WASHINGTON (WJLA) -- Shouting into microphones and accompanied by 15-foot cutouts of former soldier Bradley Manning, dozens of protestors demanded the attention of President Obama on Wednesday. In front of the White House, they declared that the 25-year-old is a whistleblower and deserving of a presidential pardon.
Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the president instead stumbled onto this protest, and don’t agree that Manning is a patriot.
Manning was convicted of 20 charges – including espionage – for releasing classified videos like the one now dubbed the ‘collateral murder tape.’
Prosecutors actually sought 60 years, but the military judge instead handed down a sentence of 35 years.
WikiLeaks has neither confirmed nor denied that Manning leaked the video or any classified documents to the website. Yet, in a statement on Wednesday, founder Julian Assange wrote:
"This hard-won minimum term represents a significant tactical victory for Bradley Manning's defense, campaign team and supporters. "
US military law stipulates that the sentence can only be reduced. And Manning’s defense team is reportedly already hard at work working on an appeal.