Obama commutes most of Chelsea Manning's sentence

Chelsea Manning will be released from Leavenworth prison on May 17, after President Obama commuted her sentence for leaking classified government documents about human rights abuses to WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks declared "VICTORY" in a tweet.

For most Americans, Chelsea Manning has been a hero or villain based on how they view her decision to leak classified material. The soldier's leak of three-quarters of a million classified documents to WikiLeaks may indeed have been reckless and put lives at risk, but it was an act of conscience committed to help the United States, not hurt it. Manning did not quietly leak secrets to an enemy or seek financial reward. She could have sentenced Manning to 136 years but chose 35 years instead, which suggests she weighed all the positive and negative factors. Two separate leaks by Manning and by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden during Obama's presidency together were among the largest thefts and releases of U.S. government secrets in history. "He awaits an initiative from the US side", Samuelson said. A spokesman for Stratfor told The Intercept the firm doesn't have any further comment on the leaked emails at this time.

Born Bradley Manning, she has twice attempted to commit suicide while incarcerated, and went on a hunger strike in an effort to force the Army to allow her to undertake gender reassignment surgery.

According to reports, Julian Assange has agreed to return to the USA now that President Obama has commuted the sentence of Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The sky has not fallen. In future battles, when our military is looking for allies among local populations, who will trust that America can keep their secrets or can guarantee their safety? Is it awkward? Yes. You know that the US intelligence community, and even the President, have expressed some deep concerns about the ties between Russian intelligence and WikiLeaks and other organizations like it that were created to disseminate either classified information or previously private information. Donald Trump's press secretary, Sean Spicer, said that the President-elect was "troubled" by the move.

Commuting Manning's sentence exemplifies the American values that President Obama advanced throughout his presidency, and it should be an example for the incoming administration, which should keep in place the protections that already exist for transgender prisoners.

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Pardons and commutations are often controversial.

Then on Thursday, Assange said he's "always been willing to go to the United States provided that my rights are respected because this is a case that should never have occurred". Manning broke the law, has acknowledged that and been punished for it.

Under Obama's grant of clemency, announced in the final days of his presidency, Manning will walk free in May, after serving about seven.

Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who provided troves of government documents to journalists and now resides in Moscow to avoid facing arrest and prosecution in the United States, wrote to Manning, "In five more months, you will be free".


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