In reference to this from early 2012. Standard Soviet brainwashing techniques applied to Chelsea Manning while at the prison at Quantico.
Adam Klasfeld, “Manning Prosecutor Breaks Silence on WikiLeaks Case,” Courthouse News, 19 June 2015:
“The ultimate sentence was better than what they were offering,” attorney David Coombs said in an interview.
While the lawyers dispute the government’s willingness to return to the table, Coombs believed any deal would have required his client’s testimony against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
So the opening plea deal offer was worse than 35 years and included agreeing to suggest that there was some kind of spying conspiracy that included Wikileaks. A softening up of personality leading to less resistance to the idea might explain the treatment. Seriously, read the link at top and see how well those reports and that document line up.