Chelsea Manning has formally put in a request for a presidential pardon, though few believe the private formerly known as Bradley has any chance of success. When Manning was sentenced to 35 years last month for the biggest intelligence leak in American history, her lawyer said the request would include a personal appeal to President Obama saying, "I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love to my country and a sense of duty to others." With parole and time already served, the earliest Manning could be released without a pardon is 2021.
Amnesty International issued a statement yesterday backing Manning. "President Obama should grant Manning clemency for time served, protect whistleblowers, and provide accountability for crimes like those Manning exposed," Amnesty said, arguing that the sentence "contrasts with the leniency given those responsible for torture and other types of grave human rights violations" exposed in the information he provided to WikiLeaks. Obama has handed out far fewer pardons than most of his predecessors, with just 39 granted so far, the Hill notes. (Read more Chelsea Manning stories.)