Chelsea Manning asks Obama to commute
sentence to time served: NYT
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[November 14, 2016]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. soldier
Chelsea Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for passing
classified files to WikiLeaks, has asked the Obama administration to
commute her remaining sentence to the time she has already served, The
New York Times reported on Sunday.
Manning made the request in a Nov. 10 petition to President Obama, a
copy of which the Times obtained from Manning's attorney. She attempted
suicide on Oct. 4 at the start of her stay in solitary confinement,
where she was sent for also attempting to take her own life in July.
In the statement, Manning assumed responsibility for her actions, saying
they were wrong, but said her life was in turmoil at the time of the
leaks. She was confronting gender dysphoria at the time while deployed
to Iraq, the Times said.
Manning also wrote of her treatment in prison and her multiple suicide
attempts, saying: "I am not asking for a pardon of my conviction."
"The sole relief I am asking for is to be released from military prison
after serving six years of confinement as a person who did not intend to
harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members,"
the statement said.
Manning's petition was accompanied by letters of support from Daniel
Ellsberg, best known for releasing the classified Vietnam War history
known as the Pentagon Papers, Morris Davis, a former military
commissions chief prosecutor, and Glenn Greenwald, a legal commentator
and journalist who has been a prominent supporter, the Times said.
[to top of second column]
U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning, who was born male but identifies as a
woman, imprisoned for handing over classified files to
pro-transparency site WikiLeaks, is pictured dressed as a woman in
this 2010 photograph obtained on August 14, 2013.Courtesy U.S.
Army/Handout via REUTERS
Manning, a transgender Army private who was born male and revealed after
being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman, is being
held at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.
She has been a focus of a worldwide debate on government secrecy
since she provided more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic
cables and battlefield accounts to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Paul Tait)
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