Hours after President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of former Army soldier Chelsea Manning, who four years ago was court-martialed and sentenced for violations of the Espionage Act, a notable Republican LGBT group released a statement slamming the decision.
“Chelsea Manning is no hero, and the commutation of her sentence is appalling,” Log Cabin Republicans president Gregory T. Angelo wrote in a statement.
The notion of Manning being a hero is one championed by some on the left, which believes that the former soldier’s successful push to not only be recognized as a woman — she was born a man named Bradley Manning — but also receive state-sponsored transgender surgery were courageous.
“Manning was not imprisoned for being transgender — in fact, the government agreed to accommodate and facilitate her transition during her well-deserved sentence,” Angelo’s statement continued.
“She was imprisoned for traitorous clandestine activity that put military lives at risk. Her actions — and President Obama’s clemency — are nothing to celebrate.”
What Manning specifically did was he “used his access to secure intelligence networks to gather secret military and diplomatic files which eh then downloaded and passed on to WikiLeaks,” as reported by The Telegraph four years ago prior to his sex-change operation.
Many have responded to Obama’s commutation with outrage.
“Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R.Wisc., said in a statement. “President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”
In a column for The Daily Wire, commentator Ben Shapiro added that Obama’s commutation was “a massive slap in the face to both the defense and intelligence communities.”
However, some celebrated Manning’s sentence being reduced.
President Obama commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence might be the best/most progressive thing he’s done. I’m surprised, ecstatic & grateful.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) January 17, 2017
THANK YOU President Obama for commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning!!! She will be released in May – instead of in 2045!! THANK U
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) January 17, 2017
Chelsea Manning is a brave hero who never should have been tortured, caged and punished. President Obama did the right thing!
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) January 17, 2017
The irony is that these liberals commentators are also fierce critics of WikiLeaks, and organization with which Manning once collaborated.
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