From Mike Malloy Website
Well it's official, Chelsea Manning will be released from prison this Spring. About time. Today President Obama commuted the sentence of 200 prisoners, including Manning, in what is likely his final act as Commander in Chief. It is a victory for Manning, WikiLeaks, and for lovers of civil liberties everywhere. Justice was delayed, but not ultimately denied.
Manning served seven years, longer than any person convicted for leaking government documents, and many of these years were spent in horrid and shameful conditions. When she was at her breaking point and attempted suicide -- twice -- she was further punished with 14 days of solitary confinement. Shortly after she was taken into custody she was held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day and forced to strip naked at night.
Remember, she was never convicted of any charges. Compare Private Manning's treatment with General Petreaus, who leaked top secret information so his mistress could write his biography. Petreaus didn't spend a second behind bars. Manning was a whistle-blower who acted to inform the public about the dirty underbelly of US diplomacy and suspect military actions.
This is a moment of redemption for President Obama, who has been particularly strident about prosecuting those who leaked government information. In the last eight years, the Obama administration has prosecuted eight individuals under the Espionage Act for leaking secrets to news outlets, essentially charging journalistic sources as spies. That's more than all other presidents in history combined. This commutation will go a long way toward softening that part of his legacy.
As expected, the elephants are rampaging over Manning's release. John McCain in particular said Obama's decision was a grave mistake, and that while Manning's sentence will end shortly, "her dishonor will last forever."
Wow. Guess it's been a long time since John was tortured in solitary confinement.
Today Obama also pardoned retired Marine General James Cartwright, who was serving a two-year sentence for lying to the FBI about leaking government secrets to the press.
Funny, McCain and his fellow Neocons don't seem all up in arms (no pun intended) over that action, proving again the bottomless well of hypocrisy in the GOP.