Chelsea Manning on Obama's shortlist to have sentence commuted: report

Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year sentence.

Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year sentence.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning, imprisoned for 35 years for leaking vast amounts of classified material, is on President Obama's clemency watchlist.

Obama has a little over a week left in office and Manning is on a shortlist to have her sentence commuted, NBC News reports.

Manning, who has been in military jail for six years for leaking hundreds of thousands of documents, has twice tried to take her own life while imprisoned.

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The news outlet said the former army intelligence analyst was on the outgoing president's list for a possible commutation, citing a Justice Department source.

Her aunt Deborah Manning told NBC the bid for clemency was a last hope.

Manning, who is transgender, was imprisoned for handing over classified files to WikiLeaks.
Reuters

Manning, who is transgender, was imprisoned for handing over classified files to WikiLeaks.

"I have more hope right now than I have the entire time since she was sentenced.

"I would say this is someone who's never had a chance in life, who is extremely bright, who became extremely emotionally distressed at some point, who made a bad decision, who paid for that bad decision.

"And it's time to let her go out and try to make a positive contribution in the world," she said.

NBC News also broadcast audio of Manning apologising for her actions in an earlier court appearance. 

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"I'm sorry that my actions hurt people. I'm sorry that they hurt the United States," Manning said.

A petition calling for clemency quickly reached its target of 100,000 signatories by its December deadline.

A clemency application - Manning's second - was filed by her lawyers in November.

"President Obama has taken admirable steps to provide many criminal offenders with a "second chance" through his clemency powers. If approved, Ms Manning will have a first chance to live a real, meaningful life," the application said.

Manning's sentence has been branded excessive and out of step with other sentences imposed on whistleblowers.

Among the files turned over to WikiLeaks in 2010 was a gunsight video of a US Apache helicopter firing at suspected Iraqi insurgents in 2007. A dozen people were killed, including two Reuters news staff.

Manning has also appealed to an army court to overturn her conviction.

The National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden has appealed to Obama to grant clemency for Manning.

 - Stuff

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