Aug. 21 - Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, plans to ask President Obama for a pardon, his defense attorney reads in a statement. Katharine Jackson reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) DEFENSE ATTORNEY DAVID COOMBS SAYING: "When I chose to disclose classified information, I did so out of a love for my country." Sentenced to 35 years in prison for the biggest breach of secret data in U.S. history, soldier Bradley Manning spoke through his defense attorney in a statement to reporters, indicating he intends to ask President Barack Obama for a pardon. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEFENSE ATTORNEY DAVID COOMBS SAYING: "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." The former low-level intelligence analyst turned over more than 700,000 classified files to the pro-transparency organization WikiLeaks in 2010. The 25-year-old showed no emotion as the judge in Fort Meade, Maryland, read his sentence on Wednesday (August 21). A pardon request from Manning would be treated the same as all others, White House spokesman Josh Earnest says. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN JOSH EARNEST SAYING: "If there is an application that's filed by Mr. Manning or his attorneys, that application will be considered in that process like any other application." Manning could be eligible for parole in about a decade - a fact WikiLeaks called a "significant strategic victory" on its official Twitter feed.