Formerly known as Bradley, Chelsea Manning turned 27 years old earlier this month. He really doesn't have a lot to celebrate. Without a presidential pardon, the military whistle-blower who was convicted on 20 of 22 counts cannot expect to be a free person until he reaches the age of 63.
His crime is familiar to all of us now. He dared to disclose to the public that the US army, the CIA and Iraqi and Afghan forces committed human rights violations.
That was something that Manning never denied. When investigations tracked him down, he admitted to sending Wiki Leaks more than 700,000 confidential files, including U.S. embassy cables, Guantanamo detainee profiles, and footage of airstrikes that killed civilians.
Unlike many famous spies of the past, his rationale wasn't based on ideological support of America's enemy, like the Rosenbergs or Jonathan Jay Pollard, and it wasn't based on some financial motive, like John Anthony Walker, Jr.
In many ways, Manning is a prisoner of conscience.