Pfc. Bradley Manning wants President Obama to pardon him after he was sentenced to prison today for leaking government secrets to Wikileaks.
Shortly after he was sentenced to 35 years in prison, Manning’s attorney David Coombs read aloud a statement from his client requesting a presidential pardon.
“When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others,” Manning’s statement to Obama read. “If you deny my request for a pardon, I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means that we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”
During the announcement, Coombs was surrounded by Manning supporters wearing black T-shirts that displayed the text: “President Obama: Pardon Bradley.”
Coombs said that he would file a pardon request to Obama through the Secretary of the Army for Manning.
“The time for our president to focus on protecting whistleblowers instead of punishing them is now,” Coombs said. “The time for our president to pardon Pfc. Manning is now.”