NYT: Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s Sentence.
From a 35-year sentence, commuted to time served (7 years) for one of the largest breaches of diplomatic and military secrecy in American history—including thousands of classified State Department cables—carried out by an army intelligence analyst.
I just hope her sentence wasn’t reduced because she’s transgender and her cause was taken up, very vocally, by transgender and LGBT activists (perish the thought!).
A pertinent comment left at the above tweet: “Dems ok with leaking military secrets but not DNC secrets.”
More. During his December 2011 pretrial hearing, the New York Daily News reported of the defendant then known as Bradley Manning:
…his lawyers argued his status as a gay soldier before the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” played an important role in his actions.
Lawyers for Pfc. Bradley Manning began laying out a defense to show that his struggles in an environment hostile to homosexuality contributed to mental and emotional problems that should have barred him from having access to sensitive material.
The paper also reported that “The Obama administration says the released information has threatened valuable military and diplomatic sources and strained America’s relations with other governments.”
While her supporters celebrate, a press release from the Log Cabin Republicans says:
Log Cabin Republicans has always condemned Manning’s actions, and consistently stood against efforts by the left to elevate Manning as a paragon of the LGBT community.
“Chelsea Manning is no hero, and the commutation of her sentence is appalling,” Log Cabin Republicans President Gregory T. Angelo stated. “Manning was not imprisoned for being transgender — in fact, the government agreed to accommodate and facilitate her transition during her well-deserved sentence; she was imprisoned for traitorous clandestine activity that put military lives at risk. Her actions — and President Obama’s clemency — are nothing to celebrate.”
Furthermore. James Kirchick writes Bradley Manning is No Gay Hero:
For centuries, gay people have served with distinction and honor in the armed forces, and it is the service of these countless veterans whom today’s gays can thank for the freedom to serve openly. Bradley Manning’s actions are fodder to those who have long argued that homosexuality naturally leads to treason; some on the far right have argued that his actions were intended as “revenge” over the military’s then-enforced anti-gay policy. It is unconscionable that gay activists, of all people, would play into these slanders.
Still more. A “potent symbol for transgender Americans.” Chase Strangio, Manning’s ACLU attorney, said that “Her story really does reflect so much of the systemic discrimination that transgender people face,” adding “She’s an incredibly thoughtful and devoted person,” and that “She’s felt a sense of responsibility to the transgender community and wanted to be someone who contributed to the fight for transgender justice.”
To which the Washington Times editorialized: “No one doubts Chelsea Manning’s feelings of ‘responsibility to the transgender community.’ It’s a pity she felt no such responsibility to her country, and to the men and women who were assigned to the battlefield to defend that country with their very lives.”