Obama Defied Pentagon with Manning Commutation
Senior defense officials say that President Obama defied top Pentagon advisers, including Defense Secretary Ash Carter, when he commuted the remainder of Chelsea Manning’s 35-year prison sentence. The sentence, applied to Manning after the Army intelligence analyst gave classified documents to WikiLeaks, will now come to an end in May.
In his plea for a pardon, Manning’s lawyer characterized his client’s crimes as having little real effect on the men and women working with U.S. intelligence.
“None of the disclosed documents caused any real damage to the United States,” he wrote. “Instead, these documents simply embarrassed our country by revealing misconduct by the Department of Defense and unethical practices by the Department of State.”
DoD officials do not agree. One source told Fox News that Manning’s revelations reverberated throughout the Middle East. “Ambassadors were forced to resign, [CIA] station chiefs had to be recalled, secret diplomatic cables were revealed,” they said.
Another source said the violent uprisings that came to be known as the Arab Spring were fueled by Manning’s leaks.
Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. John McCain, slammed Obama for authorizing the release. Ryan said it was an “outrageous” decision that set a “dangerous precedent” for others thinking about putting America’s national security at risk.
Why would the President of the United States offer clemency to someone who barely escaped a conviction on an “aiding the enemy” charge – a conviction that could have put Manning in jeopardy of the death penalty? Why would he defy the wishes of both Democrats and Republicans, leaders in his own administration, and the Secretary of Defense?
Well, Manning’s name is a big clue.
When Manning was charged with these crimes, she wasn’t “Chelsea.” She wasn’t a “she” at all. But once Private Bradley Manning decided he was actually a she and started playing the transgender card, the LGBT community rallied around and made him an unlikely hero/victim. If Chelsea Manning were still Bradley Manning, this commutation may never have happened.
For the sake of pleasing his fanbase in the LGBT movement, Obama decided to let Manning go free. He chose the liberal trends of the day over the longterm security of the United States, just as he’s done so many times before. This act of clemency was “progressivism” in a nutshell; when there is a conflict between common sense and THE AGENDA, the latter always wins.
Unfortunately, when common sense is the victim, it’s never the only one.