January 18, 2017
As one of his final acts, President Obama has chosen to cap off eight years of national security failures by pardoning one of the worst traitors in modern American history: Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning. The Army private, who was charged with 22 different crimes related to espionage, pled or was convicted on almost every charge except aiding the enemy. As a result, Manning was sentenced to 35-years in prison for leaking more than 750,000 classified documents. Yesterday, he got word he would soon be free after President Obama cut his sentence 28 years short -- putting an exclamation point on two terms of President Obama's anti-American policies.
And also enraging patriots like Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who see the move as a grave insult to our military and the nation. "When I was leading soldiers in Afghanistan, Private Manning was undermining us by leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks," he argued. "I don't understand why the president would feel special compassion for someone who endangered the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers, and allies. We ought not treat a traitor like a martyr," Cotton added.
For Obama, it's just one more decision that shouts the administration's disdain for the men and women in uniform. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for years without breaking, could only shake his head in disgust. "It is a sad, yet perhaps fitting commentary on President Obama's failed national security policies that he would commute the sentence of an individual that endangered the lives of American troops, diplomats, and intelligence sources..." Only in this administration would the acts of a lawless conspirator, one who jeopardized the lives of countless Americans, be rewarded.
And anyone who suggests that Manning's sexuality had nothing to do with the decision hasn't been paying attention. If it didn't, the president would have commuted the sentences of others. After all, there's Robert Hannsen, who's serving 15 life terms without the possibility of parole for selling secrets to the Soviets. So is Aldrich Ames. And what about Jonathan Pollard, who served 28 years for giving helpful information to Israel, a U.S. ally? Maybe if they suffered from gender confusion, their sentences would have been commuted too! In the end, this is nothing but Barack Obama solidifying his legacy as the most LGBT-obsessed administration in U.S. history. Even halfway out the door, he's determined to give trans-activists another victory at the expense of American credibility and security.
FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin believes that what Manning did was every bit as egregious and damaging as Edward Snowden's crimes. "Both of these guys are enemies of the state, plain and simple."
"It was established in a military court in 2013 that the release of the Wikileaks information had resulted in the death of at least one Afghan national. BG (R) Robert Carr, who headed the Information Review Task Force investigating the Wikileaks impact told Judge (Col) Denise Lind that the Taliban had announced killing the Afghan national because of his cooperation with U.S. Intelligence entities. Manning released almost three quarters of a million secret and sensitive documents to Wikileaks. It is plain and simply wrong to continue to claim that Manning's treason did not result in any deaths."
As he has so many times, President Obama is choosing political correctness over national security. "Since his imprisonment," General Boykin pointed out, "Manning has demanded the U.S. Army force taxpayers to pay for his gender transition -- even as veterans report finding it difficult to obtain medical services at VA clinics. What a sad commentary on this administration when an act of treason entitles you to better care than most of the men and women who have honorably served this country. For the last eight years, the military has been used to advance a liberal social agenda. Sadly, this remains the case even in the final hours of the Obama presidency."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.