President Obama commuted the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, guilty of leaking a trove of military secrets to WikiLeaks.


Manning had already served seven years of her sentence before Obama commuted it, and she will be released May 17, 2017.Manning admitted to “releasing more than 700,000 documents, including battlefield reports and U.S. embassy cables.”

Manning, who is a transgender woman who used to be known as Bradley, had requested clemency from the president, saying her life was in danger in an all-male prison. “Since she was first taken into custody, Chelsea has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement — including for attempting suicide — and has been denied access to medically necessary health care,” said her ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio. “This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many.”

“Chelsea Manning exposed serious abuses, and as a result her own human rights have been violated by the U.S. government for years… President Obama was right to commute her sentence, but it is long overdue,” said Amnesty International USA executive director Margaret Huang. “It is unconscionable that she languished in prison for years while those allegedly implicated by the information she revealed still haven’t been brought to justice.”

Paul Ryan was not so pleased with the President’s decision. “This is just outrageous. Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets. President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”

Manning is one of 208 inmates offered clemency by Obama, but one name not on the list is Edward Snowden, who is still living in Russia after having leaked NSA information to the public.

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