year sentence. It is believed that she had tried to commit suicide at Fort Leavenworth prison where she is currently being held.
It is now believed that Ms Manning will now be released on the 17th of May this year. The act will be one of the last performed by Obama, and is sure to extremely controversial. He approved the application in contrast to turning down the one from another leaker in Edward Snowden. It is understood that Obama had significantly more time for the Manning case, and Joshua Earnest the White house spokesman described the difference between the applications as “stark”. He also added “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 also acknowledged that of the document leaks, the one’s that Snowden released were significantly more dangerous to national security than Manning’s. It is understood that as Snowden had also left the country and never faced the due process that his application wasn’t seen in the same light.
Chelsea Manning was known as Bradley Manning, the analyst was posted to Afghanistan and Iraq during her time. It’s during this time that she copied files pertaining to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. The data also showed that civilian deaths in the country were quite likely to be far higher than officially published figures. It was the severity of these files that forced Manning to release them in to the world. They were then disclosed by Wikileaks.
Ms Manning admitted to all charges at court martial and pleaded that she had made her decisions due to her psychological state. Testimony backed up her claims that she was indeed dealing with significant issues around her gender. Though these were not taken in to account perhaps as much as they should have been. It was after this that she was given the unprecedented 35 year sentence that has now been commuted by Obama. She will now hope that she can leave prison and try to deal with the mental problems that have caused her so many problems.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.