Bradley Manning was charged with aiding the enemy, embezzlement or theft, espionage, and fraud in a Court Martial held June thru August of 2013 for having stolen Army intelligence documents and delivered them to WikiLeaks. Manning pleaded to lesser charges ans was ultimately sentenced to 35 years in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
President Obama did not pardon Manning, which would have eradicated the criminal behavior from his record. Instead, the conviction will remain, but his sentence will end 28 years early.
Manning had made a public plea to Obama for a get-out-of-jail free card in a letter posted to medium.com:
I am not asking for a pardon of my conviction. I understand that the various collateral consequences of the court-martial conviction will stay on my record forever. The sole relief am asking for is to be released from military prison after serving six years of confinement as a person who did not intend to harm the interests of the United States or harm any service members.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the dramatic reduction of the prison sentence was “outrageous.”
Last Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange committed to extradition to the United States if clemency were granted to Manning.
Commutation fits the legal definition of clemency, but it remains to be seen if Assange will turn himself in.