More thoughts and feedback on this as it comes in. Here’s the first bit of the story from The New York Times…
President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration, and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous.
The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to commit suicide last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.
Now, under the terms of Mr. Obama’s commutation announced by the White House on Tuesday, Ms. Manning is set to be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045.
The commutation also relieved the Department of Defense of the difficult responsibility of her incarceration as she pushes for treatment for her gender dysphoria — including sex reassignment surgery — that the military has no experience providing.
Here’s some thoughts from Twitter. Some people are upset that Edward Snowden isn’t being seriously considered for a pardon, but don’t expect Obama to do that. Perhaps Trump will one day…
President Obama commuting Chelsea Manning's sentence might be the best/most progressive thing he's done. I'm surprised, ecstatic & grateful.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) January 17, 2017
Best thing he's done? Wow. What a failure of a president, then. https://t.co/D0Or6L8Dez
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) January 17, 2017
Good point, Mr. Cooke.
THANK YOU President Obama for commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning!!! She will be released in May – instead of in 2045!! THANK U
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 17, 2017
To all who campaigned for clemency on Manning's behalf these last hard years, thank you. You made this happen: https://t.co/PaLvJDvDbl
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 17, 2017
The cognitive dissonance is kind of stunning, let’s face it. I guess Obama had less of a problem with commuting the sentence of Manning, since Bush administration malfeasance was exposed, whereas with Snowden, Obama took one in the mouth. Hypocrisy at its finest.