Barack Obama pardons Chelsea Manning sentence

The breach is termed as the biggest such breach in US history.

Barack Obama pardons Chelsea Manning sentence

Days prior to his end of the term in office, United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday shortened the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former US military intelligence analyst who was responsible for a 2010 leak of classified materials to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

The breach is termed as the biggest such breach in US history.

Reportedly, a White House official said there was no connection between Manning’s commutation and renewed US government concern about WikiLeaks’ actions during last year’s presidential election, or a promise by founder Julian Assange to accept extradition if Manning was freed.


It is to be noted that Manning has been a focus of a worldwide debate on government secrecy since she provided more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks – a leak for which she was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison.

However, the decision of Obama has angered some Republicans. “This is just outrageous,” House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement. Ryan, a Republican, said the decision was a “dangerous precedent” for those who leak materials about national security.

“Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” Ryan said.

It was when Manning was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010, that she gave WikiLeaks a trove of diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts that included a 2007 gunsight video of a US Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Iraq, killing a dozen people including two Reuters news staff.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton said the leak endangered troops, intelligence officers, diplomats and allies. “We ought not treat a traitor like a martyr,” Cotton said.