Treason Does not Depend on Gender Identity
Bradley Manning was a traitor to his country: a member of the armed forces that deliberately aided and abetted the enemy through the hundreds of thousands of stolen documents that he handed to Wikileaks. He was lucky to have his life spared in the ensuing court martial.
Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison this coming May, "a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place," in the words of her attorney, ACLU Chase Strangio. This thanks to still-got-a-day-or-two-left, outgoing President Obama and his commutation of her sentence.
A question for intel honchos Brennan, Rogers, Comey, Clapper et al: are you proud of your boss now? Having participated in a dirty, ugly opposition research ploy against the incoming administration, does this unbelievable stunt by Obama cause you to have just a tiny pang of regret?
Do you wonder: is Obama - beneath his charm and polished rhetoric and smug political positioning - really the crazy one here?? What did he possibly have in mind with this astonishing commutation? And how do you explain it to your employees in the intel community, and to the men and women of the military who risk their lives every day placing themselves in harm's way? Not to mention the diplomatic corps who suffered a freeze out by reluctant allies and others who did not want to risk being frank with any American diplomat.
Or is there really a deal with Wikipedia? Who now seem to be allies in these last few hours. After previously having been Putin's compliant little cabin boys? And if there's a deal with Wikipedia; that means it's you all folks who are cuddled up in bed - or on a bearskin rug - in a dacha somewhere East of Moscow with President Putin. Not Trump.
So there are two main ways to look at this strange and disturbing story:
- A cynical ploy to (pretend to?) get Assange back into America, or
- Chelsea Manning is a victim and LGTBQ hero.
To view Chelsea Manning as a victim is to take identity politics to an absurd level that places more value on the emotional state of a clearly disturbed individual than on the security of the nation that he (at the time) had sworn to defend. Will we now have counseling sessions in foxholes, during live combat, for ze's that feel slighted by that morning's protocol? Sorry foxhole is such a sexist, oppressive term. Make that ImProShel - improvised protective shelter.
No we won't. There's a new sheriff - thank God - coming to town in time for the weekend. And while much of the town he's coming to are huddling in resentful bureaucratic resistance to his arrival, he shall arrive. And a change is gonna come.
We can debate about who should have the honor and duty and awesome responsibility of guarding America. But we cannot debate on whether treason is conditional on gender identity. Obama, in his last hours in office has, incredibly, opened up that debate. Trump needs to - and will - shut that debate down.
Posted by Keeley at January 18, 2017 6:02 PM
Thanks for your analysis Keeley. Of course I am in agreement.
I feel confident that my patriotic Leftie Pals will swallow their pride as former warriors and defend the political partisanship of their leader…Mr. Obama.
Personally, if it were up to me- which it isn’t- anyway, I would not have pardoned her. Historically, the Obama administration has been tougher on leakers than any other administration in history. Making an appeal to the transgender community seems like a pretty unlikely thing to do shortly AFTER an election, and on one of Obama’s last days in office. We could look at it as a simple act of mercy, since Manning expressed remorse and has already tried to kill herself twice in the past year. She has probably experienced a prison experience brutal in ways I don’t even want to imagine.
It seems more likely this is a ploy to bring in Assange. He said he would come to the US if Obama granted clemency. Assange’s tweet was widely advertised by the media. If Assange came in he could trade immunity in exchange for giving up the source(s) of the election hack. Most likely there are one or more cut outs, but that would be a good start. The US gives up nothing other than the continued punishment of a person already imprisoned.
Interesting analysis, thanks phx8.
He stole state secrets, gave them to our enemies, and now the President of the United States has pardoned him.
Nothing but another sad attempt to pander for votes with more pathetic political correctness.
Obama and the left wingers complain about hacking at the DNC and Podesta’s e mail then lets a convicted Traitor out of prison, SMH.
Manning never hacked anything.
“… another sad attempt to pander for votes…”
That makes no sense. Manning belongs to a community too small to be statistically significant. Furthermore, there are no new votes for Obama to win there, and he will never run for anything else anyway. Democrats have no say about the pardon. I suspect it is overwhelmingly unpopular.
Most likely Obama and the US intelligence community want to lure Assange back to this country, as I mentioned in a previous comment. If that is not the underlying cause, the only other one that makes sense is that it was an act of mercy for someone who would have soon died in prison. She did not deserve it, but that is what makes mercy a remarkable act in the first place- people receiving may not deserve it.
Like Phx8, I too would not have commuted Chelesa Manning’s sentence. Eight years of her life is a paltry price to pay for such a grave crime against the United States. The idea that it is a ploy to attract Assange is interesting, but only time will tell if there is any truth behind it.
At least the taxpayer won’t be responsible for her cosmetic surgery anymore.
phx8, I know she/he didn’t hack anything. But to worry about Russia hacking the W.H. and other places when we know they were and others were doing it for decades and let a known traitor who was giving over 700,000 pages of confidential material over to WIKILEAKS, and over the objections of top cabinet officials and intel. persons, lets that he/she off with a light sentence?????????
Manning belongs to a ‘community’ that a major political party uses to do nothing more than to further left wing policy.
Today’s liberal Democratic Party relies on identity politics for its support. Special treatment for those groups guarantees their support for leftist policy AND plays to the emotions of the average leftist voter.
President Obama wasn’t trying to win new votes by commuting this dudes sentence, he was confirming the direction of the party.
She did not deserve it, but that is what makes mercy a remarkable act in the first place- people receiving may not deserve it.
Posted by: phx8 at January 19, 2017 10:15 AM
A wonderful sentiment phx8. It is what Christians believe about God’s mercy. Thank you.
Manning as a traitor is a mischaracterization, as she was never convicted of treason nor aiding and abetting the enemy. In retrospect the bulk of the information released, served only to seriously embarrass the military and intelligence communities, cause foreign relations strains, with little if any strategic military or defense repercussions.
Manning plead guilty to nearly half of the charges, has shown remorse, and has consistently maintained that her only motivation for releasing the information was to show the hidden facts of war in an effort to save innocent lives from collateral damage.
Obama said, “The sentence she (Manning) received was very disproportionate relative to what other leakers had received”.
The discussion of taxpayer funded gender reassignment surgery is off of the table, for now, as is the speculation on whether or not Manning will survive the next administration.
Finally, The Uniform Code of Military Justice is entirely owned and maintained by Congress. Ultimately, presidents or sheriffs don’t have say in its content.
Manning stole and then supplied our enemies with “nearly three-quarters of a million classified or unclassified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents.”
The content of that information is irrelevant.
We as a country are lucky that his motivation was for glory rather than for profit.
There is no reason to believe he would not survive the next administration. His problems are mental and it has nothing to do with who is President.
He was up for parole next year and when it comes to what he did, that parole board, not politics, is what should have determined his fate.
The phrase “supplied our enemies” is another mischaracterization. Manning released documentation to Wikileaks, who in turn published them between April and November 2010. At that time Wikileaks was not categorized as an enemy of the state.
In relation to President Obamas’ motives for commutation, the content of the leaked documentation may well have been relevant, although it is speculation either way, as is the speculation that Obamas’ motive was to lure Julian Assange, empower a LGBTQ icon, or further the liberal agenda. Additionally, there is no way to determine if politics played any part in Obamas’ decision.
Based on the current LBGT track record of James Mattis and Michael Flynn, combined with the fact that Manning (after suicide attempts) was alternately promised and then recently denied gender reassignment surgery, there is every reason to “speculate” on whether or not Manning would have survived the next administration.
That said, I personally do “not” agree with Obamas’ decision, and had it been mine to make, would have commuted the sentence to ten years, with the scheduled parole hearing at eight years.
The title would have provided an interesting topic for discussion, had it not been immediately abandoned in favor of a condemnation of the Obama administration.
Honestly, the pardon of Lopez Riviera raises far more questions than Manning’s clemency.
i didn’t thought that situation would reach till this position!!!