News / USA

Manning Seeks Presidential Pardon in WikiLeaks Case

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing in his court martial. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing in his court martial.
x
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing in his court martial.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Aug. 21, 2013, before a sentencing hearing in his court martial.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— The U.S. soldier convicted of providing secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified materials in the nation's history has asked for a presidential pardon, supporters said on Wednesday.
 
The request for Chelsea, formerly known as Bradley, Manning, was filed by attorney David Coombs on Tuesday, according to a statement on the Pardon Private Manning website.
 
“I urge you to consider this matter closely and to take a positive step towards protecting whistleblowers who release information to the media for the public good by either reducing Private Manning's sentence to time served, or by granting him a full pardon,” Coombs said in a letter to President Barack Obama via the Justice Department and to Army Secretary John McHugh carried on the website.
 
The application includes a supporting letter from Amnesty International.
 
Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said there was very little chance the Obama administration would grant a pardon, especially with its “full-bore approach” to prosecuting Manning.
 
“It would make them look quite schizoid if at this point a pardon was granted,” she said.
 
A court-martial convicted Manning, 25, in July of 20 charges, including espionage and theft, for providing more than 700,000 classified files, videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website.
 
Gender Dysphoria
 
Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Aug. 21.     Although the soldier was found not guilty of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, the sentence was the longest ever handed down for turning over secrets to the media.
 
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick.FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick.
x
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick.
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Bradley Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick.
The day after sentencing, the soldier issued a statement that said Bradley Manning was a female who wanted to live as a woman named Chelsea.
 
A psychiatrist at Manning's sentencing testified to having diagnosed the soldier as having gender dysphoria, or wanting to be the opposite sex. Manning's statement said the soldier wanted to undergo female hormone treatment.
 
The White House has said that a pardon request from Manning would be considered “like any other application.”
 
Obama has issued far fewer pardons than the two previous presidents, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, according to the Justice Department's Office of the Pardon Attorney.
 
Obama has received 1,496 petitions for pardons and granted 2.6 percent of them. Bush granted 7.5 percent of 2,498 pardon petitions, and Clinton approved almost one in five of the 2,001 requests he received.
 
Although Manning had asked to be referred to by female pronouns, the soldier signed the pardon request “Bradley Manning” and Coombs' letter referred to Manning as “Bradley” and used male pronouns.
 
Coombs said in a blog post last week that “Bradley Manning” and male pronouns would still be used in some cases. They include references to the trial, legal documents, communication with the government, the petition to the White House and the soldier's mail.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid