Published On:January 18, 2017, 12:32 pm
On Tuesday, the United States President Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence with reference to leaking documents to Wikileaks in 2010. Manning was the former Army intelligence analyst who is presently serving 35 years in prison for giving classified information, as announced by the White House.
The 29 year old transgender US Army private, born Bradley Manning will now be freed on the 17th May instead of scheduled 2045 release. In 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years for her role in leaking crucial diplomatic cables to the anti-secrecy group.
This leak was one of the hugest breaches of classified material in the US history. The decision, was made in one of his final acts as the President of the United States, Obama pardoned 64 people and also commuted the sentence of 209 others which included the captive transgender soldier who was convicted in August 2013 of spying and several other offences, and retired Gen. James Cartwright, who was charged of lying to the FBI during another leak investigation. Cartwright had lied to the FBI about his discussion with the journalists regarding the Iran’s nuclear program.
However, Chelsea Manning, who had been serving time in solitary detention and is now, entitled for release in May, is undoubtedly the most high-profile name on Obama’s list.
Manning acknowledged and agreed to have handed 700,000 sensitive diplomatic and military post agreeing to handing classified documents to WikiLeaks.
For which the activists has debated and reasoned out her sentence is extreme and point to the psychological weakness of the transgender soldier who has already made two failed suicide attempts.
Chase Strangio from the American Civil Liberties Union said, "This move could quite literally save Chelsea's life." Obama’s decision has come out as a surprise, coming in between of a scandal over the hacking and the release of Democratic Party emails which peeved the 2016 election.
In the past few weeks, the White House has denied to be strained on any possible pardon or commutation; however it has managed to make a severe difference between Manning, who has gone through the courts and agreed of doing wrong and the likes of Edward Snowden.
Furthermore, in 2013 Snowden, who did flee to Hong Kong and later Russia post making a shocking disclosure of global communications and internet surveillance system straddling the globe, was not on Obama’s list.
A US Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl who was held imprisoned for almost five years by the Taliban prior to his release in a prisoner swap was not on Obama’s list. He was due to be court-martialed for desertion.
Some of the other names that were not present on the list are General David Petraeus, who unlawfully shared classified information, and Obama’s ally Hillary Clinton.
Although there has been a wild conjecture that Obama might just chose to preventively pardon her to prevent any kind of Republican-led trial. Presidents have the ability to supposedly pardon people prior to they even being sentenced in the first place.
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