Chelsea Manning petitions for clemency one more time

Attorneys for former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning submitted a clemency application to the Justice Department on Thursday appealing for a reduction in sentence to time served.

Manning has served six years and under the terms of her conviction is eligible for parole after serving one-third of her sentence.

“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,” Manning wrote in an appendage to Pardon Attorney Robert Zauzmer.

Convicted in July 2013 for disclosing hundred of thousands of classified documents and diplomatic records, including what has become known as the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diary, to whistleblowing platform Wikileaks, Manning pleaded guilty to 10 of 22 charges.

Found guilty on 17 other charges, including five counts of espionage and theft, Manning escaped conviction on the most serious charge leveled against her, aiding the enemy.

Reduced of rank, stripped of pay and allowance and dishonorably discharged, Manning was sentenced to 35 years, the most severe punishment ever imposed on a convicted leaker.

Following a first appeal for clemency in 2013, which was eventually denied, Manning’s second attempt was accompanied by letters supporting the petition from Pentagon Papers leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

Thursday’s appeal is Manning’s last chance for clemency before President Obama leaves office in January.

“Since Ms. Manning’s arrest she has been subjected to torturous conditions while in military confinement,” Manning’s lawyer wrote. “For nearly a year Ms Manning was held in solitary confinement while awaiting trial, and since her conviction, has been placed in solitary confinement for an attempted suicide.”


[Reuters] [The Guardian] [Photo courtesy AP/Patrick Semansky via Army Times]