Bradley Manning Pardon? Lawyer to Ask Obama to Pardon Manning, or Commute Sentence

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 21, 2013 Updated: August 21, 2013

Bradley Manning’s lawyer and Amnesty International are calling for President Barack Obama to pardon Bradley Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in jail on Wednesday for leaking classified files that were eventually published by Wikileaks.

The hundreds of thousands of files leaked by Manning included classified cables between government officials and included correspondence with foreign officials. Manning’s long trial ended on August 21 with the sentencing.

A new site has been created saying that the 1,190 days of confinement Manning has been through is enough, and that the 35 year sentence should be commuted, or Manning should be let off since he’s already been in confinement for over 3 years.

“Like Bradley Manning, we believe a healthy democracy requires public information,” according to the website. “What price will future whistleblowers pay? It’s time for President Obama to pardon Bradley, and focus on preventing human rights violations instead of punishing whistleblowers.”

Manning’s defense counsel is expected to file a petition for clemency shortly with the U.S. Department of Justice office that reviews requests for pardons and other acts of clemency before passing them on to the President for a final decision, according to Amnesty International. 

With good behavior and credit for the more than three years he has been held, Manning could be out in a little more than eight years.

The former intelligence analyst was found guilty last month of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act. 

He was acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which carried a potential life in prison without parole.

Manning could have gotten 90 years behind bars. Prosecutors asked for at least 60 as a warning to other soldiers, while Manning’s lawyer suggested he get no more than 25, because some of the documents he leaked will be declassified by then.

He will have to serve at least one-third of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. He was also demoted to private and dishonorably discharged.

Manning digitally copied and released more than 700,000 documents, including Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department cables, while working in 2010 in Iraq.

The Crescent, Okla., native also leaked video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that mistakenly killed at least nine people, including a Reuters photographer.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.