President Obama included the shortening of the 35-year sentence given Chelsea Manning for delivering classified U.S. information to WikiLeaks, including video of a U.S. helicopter attack on Iraqi civilians.
Republican outrage followed. Sen. Tom Cotton was “very disappointed.” He hasn’t yet expressed disappointment, however, about use of WikiLeaks computer hacks to help Donald Trump to victory in the presidential election.
Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder holed up in an embassy in London, hadsaid he’d turn himself over to U.S. authorities if Manning was freed. Manning, an intelligence analyst, was charged in 2012 and is to be released in May.
Obama also pardoned James Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has pleaded guilty to make false statements about leaking top secret information to journalists on efforts to cripple Iran’s nuclear program.