Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is escorted in handcuffs as he leaves the courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland June 6, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
Chelsea Manning, the Army private serving a 35-year sentence for leaking the largest amount of confidential information in U.S. history, is seeking a presidential pardon.
The U.S. soldier, formerly known as Bradely Manning, made her request to President Obama stating that she disclosed the top secret data "out of a love for my country and sense of duty to others," according to documents released Wednesday.
"The decisions I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in," she added, reports the Washington Times.
Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, sent the Petition for Pardon/Commutation of Sentence on Tuesday. In response, the White House said last month that any Manning request for a presidential pardon would be considered like any other, reports CBS News.
In July, the Army private was acquitted of the charge of aiding the enemy in a military court-martial, a crime that warrants life in prision. However, the former intelligence analyst was convicted on 20 of 22 charges, including six espionage counts, five theft charges and computer fraud.
Prior to the verdict, the 25-year-old Crescent, Okla. native admitted to sending 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and other materials to WikiLeaks while working in Army intelligence in Iraq in early 2010. The material was subsequently published on the WikiLeaks website as well as in news outlets like The New York Times and The Guardian.
Prosecutors had argued that Manning had a "general evil intent" because he knew the classified material would be seen by terrorists and could possibly help them. However, her attorney has tried to portray Pfc. Manning as a whistleblower with good intentions.
Manning herself did not testify during the trial, but in a pre-trial hearing said she wanted to expose what she called the American military's "bloodlust" and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as its dishonest diplomacy. Manning added that she carefully selected material that wouldn't put troops in harm's way.