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Wow. President Barack Obama just commuted the remaining sentence of Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Now instead of serving out the remaining 28 years of her 35-year prison sentence, she’ll be released on May 17 of this year. It is unclear whether incoming President-elect Donald Trump could reverse this decision.
The trans female inmate had been given a sentence about 10 times longer than those of recent whistleblowers and had twice attempted suicide while being held in a men’s military prison.
Although Obama’s move will anger those who think that Manning endangered military lives by leaking military and diplomatic documents, in her clemency request to Obama, Manning said that she did wasn’t seeking a pardon, understood that her conviction would stay on her record forever and added that she did “not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members” with her leaks.
Two interesting twists: first, May 17 is actually the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (coincidence?), and second, in the past Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said he’d turn himself over to U.S. authorities for his involvement in the Manning leaks if Obama ever showed mercy to Manning. Will he keep his promise?
If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case https://t.co/MZU30SlfGK
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 12, 2017