Chelsea Manning Asks Obama for Mercy

WikiLeaks says he should free her before Trump does
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2016 2:59 AM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2016 6:03 AM CST
Chelsea Manning Asks Obama for Mercy
In this undated photo provided by the US Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick.   (AP Photo/US Army, File)

Chelsea Manning isn't going to wait and see whether WikiLeaks tries to call in a favor when Donald Trump becomes president. She has asked President Obama to reduce her sentence for leaking classified files from 35 years to the more than six she has already spent behind bars, reports the New York Times, which notes that Manning has already spent more time in prison than any other convicted leaker in US history. In a statement sent with her petition, Manning says she knows what she did is wrong and that she's not asking for a pardon. She says at the time of the leaks, she was struggling with issues including gender dysphoria.

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," Manning writes. The petition was accompanied by letters from supporters, including "Pentagon Papers" whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who tells the Times that "we all have to ask President Obama to do with his powers good things before he leaves, before a new president comes in." On Friday, WikiLeaks tweeted: "President Obama has a political moment to pardon Manning & Snowden. If not, he hands a Trump presidency the freedom to take his prize." (Lawyers say Manning recently made a second suicide attempt.)

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