Chelsea Manning was revealed as the whistleblower responsible for one of the most important journalistic archives in history, her heroism has been manifest.
President Obama announced in January that he would commute the bulk of the remainder of Manning’s sentence. She has already spent around seven years in prison, a punishment that Nancy Hollander and Vincent Ward, her clemency and appellate lawyers, have called “too long, too severe, too draconian,” as well as the “longest sentence of any whistleblower in the history of this country.”
Manning, who announced that she was transgender after her sentencing, attempted suicide twice while incarcerated in a male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, where she has spent large stretches in solitary confinement. Her motivation for the leaks, she wrote at the time, was that they would spark “worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms,” a conceit that she later apologized for during her trial, citing her fragile mental and emotional state as a person transitioning in a war zone. “I am not asking for a pardon of my conviction,” Manning wrote in her commutation application. “