Chelsea Manning … or Bradley Manning, whichever, is currently serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material. And Obama may pardon him/her.
Is it because he was a boy who became a girl? Is that why Obama wants to pardon him? Should Edward Snowden start wearing pumps and a mini?
Manning – he was Bradley then – was locked up in 2010 after stealing 700,000 military files and diplomatic cables and giving them to WikiLeaks.
He was branded a “traitor” by prosecutors who was only seeking fame in the world of hackers and anarchists. But his lawyers painted him/her as a naive whistleblower who didn’t do any real harm.
Either way, he was sentenced, apologized, and sent to the slammer, NBC News reports.
The day after he was locked up, he announced to the world that he was a transgender and everybody should start calling him Chelsea.
Manning found an ally in Snowden, who personally appealed for Manning’s release:
Mr. President, if you grant only one act of clemency as you exit the White House, please: free Chelsea Manning. You alone can save her life.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 11, 2017
Last month, more than 100,000 people signed an online petition asking for Manning’s commutation. The Administration promised to respond within 60 days, which is coming up in just a few.
In their petition to President Obama, Manning’s legal team cited the need for better medical care for gender dysphoria, a condition that includes severe distress or anxiety by some transgender people.
Manning has been receiving hormone therapy at the Leavenworth military prison and is allowed to wear women’s undergarments, but a military doctor recently refused to change her gender on her Army records.
Manning’s aunt said she hoped Obama would consider the former soldier’s troubled upbringing, struggles with gender identity and remorse.
“I would say this is someone who’s never had a chance in life, who is extremely bright, who became extremely emotionally distressed as some point, who made a bad decision, who paid for that bad decision,” Deborah Manning said. “And it’s time to let her go out and try to make a positive contribution in the world.”