Bradley Manning seeks presidential pardon for data leak

U.S. soldier Bradley Manning is seeking a presidential pardon for leaking classified information to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

U.S. soldier says leaks were out of 'concern for country'

U.S. army Pfc. Bradley Manning is seeking a presidential pardon after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving U.S. secrets to anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks. (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

U.S. soldier Bradley Manning is seeking a presidential pardon for leaking classified information to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks.

The Pvt. Manning Support Network released documents Wednesday that attorney David Coombs filed a day earlier with the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of the Army.

Coombs, who represents Manning, says the leaked information did not merit protection.

Manning, who has asked to be called Chelsea, has declared a desire to live as a woman while serving a 35-year prison sentence for disclosing the classified military and diplomatic information while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.

In a petition for pardon and commutation of sentence, Manning writes: "The decisions I made in 2010 were made out of a concern for my country and the world that we live in."

Manning expressed regrets for any actions that caused harm.

Obama administration cracks down on security breaches

It was the largest-volume leak of classified material in U.S. history. Manning got the longest sentence ever for disclosing U.S. government secrets to others for publication.

The Obama administration has cracked down on security breaches, charging seven people with leaking to the media. Only three were prosecuted under all previous presidents combined.

Manning signed the petition with her legal name, "Bradley Manning," not Chelsea. Coombs has said anything having to do with the pardon or court-martial would have to be in Bradley's name. Prison officials say Manning would have to get a legal name change to be known as Chelsea.

Manning has said she wants to live as a woman and receive hormone therapy for gender dysphoria -- the sense that she is physically the wrong gender.

Manning wrote in the petition that she started questioning the morality of U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan while reading secret military reports daily in Iraq.

Manning acknowledged she broke the law, adding, "I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States."

At Manning's trial, government witnesses testified that some of the leaked information endangered information sources, forced ambassadors to be reassigned and were used as al-Qaida propaganda.

Coombs wrote in a cover letter to Manning's petition that none of Manning's disclosures caused any "real damage" to the United States and that the documents were not sensitive information meriting protection.

Documents submitted in support of Manning's petition include a letter from Amnesty International, which said the leaks exposed potential human rights violations.