Five days ago Julian Assange stated on Twitter that he would agree to be extradited to the United States if President Obama freed Chelsea Manning. Today President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, effective May 17.
Manning is the former U.S. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning who provided information to Wikileaks about military coverups. He has served nearly seven years of a 35-year sentence, the longest term any American has served for leaking information to the public.
Among the information that he revealed were reports that civilian casualties in Iraq were higher than reported. He also gave Wikileaks the video footage used below..
I don’t have any way of knowing whether President Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence was done out of humanitarian feeling, or whether it was result of negotiations with Assange.
If it was Obama’s unconditional decision, he deserves credit for doing the right thing.
If it is part of an agreement to trade Assange for Manning, then all I can say is that Assange is a brave and honorable man, and Obama is not.
We’ll see what happens in May. If Assange does surrender, we’ll see what President Trump does.
Neither Assange nor Manning has done anything that is morally wrong. Both risked and lost their freedom to give the public the truth.
Assange Agrees To Extradition If Obama Grants Chelsea Manning Clemency by Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge.
Obama Commutes Remaining Prison Sentence of Chelsea Manning by Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge.
How Chelsea Manning lifted lid on harsh facts of US wars and military justice by John Pilkington for The Guardian [Added 1/18/2017].
In Defense of the Chelsea Manning Commutation by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic [Added 1/18/2017]
Al Jazeera video added 1/18/2017. Minor edits made 1/18/2017.