Opinion: Obama’s clemency for Manning is dangerous, hypocritical

Given the context of hacking and leaks during last year’s election, this has got to rank as one of President Obama’s most bizarre choices. From the Associated Press:

“President Barack Obama granted clemency to Chelsea Manning on Tuesday, allowing the transgender Army intelligence officer convicted of leaking more than 700,000 U.S. documents to go free nearly three decades early.

“Embracing his clemency powers days before leaving office, Obama also pardoned 64 individuals including retired Gen. James Cartwright, charged with making false statements during another leak probe. Manning was one of 209 inmates with sentences commuted by Obama, who has now granted more commutations than any other president in history. …

“Manning, Cartwright and Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera were the more prominent names on a list otherwise made up mostly of nonviolent drug offenders. The actions are permanent, and cannot be undone by President-elect Donald Trump.

“With his last-minute clemency for Manning and Cartwright, Obama appeared to be softening what has been a hard-line approach to prosecuting leakers.

“Manning has been serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks, along with some battlefield video. She was convicted in military court of violating the Espionage Act and other offenses and spent more than six years behind bars. She asked Obama last November to commute her sentence to time served.”

 

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is escorted out of a military court facility during the sentencing phase of his trial on Aug. 20, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning, who now goes by the name Chelsea Manning, was one of more than 200 people whose sentences were cut short by President Obama on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is escorted out of a military court facility during the sentencing phase of his trial on Aug. 20, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning, who now goes by the name Chelsea Manning, was one of more than 200 people whose sentences were cut short by President Obama on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

Manning’s leaks were no small deal. WikiLeaks published them to the delight of U.S. enemies — including, according to prosecutors, Osama bin Laden himself. This wasn’t the targeted release of specific information the public had a right and need to know. It was a mass release of all manner of U.S. national-security secrets. It was plainly contrary to our national interest, and setting a precedent for releasing someone convicted of such a crime after a mere 20 percent of the sentence is not only shameful but dangerous. Keep in mind this move comes from the same president whose administration took the outrageous step of monitoring journalists’ contacts with government officials as part of its efforts to plug leaks.

It’s also impossible to square with the outrage we’ve seen from Democrats about Russian efforts to interfere in our presidential election. All Americans should be disgusted by a foreign power’s hacking of our country’s government, political parties, businesses, or private citizens. But Democrats have gone the extra, and unsupportable, step of claiming it undermines the legitimacy of Donald Trump’s victory — as we have seen in the spat between Trump and Congressman John Lewis over the past several days.

It certainly is in our national interest to have elections free of foreign interference. It is also in our national interest to guard our military secrets from our military adversaries, and going soft on someone who committed such a crime demonstrates a lenience that makes it more likely others will follow suit. If you’re upset about either of these without being upset about the other, your partisanship is showing.

(By the way, if you’re wondering who Oscar Lopez Rivera is, and why commuting his sentence is also beyond the pale, read this piece.)

Reader Comments 0

277 comments
DS
DS

Most convicted of leaks serve 1-3 years on average. Manning has served over 6 years already.

Yeah, it's ironic that some are worried about Manning, but not Trump, who  stated his intentions to give favors to Russia and destabilize NATO in exchange for Russia hacking the DNC before the election.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Starik 7 hours ago

@AndyManUSA#45 @Doom classical lib @WWYT? Killing people with Medicaid?  What?


If you think that doesn’t have a real-world perverse impact, note this. Since Arkansas expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare, it’s rolls have grown by 25 percent. During that same time, 79 people on the Medicaid waiting list who suffered from developmental disabilities have died. I would encourage you to read my former Heritage Foundation colleague Chris Jacob’s full piece on this.


http://dailysignal.com/2017/01/13/why-obamacares-20-million-number-is-fake/

bubbaroy
bubbaroy

Kyle, don't your readers and commenters really make you proud?  They are not even going to realize who screwed them over. Heck they haven't realized it so far so why should they be able to going forward? (And I am thinking that you are one of the screwers, or at least one of the enablers of the screwers.) Aren't you also proud of yourself?

Under-Educated White Guy
Under-Educated White Guy

Channing was acquitted of aiding the enemy and would have been eligible for parole in 4 years.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

The more I see of the hateful, childish, insane Democrats, the happier I am that Hillary lost.

Trump is not ideal and isn't reliably conservative, but the alternative was so, so much worse.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Yup. Can you imagine the America haters and perverters of American values putting together a cabinet and getting ready to turn the federal government against the successful and the normal for the next four years?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Lil_Barry_Bailout Don't misread the new leader of the free world. He is not perfect, no doubt about that, but he also does not hate his own country. Far from it.


You will be pleased with the results.

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@Lil_Barry_Bailout


Yeah. I didn't vote for him and there's plenty I don't like about him. But it does delight me to see him bring out the childishness of the Dims front and center for all of us to laugh at. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@Lil_Barry_Bailout


Ya gotta love the fact that he's filling his cabinet with business and free market people. Its really ticking the Dims off that he's not loading up with the usual cadre of bureaucrats who've been gubment workers their whole lives. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

In just a day and a half, we will finally be through with the second president we've had that absolutely hates his own country.


(Here's looking at you, jimmy.)

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@WWYT? @AndyManUSA#45 Well, this commutation would be one.


Flooding the country with syrians, SYRIANS, would be number two.


Hating on energy production at the expense of the poor and the most vulnerable?


You cannot reach any other conclusion.

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@AndyManUSA#45 @WWYT?


His cave in on a horrible treaty with Iran would be another- along with all the cash that went to them. His release of 10 more gitmo prisoners who will likely be fighting against us, and on and on. His assault on the fiscal health of the nation by adding nearly 10 trillion more in debt. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Doom classical lib @AndyManUSA#45 @WWYT? He ruined our health care system, killing people with medicaid.


He weakened our military and strengthened our enemies.


I could go on and on, but it makes me sick to think of what this traitor has perpetrated against us. 

WWYT?
WWYT?

@AndyManUSA#45 @WWYT? That's all you have?  How many Syrians? are you aware there is a two year vetting (look it up) process? What is energy production?  Drilling? Hydraulic dams?  Who are the "most vulnerable"?  The ones you guys hold back with low wages?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@WWYT? @AndyManUSA#45 Behold what is coming and compare it. The bar hasn't exactly been set very high and even an illegal syrian could do better than what we've had. 


Fasten your seat belt.


America is back.

Under-Educated White Guy
Under-Educated White Guy

@AndyManUSA#45 Hates his own country?  Man you is REALLY under-educated.  


Obama:

1. Passed Wall Street reform.

2. Eliminated Osama bin Laden

3. Turned around the US auto industry.

4. Normalized relations with Cuba.

5. Established Net Neutrality (This is WAY over your head, bro.)

6. Boosted fuel efficiency standards.

7. Kicked banks out of the federal student loan program and expanded Pell Grant funding.

8. Expanded wilderness and watershed protection.

9. Passed credit card reforms.

10. As of Oct 16 the US economy added 15.5 million jobs since early 2010 and set a record with 73 straight months of private-sector job growth.


I could go on and on but my fingers are tired from typing.


Can I suggest you go back to high school and earn your GED, Einstein?

MyBad
MyBad

@WWYT? You gonna pony up the money at BK or Walmart for those higher wages, wwyt? Or do you want taxpayers through big government to do that for you?

MyBad
MyBad

@Under-Educated White Guy 

Your moniker says it all, doesn't it? Your just spouting government-issued figures, nothing you've figured out on your own, dearie. 

Those jobs you are so fond of talking about? All those part-time, low-wage, no benefits jobs? And the millions and millions who've left the labor force? That recovery? Is that the one you're referring to?

Much of that crap will be gone, as soon as Trump takes office, such as that ridiculous one million-acre Federal property reserve in Utah that even the Utahians despise. And let's not forget the 'student loan forgiveness' program that's going to be sitting on the backs of taxpayers for years and years...

You must be some sort of deadbeat who lives off the dole, or a caucasian with a major issue with 'white guilt'.

bu22
bu22

@AndyManUSA#45 @WWYT? Jimmy hated rabbits, but other than that he loved America.  He was just incompetent as a president.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

How much does obozo really care about foreigners if he can let a weirdo waltz away from a well deserved prison sentence that resulted from a crime that led to foreigners being killed? Not uprooted but being killed. You can see right through it. freako manning harmed America. Awesome, says obozo. Illegal immigrants in the United States, taking away jobs from citizens, receiving free health care, becoming a burden on the budget. Awesome, says obozo.


It's all about how much harm he can do to this country.


The only thing on his mind.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

I didn't mention this side of the story earlier today because I was not convinced that it was true. I am not a purveyor of fake news like headwee, eyeball and markie are. You can go back to the very beginning, I have always provided the facts and nothing but the facts. If I am not sure about it, I do not Report it.


Anyway, mccain, tonight, confirmed exactly what I was suspicious of. I have heard what the government has reported but if john mccain comes out against a position held by the democrats, which has happened only a few times in that old man's entire lifetime, you can believe that it is true. And with that knowledge, I now can say with out any doubt, people died because of what this self mutilating freak manning leaked out. Real people were killed as a direct result of it.


Contrast this against the moans and wails you here from the democrats about foreigners being forcibly removed from this country because they are here illegally. Which would you rather be confronted with, having to move back home or your brains blown out? Not a hard question is it? obozo, our fake president, sanctions your brains being blown out but plans on whining on behalf of those forced to move back home.


Can there be any worse sort of person?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

@Doom classical lib @AndyManUSA#45 Our government has officially denied it. mccain came out tonight, and maybe even previously, saying that he has seen reports that the taliban acted on the intelligence they received from the leaks.


I wasn't positively sure until I heard mccain say it.

Starik
Starik

@AndyManUSA#45 @Doom classical lib Other than the video of the news crew and innocent children killed by an attack helicopter (which never should have been classified) what harm did he do? Link?

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@AndyManUSA#45


I thought it was common knowledge that a lot of our informants and foreigners who helped our intelligence services were subsequently slaughtered as a result of Manning's leaks. People who helped us were brutalized, tortured, and killed as a direct result of this dirtbag Manning's leaks. The boy, girl, or whatever you want to call Manning has blood on his/her hands. A lot of it. 

MyBad
MyBad

@Starik You're a real piece of work, aren't you? So liberal that you can't think straight, much less support your country.

Shameful.  

WWYT?
WWYT?

Please remind me how much time Petraeus served for giving secrets to the enemy? Manning was a whistle blower.

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@WWYT? @Doom classical lib


And why would I defend Petraeus actions? He leaked also though I've heard of no evidence where people died as a direct result of his leaks? And did he leak 700,000 documents to a worldwide audience? Or did he leak some info to one person who did not put it all out on the web for the world to see? You need to seriously work on your critical thinking skills. Both were wrong in leaking but there's a world of difference in damage done by their respective leaks.

Putz Cracker
Putz Cracker

Is that a certain little chicken I hear clucking or is it just Kyle Wingfield lecturing us again on the precarious state of the sky?

Pianoman63
Pianoman63

If you are giving Wiki information on what Obama hates (military)
you are "all good"

Give Wiki information on what Obama loves (Hillary) you are evil.

What a F'n hypocrite .. less than 2 days, barry, then everything you ever did will be washed away.... 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DrinkingAtNoon


Doesn't look like the empty suit got much done. On the other hand it could be because the Rs stopped him cold from doing more damage to the country. 

Doom a classical liberal
Doom a classical liberal

@DrinkingAtNoon @Doom classical lib


Well, you are correct in a way. Obama did a record number of executive actions to bypass Congress- several of them being slapped down by scotus- one or 2 by a 9-0 beatdown. 


Now the progs like to pull out a BS stat showing that Obama had fewer executive orders than many presidents, which is true. However, being the dum dums that they are they leave out executive memorandums which also have force of law behind them. And throwing in executive memorandums Obama was truly excessive in executive actions.