Early this morning, one of President Obama’s last “gifts” to the American people took effect as the transgender soldier convicted of giving classified government materials to WikiLeaks walked out of a Kansas military prison. Pvt. Chelsea Manning was released this morning after serving only seven years of a 35 year sentence thanks to Obama signing a sentence commutation for the traitor.
A prison spokeswoman said Manning left Fort Leavenworth at around 2 a.m. local time and that information was confirmed by the U.S. Army. The spokeswoman, Valerie Mongello, did not give additional details, citing the facility’s privacy restrictions on inmate releases.
As his presidency entered it’s final days, Obama took the opportunity to thumb his nose one last time at the American people and signed over 500 pardons and clemency letters for inmates ranging from rapists to drug dealers and even the traitor Chelsea Manning. The letter of Clemency for Manning could not be effective until Manning had served at least 20 percent of his/her sentence as required by federal law.
In yet another slap in the face to American taxpayers, the Army said Tuesday that Manning would remain on active duty in a special, unpaid status that will legally entitle her to taxpayer-funded military medical care. Manning, who was known as Bradley Manning before transitioning in prison, was convicted in 2013 of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, theft and computer fraud. She was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
But the information he/she leaked, resulted in a major rift in U.S relations with many of our allies since it provided proof that the Obama administration was maintaining wire taps on several world leaders including Germany, France, Spain and England. After being granted clemency, the Crescent, Oklahoma, native tweeted that she planned to move to Maryland. Neither she nor her attorneys explained why, but she has an aunt who lives there.
Despite his/her claims that the information was leaked in an effort to expose treatment of civilians by the military and not done to hurt the United States, many critics said the leaks laid bare some of the nation’s most-sensitive secrets and endangered information sources, prompting the State Department to help some of those people move to protect their safety. Several ambassadors were recalled, expelled or reassigned because of embarrassing disclosures.
Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence to about seven years, including the time she spent locked up before being convicted, drew strong criticism from members of Congress and others, with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan calling the move “just outrageous.”
The other military criminal, alleged deserter, Bowie Bergdahl was not as lucky as Manning, since his trial was not even set for a date until after Obama was out of office. That made him unable to ask for a pardon or clemency since he had neither been tried or convicted of any crime.