Yesterday, President Obama decided to commute the sentence of Bradley Manning by many years. Bradley Manning was sentenced to thirty-five years in 2013 for leaking confidential documents, but will now be released on May 17th. It is believed Manning was pardoned because of the dangers he faced as a “transgender woman” in an all-male prison. A transgender woman is a male that has a gender identity disorder and in his case “felt female since childhood.”
In 2013, Manning was serving as an Iraqi intelligence analyst and leaked over 700,000 documents to Wikileaks including a video showing an airstrike in Baghdad causing the deaths of two Reuters journalists.
Surprisingly, Wikileaks announced in tweets on January 12th that Julian Assange — the founder of WikiLeaks — would agree to extradition to the United States if Obama were to grant clemency to Manning. It is unknown whether or not Assange will follow through with his promise now that Manning has been freed.
There is a rapidly growing pressure on Obama to commute Edward Snowden as well — a former CIA employee who leaked classified information that showed illicit global surveillance programs run by the NSA. Manning is one of the 1,385 commutations during the Obama administration, with his administration pardoning more than any other president in history.