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Obama cuts short Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Pfc. Chelsea Manning posed for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. President Barack Obama today commuted the sentence of Manning, who leaked Army documents and is serving 35 years.

WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama commuted the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning today, allowing the convicted Army leaker to go free nearly three decades early as part of a sweeping move to offer clemency in the final days of his administration.

Manning, who will leave prison in May, was one of 209 inmates whose sentences Obama was shortening, a list that includes Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez-Rivera. Obama also pardoned 64 people, including retired Gen. James Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during a probe into disclosure of classified information.

“These 273 individuals learned that our nation is a forgiving nation,” said White House counsel Neil Eggleston, “where hard work and a commitment to rehabilitation can lead to a second chance, and where wrongs from the past will not deprive an individual of the opportunity to move forward.”

Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, has been serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. She asked Obama last November to commute her sentence to time served.

Manning has spent more than six years behind bars. She was convicted in military court in 2013 of six violations of the Espionage Act and 14 other offenses for leaking more than 700,000 documents and some battlefield video to WikiLeaks.

She was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and is being held at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Manning was an intelligence analyst in Iraq and has acknowledged leaking the documents, but has said it was done to raise public awareness about the effects of war on civilians.

She attempted suicide twice last year, according to her lawyers, citing her treatment at Leavenworth.

Chase Strangio, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing Manning, said the president’s action “quite literally save Chelsea’s life.”

“We are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many,” Stangio said in a statement.

The U.S. Army declined to comment.

Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, received a pardon, the White House said. He pleaded guilty in October to making false statements during an investigation into a leak of classified information about a covert cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Prosecutors said Cartwright falsely told investigators that he did not provide information contained in a news article and in a book by New York Times journalist David Sanger, and said he also misled prosecutors about classified information shared with another journalist, Daniel Klaidman.

The Justice Department sought a sentence of two years, saying employees of the U.S. government are entrusted each day with sensitive classified information.

“They must understand that disclosing such information to persons not authorized to receive it has severe consequences,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed this month.

Commutations reduce sentences being served but don’t erase convictions. Pardons generally restore civil rights, such as voting, often after a sentence has been served.

Most of the other people receiving commutations were serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville, Vivian Salama, John Hanna, Eric Tucker and Danica Cota contributed to this report.

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    • This provides yet another reason to rejoice that we deplorables so narrowly escaped 4 years of the tender mercies of Felony-Shrillary.

      She and Bradley/Chelsea/Whatever Manning are birds of a feather when it comes to endangering national security.

      That the current – – but not for much longer – – occupant of the White House is all of a piece with his intent to “transform” (destroy) the one country he hates above all others, America. It must be admitted he tried his best to divide, conquer, and ruin, but failed to bring America to her knees – – we are a much stronger country than he (and many others) think.

      Only 3,190 minutes left until we at last have a real AMERICAN for our President instead of the third world educated, far left extremist dud who considers our Constitution “a mere scrap of parchment” (his exact words in the recent farewell speech) that serves as a major inconvenience to him.

  • I’m just going to sit back and watch all the anti-Obama posts fill up the message board. Funny how the large majority of Hawaii voters voted for Obama but the message boards here are usually dominated by those who think he’s the antichrist.

    • Re:
      “I’m just going to sit back and watch all the anti-Obama posts fill up the message board. Funny how the large majority of Hawaii voters voted for Obama but the message boards here are usually dominated by those who think he’s the antichrist.”

      I’ve been monitoring this board too, way back when it was the “Star-Bulletin” and the “Advertiser”.

      Back in those early days, almost everyone was Pro-Obama with “He’s on of us” mentalities.
      Fast forward:
      Nowadays.. most are Anti-Obama.
      Goes to show people can improve in their thinking and logic.

      • “Goes to show people can improve in their thinking and logic.”
        It also goes to show people can devolve in their ability to think rationally. Anyways, regardless of who you support my main point was that those on this board don’t seem to come close to representing the general voting population in Hawaii. Those who are loudest don’t always represent the majority.

        • Agree with Mori and Allie. The SA message boards are a release valve for a lot of very angry conservatives who feel left out of Hawaii politics. Trumps’ and the Republicans’ national victory is their moment in the sun. I hope, for all our sakes, that this is the beginning of a new and brighter day. Btw, I agree with the logic behind the decisions that President Obama is making re pardons and commutations.

        • Like how the Red States are the Majority now. We are speaking out on behalf of that majority. So, “think rationally” moto, The State of Hawaii is in the Minority now.

        • States aren’t people. The popular vote is the will of the people and Trump lost it by nearly 3 million votes to HRC. Obama was correct to pardon Manning. We need more whistleblowers to expose what our elected officials do when they think no one is watching. That’s especially true for the incoming, already scandal-ridden administration.

        • That’s especially true for the outgoing, already scandal-ridden administration. Trump won and the good days are ahead. Trump 2020

      • Unions are very good at encouraging their members to vote whoever they support. In turn, union members encourage their family to vote their way. Due to the union’s relationship with the Democrats, it’s obvious which way all these people will likely vote. On the other hand, most non-union related voters are resigned to the fact that Democrats will win the election and decide not to waste their time voting.

        At least that’s true for both sides of my family that includes union members and non-union.

      • Donald and his parents never served. Siding with Russia during the 75 PH anniversary is criminal. If fact don never ever visited PH.. Any pics or links? Plz.

    • Simple concept: The responses on these forums hardly represent Star Advertiser’s overall readership. When Obama does something inarguably stupid, his fiercest detractors will be the ones who respond. It reflects self-selection more than any change of heart.

    • Lets see, it’s not ok to commit treason unless you are transgender. The prosecutors debated whether to give Manning the death penalty. But after only six years, when it was proven that his release of classified information resulted in the deaths of multiple people, Obama lets him go. Not because he’s innocent or his sentence was too long, but because he/she is transgender. Should’nt Snowden be pardoned? Where is the outcry from those democrats who are crying about the Russians? Bunch of gutless hypocrites. Trump should announce that he will become a woman. Then the democrats would not dare criticize him. You Obama lovers and democrats make me sick.

      • The cons said in 2012 that the US will fall off the earth. That 0 jobs will be created. That citizens will riot in the streets and over throw America. That the economy will tank with the DOW below 2000. This is 2017 and Obama is handing over a vibrant nation. Lol,cons were all wrong. Tell the extreme cons to come out of their bunkers and cheer on King Don. He’s going to need it.

  • “Most of the other people receiving commutations were serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.”

    The drug offense commutations are what scares me. He is setting free a record number of criminals which I find disturbing that I cannot think of a positive motive for. A news piece I watched a while back revealed that some real bad guys slipped through the cracks who have violent pasts.

    • A positive motive? How about freeing up prison space, less costs to incarcerate, allowing drug users to get help for their addictions. Whether you agree with it or not, the thinking is that a lot of drug users (not dealers), need intervention programs, not incarceration. Well the story did say most were nonviolent drug offenders. Of course some violent offenders could have slipped through the cracks but that’s really true anytime an inmates sentence is commuted.

    • No he has not lost his mind.

      He is doing exactly what he intended to do all along in the name of “transformation” – – which is to say all the damage he can to the country he loathes and despises more than any other, America.

      As the sand runs out of his hourglass, expect him to take more and more extreme measures to harm America and damage the 45th President whom the divine hand of Providence has provided us against all odds, to make America great again.

  • I do not have a problem with Manning’s sentence commutation. I think the sentence was overly harsh to begin with. I would vote for hillary to take her place.

    • Indeed!

      For similarly endangering national security through treasonous activities, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were transferred to Sing Sing 64 years ago so they could both take a final ride on Old Sparky.

  • 3 days left.

    clinton will probably get her pardon issued jan.20.2017 at 12:29 pm, signed just before trump takes the oath of office, and in time for her brown shirts descending on d.c. to celebrate in the cold bleak street of reality.

    • Obviously that is not a concern. If it were, we would not be releasing dangerous individuals from GITMO, even though we now have a record a high recidivism rate. It makes no sense to release killers unless you’re trying to appease Iran.

  • 700,000 documents and combat video. This is a big deal and a big mistake. Manning compromised national security and potentially the lives of friendly forces. This is one of those, “Obama, what were you thinking?” Perhaps reducing her sentence to 10 years versus 35.

  • Just as well. Bradley/Chelsea was trying kill him/herself anyway. A total whacko
    that maybe will figure out how to be successful on his/her next attempt.

    • Hurray Wikileaks…It doesn’t matter as long as the Truth comes out…Isn’t that Trumpers point? Maybe Obama is finally coming around with Trumpers way of thinking??? #MAGA

  • Nonsense and utter nonsense. It is nonsense to commute Manning’s sentence and it is extreme nonsense to refer to HIM as her and she. Manning was born male and will always be male. He can have his genitalia changed to look like a female, but it will not change the fact that he is and always will be biologically male.

  • back in WW2 or the cold war doing what shim did it would have been a death penalty firing squad or a hanging, nowadays you get away with all these treasonous secrets you give away to hurt your country, I say bring back the death penalty for all these traitors who give secrets away to our enemy.

    • Isn’t it better that the truth came out through Wikileaks, right? Isn’t that what Trumpers have been saying about the Russian hacking DNC? It didn’t matter as long as the truth came out…#MAGA

      • You are so focused on bashing Trump supporters that you don’t realize that Manning released SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND documents that revealed US operatives, diplomats and classified security documents. But Wikileaks releases THIRTY THOUSAND EMAILS with personal communications from the DNC and Clinton campaign. You are Comm wring apples to oranges. Manning jeopodized people’s lives, the email leaks only shamed and exposed the rigged DNC nomination and Clinton campaign getting information and special treatment by the MSM.

        • IRT Nanakuli: Exactly…But they don’t see it…To be fair anti-Trumpers are doing the same…It’s all good, having bias is not bad, we just need to acknowledge our bias…#MAGA

    • What a fool. You cant pardon people that’s not in US prison. Unless trumpf going to jail Hillary tommorrow. Lol, another trumpf “rabble rouser” Un kept promise. I mean LIE.

  • Just wait. Ha! You guys think this list is bad, wait in four years. Imagine the criminals that will be out in the streets earlier than sentenced from Trumps clemency.

  • Okay so it’s only six years for committing treason now. Wow. So was it to please the far left because Chelsea is a transgender? Oh that’s right, he’s married to one too.

    Now what about Oscar Lopez-Rivera? This “revolutionary” tried to plant 150 bombs across the US.

    “López Rivera was convicted and sentenced to 55 years in federal prison for seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms, and conspiracy to transport explosives with intent to destroy government property. In 1988 he was sentenced to an additional 15 years in prison for conspiring to escape from the Leavenworth federal prison.”

    Obama has totally lost his mind. This rampage of releasing criminals that he’s on is totally insane. And you Trump bashers think Trump is insane? You’re all insane.

  • These military personnel violated their oath and compromised national security, they should pay the full weight of for their lack of character. It’s just makes it that much more difficult to hold our armed forces to a higher standard, when those efforts our undermined by politicians.

  • I find it interesting that Julien Assange is now saying that he will allow himself to be extradited (supposedly as part of the Manning pardon) to the U.S. just as Obama is leaving office and Trump is coming in. Do you think that he fears the justice he will receive under Trump’s DOJ that Obama’s DOJ? Do you think that the guy responsible for leaking the Hillary-DNC hacked emails and helping Trump’s election will be given leniency by Trump? Or do you think that he has been holding onto hacked information on Trump=Republicans for possible blackmail purposes? Its all very interesting and its possible that Obama just played a masterful chess move by releasing Manning.

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