I’m sure we can count on a lot of this, as the petulant man-child who has held the White House for the last eight years closes the door behind him next week.
As reported by NBC News:
President Obama has put Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, on his short list for a possible commutation, a Justice Department source told NBC News.
Private Bradley Manning (and that’s who this is, as “Chelsea” is merely a figment of his imagination) was an intelligence analyst with the U.S. Army, with access to classified materials. In 2010, he leaked information to WikiLeaks (700,000 military files and communications, to be exact), then told an online acquaintance, who basically rolled on him to Army Counterintelligence.
He faced multiple, serious charges, with the worst being aiding the enemy (which he was later acquitted of), and received a 35 year sentence, to go along with his dishonorable discharge.
He betrayed his country, then pulled a Klinger, once in prison (M*A*S*H fans will get that).
That, of course, makes him a poster boy hero for the social justice warriors of the Obama administration.
The Manning leak included video of a deadly 2007 air strike in Baghdad in which the U.S. helicopter crew could be heard laughing about the casualties and State Department cables with blunt comments from American diplomats.
“I don’t think any harm was done,” Coombs said of the disclosures. “A lot of embarrassment, certainly.”
Last month, more than 100,000 people signed an online petition seeking commutation of Manning’s sentence, meeting the threshold for a White House response within 60 days. The American Civil Liberties Union and gay-rights groups have also been lobbying for a reprieve.
In their petition to President Obama, Manning’s legal team cited the need for better medical care for gender dysphoria, a condition that includes severe distress or anxiety by some transgender people.
Certainly, Manning’s defenders are going to whitewash his actions. The usual cadre of activists are going to ask for special treatment, because he falls into a “protected” class, regardless of what damage his actions may have caused.
They’ve even pointed to Edward Snowden, another leaker of American classified information, and suggested that Manning’s crimes weren’t as severe as Snowden’s, and that Manning is being scapegoated, in Snowden’s place.
Here’s the thing: Snowden fled. If they could get their hands on him, bring him to justice, then they surely would.
Manning has been receiving hormone therapy at the Leavenworth military prison and is allowed to wear women’s undergarments, but a military doctor recently refused to change her gender on her Army records.
Manning’s aunt said she hoped Obama would consider the former soldier’s troubled upbringing, struggles with gender identity and remorse.
Good for that military doctor who refused to be a part of the charade being acted out right now.
I’m all for mercy. Manning did apologize, but then, many, if not most criminals, when given an opportunity to speak, apologize. Whether they actually do harbor a contrite heart is harder to discern.
It is equally difficult to map just how much damage Manning’s betrayal has caused. Either way, expect to see Obama move on this, soon.
And it will probably be the least shocking thing he does as a final act.