Obama commutes sentence for Chelsea Manning, a WikiLeaks source

Manning, who had been sentenced to 35 years in prison, will be freed in May

President Barack Obama has commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. soldier who disclosed classified data to WikiLeaks relating to the Iraq War.

Manning was originally serving a 35-year sentence, but on Tuesday Obama reduced it. She’ll now be freed on May 17.

Manning was convicted of leaking U.S. military and diplomatic information to WikiLeaks back in 2010 that included videos of airstrikes in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with classified documents sent to the U.S. State Department. She was arrested and began serving jail time the same year.

The data supplied by Manning helped put WikiLeaks on the map as source for secret government information but drew swift condemnation from U.S. officials.

Obama commuted Manning's sentence because he believed she had accepted responsibility and expressed remorse for her crimes, according to White House officials. She had also been behind bars for over six years, comparable to what similar offenders had served, they said.

News of the commutation came days after WikiLeaks tweeted that its founder, Julian Assange, would agree to be extradited to the U.S. if Obama granted Manning clemency. Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London under asylum following an attempt to extradite him to Sweden over alleged sexual offenses.

White House officials said Manning’s commutation had nothing to do with Assange, even as U.S. intelligence officials have blamed WikiLeaks for helping Russia to influence last year’s presidential election.

It’s not clear whether WikiLeaks' founder will honor his pledge. On Tuesday, Assange simply thanked supporters of Manning. “Your courage and determination made the impossible possible,” he said in a tweet through WikiLeaks. Noted leaker Edward Snowden also welcomed the news on Twitter.

Manning's supporters say she's a whistleblower and have campaigned for her release. But others oppose her release. On Tuesday, Republican House leader Paul Ryan called her commutation "outrageous."

"Chelsea Manning's treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation's most sensitive secrets," he said in a statement.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmenthacking

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?