WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has sharply reduced the sentence of Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Army private convicted of leaking thousands of classified reports to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
The president also pardoned a retired Marine Corps general, James E. Cartwright, who pleaded guilty in October to lying to FBI agents about his discussions with reporters concerning secret U.S. efforts to damage Iran’s nuclear program.
Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in August 2013 after she was convicted in military court of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic records, cables and videos to WikiLeaks in 2010.
She will now be released from military custody on May 17.
“I’m relieved and thankful that the president is doing the right thing and commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence,” Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT Project representing Manning, said in a statement.
“Since she was first taken into custody, Chelsea has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement — including for attempting suicide — and has been denied access to medically necessary health care. This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many.”
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