Chelsea Manning’s 35-Year Prison Sentence Has Been Commuted

As one of his final acts in office, President Barack Obama has largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former army intelligence officer convicted of leaking information to Wikileaks back in 2010.

Manning has been in prison for nearly seven years, and was originally scheduled for release in 2045. She has faced an uncertain future as a transgender prisoner in a male military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Under the terms of Obama’s commutation, she will be released on May 17 this year.
The files leaked by Maning included military incident logs from Iraq and Afghanistan which exposed abuses of military detainees and civilian deaths beyond what were being reported, as well as 250,000 diplomatic cables from American embassies around the world.
The Manning case has been a point of contention for the Obama administration – and evidence of a continuing harsh focus on national security during the president’s tenure. Progressive activists have pointed to Manning’s continued incarceration, difficulty in obtaining proper care, and multiple suicide attempts as a particular dark spot on Obama’s legacy.
In her application for commutation, Manning admitted guilt, but argued that the harshness of her sentence did not match the severity of the impact of the leak, saying that it was “extreme” and “had no historical precedent”.
I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public. I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.
This is interesting for another reason – a tweet from the official Wikileaks account said Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the United States if Manning’s sentence was commuted.

We’ll keep you posted.