President Obama just commuted the prison sentence for Chelsea Manning, a past army intelligence analyst who shared critical information to the now popular WikiLeaks. Chelsea, formerly Bradley, was convicted in 2010 after sharing American military activities and diplomatic secrets.
Obama was partially encouraged to make the decision after Chelsea attempted suicide twice in the last year. He also rescued her from an undetermined future as a transgender in a male prison. Her 35-year sentence was reduced drastically to May 17th of this year.
The Department of Defense was also in favor of the decision for one main reason. They didn’t know how to handle her gender dysphoria. Chelsea pushed for treatment as well as a sexual reassignment surgery. The D.O.D. had no idea how to handle such a situation and therefore agreed with Obama’s decision.
When asked about the difference between Chelsea’s offenses and that of the well-known Snowden, White House Spokesman Joshua Earnest said:
“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” he said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”
Ms. Manning copied thousands of files and diplomatic cables that released sensitive information about American embassies, private conversations, Guantanamo, and more. She quickly decided to make the information public and handed them over to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
While on trial, Ms. Manning stated that the mental and emotional stresses of war along with her gender dysphoria, assisted in her regretful decision to share classified documents. Despite her reasoning, prosecutors pushed that she committed treason since anyone could get that information.
Ms. Manning did plead guilty saying:
“I take full and complete responsibility for my decision to disclose these materials to the public,” she wrote. “I have never made any excuses for what I did. I pleaded guilty without the protection of a plea agreement because I believed the military justice system would understand my motivation for the disclosure and sentence me fairly. I was wrong.”
Shortly after her sentencing, Ms. Manning made the announcement that she was transgender. Following that decision, a lawsuit was filed giving her permission to transition to life as a woman. The military is at odds with political correctness and how to treat Ms. Manning which we assume is why her sentence is truly being commuted.
Do you think the military is making the right call or do you think they really don’t know how to handle the situation so they’re letting her go? Let us know in the comments below!