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Chelsea Manning Weeps Over Obama, Gives No Apology for Leaks

Chelsea Manning started to weep during an ABC interview when he was asked what he would say to the president who set free the former Army private who leaked over half a million documents to WikiLeaks.

“Thank you. I was given a chance, that’s all I wanted,” Manning, crying as he spoke, said he would tell former President Barack Obama.  “That’s all I asked for was a chance, that’s it.”

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents, but in January had his sentence commuted by Obama after serving seven years.

Throughout the ABC interview, Manning expressed gratitude at being free and starting a new life. However, some on Twitter indicated they are not ready to forgive the former intelligence officer.

Manning was asked in the interview if he felt he owed America an apology.

“I’ve accepted responsibility. No one told me to do this. Nobody directed me to do this. This is me. It’s on me,” he said.

Manning said he felt a “responsibility to the public” to release details of U.S. airstrikes in which civilians were killed.

“It’s not as simple as, like, good guys versus bad guys,” Manning said.

Manning talked about the documents he reviewed and why he leaked them.

“We’re getting all this information from all these different sources and it’s just death, destruction, mayhem,” he said.

“We’re filtering it all through facts, statistics, reports, dates, times, locations, and eventually, you just stop,” he said. “I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and I started seeing people.”

“I work with this information every day,” Manning said. “I’m the subject matter expert for this stuff. You know, we’re the ones who work with it the most. We’re the most familiar with it. It’s not, you know, it’s not a general who writes this stuff.”

When asked why he didn’t go through the chain of command to report his concerns, Manning said, “The channels are there, but they don’t work.”