Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier who became one of the most prominent whistleblowers in modern times when she exposed the nature of modern warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who then went on to pay the price with a 35-year military prison sentence, is to be freed in May as a gift of outgoing president Barack Obama.
In the most audacious – and contentious – commutation decision to come from Obama yet, the sitting president used his constitutional power just three days before he leaves the White House to give Manning her freedom. She will walk from the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on 17 May, almost seven years to the day since she was arrested in a base outside Baghdad for offenses relating to the leaking of a vast trove of US state secrets.
The commutation means that Manning, who has already been jailed for nearly seven years, will be set free this May 17, rather than in 2045. The length of her prison term had been criticized by international human rights observers, who argued that it was unnessarily harsh after Manning had confessed and pleaded guilty to a lesser version of the charges levelled against her.
Obama’s decision also means that the Department of Defense no longer holds responsibility for Manning, removing the challenge of having to oversee her.
- ○ WH forces P.J. Crowley to resign for condemning abuse of Manning
Also covered by Martin Longman @BooMan – here.
Shocking revelation of US Army helicopter attack on civilians in Iraq – link to video.
○ Civil Disbediance: Thank You John Lewis by Marie2 on Aug. 7th, 2013
○ Whistleblower Protection Under US Constitution In 1778 by Oui on Aug. 5, 2013
○ The Mistreatment of Bradley Manning by ask on March 13th, 2012