Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Manning wants a presidential pardon

Chelsea Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, wants a presidential pardon for leaking US secrets (AP)

Convicted US secrets leaker Chelsea Manning is seeking a presidential pardon.

The former man Bradley Manning, who now says she wants to live as a woman, is serving a 35-year sentence for disclosing the classified military and diplomatic information while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.

Manning signed the petition with her legal name, "Bradley Manning," not Chelsea. Her lawyer David Coombs has said anything having to do with the pardon or court-martial would have to be in Bradley's name. Prison officials say Manning would have to get a legal name change to be known as Chelsea.

Manning has said she wants to live as a woman and receive hormone therapy for gender dysphoria - the sense that she is physically the wrong gender.

Manning wrote in the petition that she started questioning the morality of US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan while reading secret military reports daily in Iraq.

Manning acknowledged she broke the law, adding, "I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States."

At Manning's trial, government witnesses said that some of the leaked information endangered information sources, forced ambassadors to be reassigned and were used as al-Qaida propaganda.

Mr Coombs wrote in a cover letter to Manning's petition that none of the disclosures caused any "real damage" to the United States and that the documents were not sensitive information meriting protection.

Documents submitted in support of Manning's petition include a letter from Amnesty International, which said the leaks exposed potential human rights violations.

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