Overruling Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in an outrageous decision, on Tuesday President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of former Army soldier Chelsea Manning, convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks.
What possible reason could Obama and his administration give for rewarding an obvious traitor to the United States, especially since the intelligence community, according to a former intelligence official, was “deflated by this inexplicable use of executive power." The official added that Obama’s action was "deeply hypocritical given Obama's denunciation of WikiLeaks' role in the hacking of the (Democratic National Committee)."
Here are three ostensible reasons Obama granted clemency to Manning, according to one source: Manning admitted guilt; Manning’s sentence was too severe; and Manning is a transgender in an all-male prison.
As CNN reported, one source claimed the Obama Administration distinguished between Manning and former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, living in exile in Russia after leaking state secrets, limning Snowden as someone who "dodged blame, fled the country and is hiding from prosecution," unlike Manning, who had admitted guilt. The source said of Manning, "She went through the process, acknowledged she had done something wrong. She was tried and sentenced.”
Obama himself stated, "First of all, let's be clear, Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence. Given she went to trial and due process was carried out, that she took responsibility for her crime, that the sentence that she received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received — and that she had served a significant amount of time — it made sense to commute a part of her sentence."
The source continued Manning's term was quite "extreme" and "without historical precedent," not to mention that Manning is transgender, in a male prison, "facing an uncertain fate behind bars."
Manning was serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, an all-male Army prison in eastern Kansas.