Chelsea Manning's sentence commuted by Obama

Tech Culture

by Patrick Holland January 17, 2017 2:15 PM PST

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President Barack Obama commuted the majority of Chelsea Manning's sentence on Tuesday, pardoning an army analyst who leaked thousands of files about US operations around the world.

Manning, a transgender woman formerly known as Bradley Manning, has been imprisoned since 2010 after being charged with leaking 700,000 military files and communications to WikiLeaks. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013.

Manning's commutation was listed partway through a release from the White House naming more than 200 prisoners who received shortened sentences on Tuesday. Obama made no specific comment about his decision to release Manning 28 years early.

Manning's case was seen by many as a proxy for the US government's attempts to curb WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, its controversial founder. Rumors circulated earlier this week that Manning was on Obama's commutation shortlist. Edward Snowden, another high-profile leaker, and WikiLeaks, which said it would send Assange to the US in exchange for Manning's release, expressed their support for a pardon.

The commutation calls for Manning to be freed May 17, rather than the same day in 2045.

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