In what is possibly one of Obama’s last horrible acts as president, it was announced today that he had agreed to cut Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence short.
President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the former US military intelligence analyst behind the biggest breach of classified materials in US history, the White House said.
Manning has been a focus of a worldwide debate on government secrecy since she provided more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts – a leak for which she was sentenced to serve 35 years in prison.
But is there more to this story than meets the eye?! Just last week, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, the recipient of materials from Manning, tweeted that its founder Julian Assange would agree to extradition if Manning was released.
Does Obama want his hands on Assange as revenge for their Clinton email release?!
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 17, 2017
Manning, formerly known as US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, was born male but revealed after being convicted of espionage that she identifies as a woman.
Manning, who is held at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, military prison, accepted responsibility for leaking the material.
Obama also pardoned retired U.S. Marine Corps general James Cartwright who pleaded guilty in October to making false statements to the FBI during an investigation into leaks of classified information.
Manning’s clemency was criticised by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who said Manning endangered troops, intelligence officers, diplomats and allies with the leaks.
“We ought not treat a traitor like a martyr,” Cotton said.