Twitter and email info

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Chelsea Manning issue needs to be kept in perspective.

Today President Obama issued a pardon to former US Army Private Bradley Manning, who identifies as a female named Chelsea and will be undergoing sexual reassignment surgery sometime in the future.  Last year Manning was convicted by a Military Tribunal of violating the Espionage Act by passing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks.  For reasons which are still a mystery to me, then-Private Manning was given access to countless Top Secret documents and US government communications while serving in Iraq in 2009/10.  Manning claims that his decision to share classified information was greatly influenced by his discovery of war crimes committed by the US military.  Manning also claims to be suffering from a gender identity disorder, which has caused long bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts.  From the beginning, the liberal and leftist elements in our society have been openly supportive of Manning.  The left strongly opposed the Iraq war, and by extension, see Manning as a hero for exposing part of the corrupt system which created false justification for going to war.  A substantial number of political groups and well-known activists opposed Manning's Court Martial and subsequent trial, and after the verdict, put pressure on the Obama Administration to issue a pardon.

Manning has been on the winning side of a number of decisions since his conviction.  Last April, the military announced that the US government would pay for Manning to undergo sexual reassignment surgery.  So what exactly has happened since Private Bradley Manning chose to commit treason in 2009?  Manning was Court-Martialed and given a 35-year sentence.  Then the military announced that Manning would be undergoing a sex change procedure, paid for by the US taxpayer.  Fast-forward a few months to January 2017, and today Manning is pardoned by President Obama.  I assume that Manning will be released almost immediately, and the offers for a book deal will start piling up.  So the lesson here is, if you are in the military and you want the government to pay for your sex-change operation, just commit treason and become a hero to the liberal media and left-wing political movement.  At the end of the day, a multi-million dollar book deal will be waiting.  I wish I had an opportunity to ask President Obama if he has spent much time thinking about the persons whose lives were ruined by Manning.  The CIA cadre of reporting contacts includes many foreign nationals who are "assets of conscience".  They decide to clandestinely provide the US government with valuable information because they believe in the American system and the freedoms we enjoy, and hope to encourage change in their own countries.  We could be referring to citizens of nations like Iran, Russia, and China, for example.  These brave people take the chance that their secret relationship with the US is not revealed to their own government.  That being said, I can't fathom the number of foreign assets who may have been exposed within the seven-hundred thousand pages of documents that Manning passed to Wikileaks.  No doubt the imtellignce community conducted numerous damage assessments, imformation which hopefully will never been known to us.  I don't need to know the names and nationalities of persons who may have paid a heavy price for Manning's actions.  I understand the environment enough to realize how much more difficult it will be for our Intelligence Officers to find willing reporters on the issues that keep Americans safe day-in and day-out.

At times I have found myself feeling very sympathetic to Chelsea Manning.  Obviously she has struggled for years trying to find a place in the world.  I cannot imagine any sane person knowingly choosing the path that Manning has followed.  At the time, I doubt that Manning comprehended the ramifications of his actions, but every adult in our society has to be held responsible for their decisions.  I would not have opposed a commuted sentence of some sort, maybe a five-year sentence, with an agreement that Manning be prohibited from writing a book or benefiting financially from his actions.  Instead, Manning has been pardoned, and is about to hit the jackpot as far as money is concerned.  Seven years after breaking the oath that he took to serve his country, seven years after committing treason and very likely putting a number of very brave people and their unknowing families in harm's way, Chelsea Manning will be a free and very rich young woman.  The revisionist media in our country are jumping through hopes to create a legacy for Barack Obama that deos not include twenty trillion in debt, race relations at their lowest since the Civil Right's era, a flag that is disrespected at home almost as much as it is by the international community, an economy that is bleeding jobs because of over-regulation, and a precedence-setting willingness to abuse Executive Action to avoid working with Congress.  Will the Manning pardon be mentioned by the press as part of Obama's legacy?  Don't hold your breath.

No comments:

Post a Comment