Manning formally asks to be pardoned
WASHINGTON — The soldier convicted of providing secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified materials in the nation’s history has asked for a presidential pardon, supporters said on Wednesday.
The request for Bradley Manning, who now wants to be known as Chelsea Manning, was filed by attorney David Coombs on Tuesday, according to a statement on the Pardon Private Manning website.
“I urge you to consider this matter closely and to take a positive step towards protecting whistle-blowers who release information to the media for the public good by either reducing Private Manning’s sentence to time served, or by granting him a full pardon,” Coombs said in a letter to President Obama via the Justice Department and to Army Secretary John McHugh.
The application includes a supporting letter from Amnesty International.
Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, said there was very little chance the Obama administration would grant a pardon, especially with its “full-bore approach” to prosecuting Manning.
“It would make them look quite schizoid if at this point a pardon was granted,” she said.