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.
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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More