Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence
President Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence, according to a report fromThe New York Times. While not technically a pardon, the order reduces Manning’s sentence from 35 years to just over seven years, the majority of which Manning has already served. As a result, Manning is due to be released from federal custody in just five months, on May 17th.
While serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks, including video of a 2007 airstrike in Baghdad that killed twoReuters employees. In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role in the leak and has been held at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth for the past three years.
Julian Assange, who has long been sought by US and EU authorities for extradition on Swedish rape charges, had previously pledged to surrender himself to US authorities if Manning was pardoned.
The news was welcomed by many in Manning’s legal support team. “Obama may well have just saved Chelsea Manning’s life,” said Sarah Harrison, who has defended Manning as Active Director of the Courage nonprofit. “Freeing her is clearly and unambiguously the right thing to do.”
At the same time, Harrison did not shy away from continued criticism of President Obama. “Today’s news will not make good the harm done on Obama’s watch,” she continued. “Chelsea’s conviction under the Espionage Act and 35-year sentence set a terrible precedent that is left entirely intact by this commutation. Who knows what Donald Trump will do with this precedent, and these powers, that Obama has left him?”
Born Bradley Manning, Chelsea announced her gender transition the day after the verdict was handed down. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female,” she said in a statement. “Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible.” Obtaining the resulting medical treatments was extremely difficult for Manning, and was the subject of significant and sustained activism. After a lawsuit, Manning was approved for hormone therapy in 2015. In September 2016, she launched a hunger strike, demanding access to gender reassignment surgery; the military complied five days later. Notably, today’s commutation means many of the resulting procedures may take place after Manning’s release.
the king taketh and the king giveth..
wasnt it obama that put him there?
in the new age of freedom for whistleblowers..lol?
manning alerted us to “collateral damage” the film..and many other pieces of truth that were very very inconvenient for the system..