To the Left the highest form of service to America is to betray it.
This is why President Obama yesterday ordered that the 35-year sentence of convicted traitor U.S. Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning be commuted. Manning, who leaked vast quantities of classified materials, was born male with the given name Bradley but now identifies as female.
Bradley’s transgender status, which has made the prisoner a cause célèbre among left-wingers, almost certainly played a huge role in the commutation. Manning, who has tried to commit suicide in prison, has not had sex-reassignment surgery but has been campaigning for it for years.
As a consequence of our Marxist, identity politics-obsessed president’s order, Manning is now scheduled to be released from military prison on May 17 of this year, instead of 2045. This means that upon release Manning will have served about seven years behind bars.
Manning was convicted by court-martial on July 30, 2013, of 20 counts, including six violations of the Espionage Act, along with theft and computer fraud. An acquittal was registered on the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which can result in a sentence of life imprisonment.
As a clemency-sweetener, on Jan. 12 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange offered to allow himself to be extradited to the U.S. if President Obama ordered the release of Manning.
Will Assange honor his promise? We’ll see.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s comments last Friday may have foreshadowed the Manning clemency.
Responding to a reporter’s question, Earnest said there was a “pretty stark difference” between Manning’s case and document leaker Edward Snowden’s.
“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,” Earnest said.
“Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary and has sought refuse in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”
Earnest added that the documents Manning is said to have provided to WikiLeaks were “damaging to national security,” but those disclosed by Snowden were “far more damaging to national security.”
Manning’s actions constituted the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history.
The leaks began in 2010. Manning had access to classified databases after being assigned to an Army unit in Iraq as an intelligence analyst. Among the leaked material were a quarter million U.S. diplomatic cables and almost a half million U.S. Army reports. Much of the material was published online by WikiLeaks.
During Manning’s trial, prosecutors said the leaks directly benefited al-Qaeda and that Osama bin Laden himself had pored over the purloined documents from his base in Abottabad, Pakistan.
On Fox News Channel, Charles Krauthammer slammed Obama for his “unbelievable hypocrisy.” He continued:
The administration, the president, gets all exercised over the WikiLeaks in the campaign, which essentially amounted to the private emails of [Hillary Clinton campaign chairman] John Podesta, with gossip, back-biting and kind of embarrassing private intra-party revelations. That’s about it. Nobody died. These were not national security secrets. And yet Obama orders a report — have to be on his desk before he leaves office — gets very exercised, imposes sanctions on the Russians.
Here we have a guy, Manning, a woman now, who released information that had to do with our actions in ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, including the identification of people who were working for us, many of whom we can presume were hunted down and killed as a result. I think it is simply astonishing that the president at the same time would be so exercised over the Podesta releases through WikiLeaks and then be commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), whose active duty military service coincided with Manning’s, expressed disgust at Obama’s decision.
“When I was leading soldiers in Afghanistan, Private Manning was undermining us by leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks,” he said.
“I don’t understand why the president would feel special compassion for someone who endangered the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers, and allies. We ought not treat a traitor like a martyr.”
President Obama granted commutations to a total 209 people and pardoned 64 others yesterday.
Apart from Manning, among the lucky winners of the Radical-in-Chief’s get-out-of-jail lottery yesterday was U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright who received a pardon. He was accused of leaking classified information about the Stuxnet computer virus which the U.S. and Israel are said to have used in a cyberattack against Iranian nuclear facilities. He took a plea bargain in October and pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
Another notable clemency was granted to unrepentant, Cuban-linked Puerto Rican Marxist terrorist Oscar Lopez-Rivera. His sentence will now end on May 17.
As Ronald Kolb reports,
Lopez-Rivera has been in federal prison since 1981, after he was convicted of seditious conspiracy and arms trafficking in connection with his leadership of the FALN, the notorious left-wing terrorist group that perpetrated more than 130 attacks on U.S. soil from the mid 1970s through the mid 1980s, killing six and wounding many more.
And Obama’s final week in office isn’t over yet.
This article originally appeared at FrontPageMag.