President Barack Obama has now shortened the prison time for former army private and whistleblower, Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning. She will now be released 28 years early on May 17 instead of remaining in military custody until 2045 as per her original sentence.
Manning was sentenced under US Army Court Martial to 35 years’ imprisonment back in August of 2013 after releasing thousands of documents to WikiLeaks –these documents came to be known as the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diary.
Manning -One Of 273 People Given A Second Chance
The White House announced Tuesday that Manning was just one of 273 other people who were given a second chance after tallying up Obama’s commutation grants and pardons. Obama has pardoned 212 individuals so far and issued 1385 grants of communication.
Manning was revealed as the leaker of tens of thousands of these classified documents thanks to a chat she had online in 2010 with ex-hacker, Adrian Lamo. He turned her into the authorities after she had divulged this information to him.
“[I] wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me… plastered all over the world press… as boy…[sic],” Manning wrote to Lamo.
Manning hoped that the information leaked “might change something,”
“I want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.” she told Lamo.
Some Of The Important Information Leaked By Manning
Below is a list of some of the important documents that were leaked by Manning via Wikileaks before she was turned into authorities. This list was put together by thenation.com:
- Yemeni president lied to his own people, claiming his military carried out air strikes on militants actually done by the US. All part of giving US full rein in country against terrorists.
- Details on Vatican hiding big sex abuse cases in Ireland.
- US tried to get Spain to curb its probes of Gitmo torture and rendition.
- Egyptian torturers trained by FBI—although allegedly to teach the human rights issues.
- State Dept. memo: US-backed 2009 coup in Honduras was “illegal and unconstitutional.”
- Cables on Tunisia appear to help spark revolt in that country. The country’s ruling elite described as “The Family,” with Mafia-like skimming throughout the economy. The country’s first lady may have made massive profits off a private school.
- US knew all about massive corruption in Tunisia back in 2006 but went on supporting the government anyway, making it the pillar of its North Africa policy.
- Cables showed the UK promised in 2009 to protect US interests in the official Chilcot inquiry on the start of the Iraq war.
* Oil giant Shell claims to have “inserted staff” and fully infiltrated Nigeria’s government.
- US pressured the European Union to accept GM—genetic modification, that is.
- Washington was misled by our own diplomats on Russia-Georgia showdown.
- Extremely important historical document finally released in full: Ambassador April Glaspie’s cable from Iraq in 1990 on meeting with Saddam Hussein before Kuwait invasion.
- The UK sidestepped a ban on housing cluster bombs. Officials concealed from Parliament how the US is allowed to bring weapons on to British soil in defiance of treaty.
- The New York Times: “From hundreds of diplomatic cables, Afghanistan emerges as a looking-glass land where bribery, extortion and embezzlement are the norm and the honest man is a distinct outlier.”
- Afghan vice president left country with $52 million “in cash.”
- Shocking levels of US spying at the United Nations (beyond what was commonly assumed) and intense use of diplomats abroad in intelligence-gathering roles.
- Potential environmental disaster kept secret by the US when a large consignment of highly enriched uranium in Libya came close to cracking open and leaking radioactive material into the atmosphere.
- US used threats, spying, and more to try to get its way at last year’s crucial climate conference in Copenhagen.
* American and British diplomats fear Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program — with poor security — could lead to fissile material falling into the hands of terrorists or a devastating nuclear exchange with India.
- Hundreds of cables detail US use of diplomats as “sales” agents, more than previously thought, centering on jet rivalry of Boeing vs. Airbus. Hints of corruption and bribes.
- Millions in US military aid for fighting Pakistani insurgents went to other gov’t uses (or stolen) instead.
- Israel wanted to bring Gaza to the ”brink of collapse.”
- The US secret services used Turkey as a base to transport terrorism suspects as part of its extraordinary rendition program.
- As protests spread in Egypt, cables revealed that strong man Suleiman was at center of government’s torture programs, causing severe backlash for Mubarak after he named Suleiman vice president during the revolt. Other cables revealed or confirmed widespread Mubarak regime corruption, police abuses and torture, and claims of massive Mubarak family fortune, significantly influencing media coverage and US response.
Keep in mind that these are just some of the thousands of documents leaked by Manning. One of the most shocking pieces revealed by manning became known as the Collateral Murder video. According to WikiLeaks:
“5th April 2010 10:44 EST WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.”
WikiLeaks Founder To Take Her Place In Prison?
Prior to Obama announcing Manning’s commute, WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange offered to surrender himself to authorities should the president follow through on his report to free Manning.
WikiLeaks confirmed: “If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DOJ [Department of Justice] case”.
Despite this suggestion to essentially take Manning’s place in prison and agreeing to “US extradition” the only outstanding warrant for Assange’s arrest is from Sweden, where he is wanted for an alleged rape case.
President-elect Donald Trump has praised Assange in the past for publishing illegally hacked documents from the Democratic National Convention, which makes it seem doubtful of any future case against WikiLeaks founder.
Do you think this is why Obama is letting Manning off the hook? Share your thoughts with us!
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