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Chelsea Manning Reportedly on Obama's Short List for Commutation

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-01-11 19:04:12
Digital Liberty

It's no pardon, but it will do [nbcnews.com]:

President Obama has put Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, on his short list for a possible commutation, a Justice Department source told NBC News. A decision could come as soon as Wednesday for Manning, who has tried to commit suicide [nbcnews.com] twice this year and went on a hunger strike [nbcnews.com] in a bid for gender reassignment surgery.

"I have more hope right now than I have the entire time since she was sentenced," Manning's aunt, Deborah Manning, told NBC News.

[...] Manning's supporters believe the harshness of the sentence can be traced to another leaker; the scandal around former NSA contractor Edward Snowden was erupting around the same time. "I really believe the judge felt she needed to send some sort of message," the aunt said. "I think in a way she was a scapegoat for Edward Snowden." Snowden, who has asked Obama for clemency, tweeted [twitter.com] his support of Manning shortly after NBC News' report about the commutation decision aired on TODAY on Wednesday morning.

Four former and current Army intelligence officers told NBC News the documents leaked by Manning pale in significance to highly classified top secret material released by Snowden. The officers, who would not allow their names to be used, said the Manning sentence seems excessive.

Also at The Hill [thehill.com].


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