Chelsea Manning, a “whistleblower” that leaked approximately 700,000 government documents to wikileaks, is calling her punishment for her crime ““grossly unfair and unprecedented.” She is teaming up with civil rights groups to have her 35 year sentence reduced to only 10 years.
Manning claims that no other whistleblower in American history has been sentenced as harshly as she has. She complains that the prosecution aimed to make an example of her and that her sentence should be reduced because she claims that the information she leaked did not put any American lives in danger. In 2014 she released the following statement to the New York Times regarding her decision to leak the information:
“I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.”
She claims that she was only trying to educate the public on these foreign wars and that the threat to national security that was caused by releasing the information is simply a side effect.
Her attorney’s have turned to the ACLU and Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) for assistance in reducing her sentence. Both groups claim that because her intent was to advance public interest she would not be charged as harshly as she was. Her attorney and the interest groups plan to continue to pursue the appeal but no progress has been made at this point.
What punishment would you have given Chelsea Manning? Sound off in the comment section!