Fourth Estate Staff
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Chelsea Manning and her legal team have been asking President Barack Obama to pardon her for leaking thousands of army documents, which she is paying through serving 35 years behind bars, and now reports have surfaced saying that she is in the short list for the outgoing president’s commutation.
Manning Worked as an Army intelligence analyst in the past and was convicted of her violations of the Espionage Act and other charges. She stole nearly a million of the documents and gave them to WikiLeaks . The files included operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Formerly known as Bradley but came out as a transgender after the verdict was handed down, Manning was locked up since 2010 and her sentenced was 10 times longer than the other whistle blowers who have committed the same crime that she did. Last month, more than 100,000 people have signed an online petition asking for the commutation of Manning.
The 29-year-old is currently serving her 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth and a Justice Department said that Manning was on the short list for commutations. She tried to commit suicide twice last year and went on a hunger strike.
The aunt of Manning, Deborah, said of the possible pardon news, “I have more hope right now than I have the entire time since she was sentenced. I do think it’s the last hope for a while. I would say this is someone who’s never had a chance in life, who is extremely bright, who became extremely emotionally distressed as some point, who made a bad decision, who paid for that bad decision. And it’s time to let her go out and try to make a positive contribution in the world.”
The other whistleblower, Edward Snowden , a former NSA contractor, who fled to Moscow, said in a tweet in support of Manning that if the president could grant only one act of clemency as he exits the White House, it should be for Manning as he believes Obama is the only one who can save her life. Snowden is also seeking a presidential pardon.
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