Monday, January 23, 2017

10.1 - Good News: sentence of Chelsea Manning commuted

Good News: sentence of Chelsea Manning commuted

So let's get to the Good News right away, and this is particularly Good News because I didn't expect it to happen.

Barack Obama, the Amazing Mr. O, has commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning. I sincerely hoped he would do this, but I genuinely did not expect it. And needless to say, I am delighted.

She will be released on May 17.

Chelsea Manning, in case you have been on a bad acid trip for the past several years, is the former US military intelligence analyst who in 2010 leaked government documents to WikiLeaks; some of them classified and others deemed not classified but "sensitive." Those documents included ones showing US forces committing war crimes in Iraq, most particularly the video that became known as "Collateral Murder," which is still available on YouTube. If you haven't seen it, look it up.

Chelsea Manning
Manning was fingered as the leaker after she was ratted out by a supposed friend, the appropriately-named Adrian Lamo. She was held in solitary confinement in a military prison for nearly a year on a claim she was a suicide risk but which many felt was an attempt to break her - since extended solitary is considered torture - to get her to testify against the government's real target: Julian Assange.

That didn't happen, so she faced a show trial before a military court. You should keep in mind that the old saying that military justice is to justice as military music is to music still applies.

On July 30, 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison, a sentence an order of magnitude longer than other convicted whistleblowers have faced.

Now, Obama, on the way out the door, has commuted all but four months of her remaining sentence. So Chelsea Manning, American hero, will be freed in May. And how can that not be just great news.

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