President Obama Just Commuted Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

President Obama Just Commuted Chelsea Manning’s Sentence

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President Barack Obama decided to commute former Army Private First Class Chelsea Manning’s sentence on Tuesday, January 17, one out of 209 other sentence commutes and 64 pardons.

According to the 1918 Sedition Act, any acts against the United States including but not limited to “willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States” are subject to the punishment of no more than a $10,000 fine and/or 20 years in prison.

Although, according to Brigadier General Robert Carr, no lives were lost as result of Manning’s disclosures, she was sentenced to 35 years for leaking government documents and videos to WikiLeaks in 2010.  With this excessive sentence, it is no wonder there was a considerable amount of support for her release.

Although, according to Brigadier General Robert Carr, no lives were lost as result of Manning’s disclosures, she was sentenced to 35 years for leaking government documents and videos to WikiLeaks in 2010. tweet

While the thought of government secrets being laid on a silver platter for enemies of our nation and allies is frightening, the possibility of the military keeping some of those leaks a secret from American citizens is far more atrocious.

As part of Manning’s leak, she exposed a video now titled “Collateral Murder,” where soldiers on a U.S. Apache helicopter shoot and kill nine civilians and two Reuter’s employees in New Baghdad. This attack was unprovoked and no shots were fired at the soldiers while they “encourage…and joke” about the situation.

It seems as if more harm was done by the military being allowed and encouraged to attack innocent people during a time when they should be working to promote peace.

While some secrets and military procedures must remain confidential to protect the country, not all whisleblowers should be punished. It would be no different than punishing a victim or witness for reporting bullying.

While the thought of government secrets being laid on a silver platter for enemies of our nation and allies is frightening, the possibility of the military keeping some of those leaks a secret from American citizens is far more atrocious. tweet

Several of my own family members and friends have served in the military and I am proud to support the honorable sacrifices made for our freedom and safety. Having said that, I do not think missions to slaughter innocent people should be taken lightly or be a part of the military’s secrets or goals.

Until events like this are discouraged and punished, the world needs more Chelsea Mannings who fearlessly alert the American public to nefarious actions executed in our name as well as more President Obamas to stand up and overturn inflated sentences.

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President Obama Just Commuted Chelsea Manning’s Sentence
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