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Obama Commutes Manning's Sentence

Veteran News
Veteran News
January 18, 2017
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President Obama has used some of his remaining time left in office to commute and pardon the sentences of several high-profile military prisoners. This will be one of his final acts out of the Oval Office.Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, pled guilty to the charge of releasing hundreds of thousands of documents containing classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as diplomatic cables from American embassies the world over, in 2010. Advocates for Manning maintain that investigations have turned up no evidence that the release placed any lives in danger, and that she instead exposed human rights violations. Manning had also become an advocate for transgender issues within the military, advocating that her gender reassignment surgery be paid for through her military benefits, and not out of pocket like other elective surgeries. She had attempted suicide multiple times in the last year.Her original sentence was supposed to have ended in 2045. Now, she'll be out of jail in May.Military and government officials are flabbergasted at the decision. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said that the President's decision was, "a slap in the face to all those who served honorably.""I think it's outrageous," he continued. "Spc. Manning stabbed fellow service members in the back by releasing classified information to Wikileaks. It compromised their safety."John McCain went a step further and called the move, "inappropriate."Gen. Cartwright had been similarly charged with mishandling classified information about cyber attacks on nuclear facilities in Iran. He, too, admitted to his crime and to lying to FBI officials and could have faced up to 5 years in prison.Experts claim that this decision may also lead to the extradition of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, to the US. He tweeted earlier:

VICTORY: Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence from 35 years to 7. Release date now May 17. Background:

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 17, 2017

Assange had previously claimed that he would take US prison time in exchange for Manning's clemency:

If Obama grants Manning clemency, Assange will agree to US prison in exchange -- despite its clear unlawfulness

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 15, 2016

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