Chelsea Manning sentence commuted


It is a commutation and not a pardon.


Yes. Did anyone posit otherwise?


No, but I do think that makes a difference.


Well it’s a good thing we talked about the difference extensively 15 posts ago then.


Nice that I am on topic then…huh.


I’d take Snowden’s whistleblowing credentials more seriously if he had stayed, and had taken his lumps. Given his career path, and the knowledge he had of who he worked for and had worked for, and what they were probably doing, I’m unconvinced that what he found out rose to the level of something so severely morally shocking that it justified his actions. I’d be more sympathetic if he had revealed his information and then stayed around to take the punishment for violating the agreements he made (which IMO he made fully knowing or at least he should have fully known the potential rabbit hole he was diving into).

The essence of civil disobedience is sticking around to take the punishment, which then, like King’s stint in the Birmingham jail, becomes part of the protest and adds immensely to the power of the gesture.


I actually think Snowden did the right thing in the context of his time. It looked like Assange and Manning were having the book thrown at them relatively unjustly and had no recourse otherwise. Assange has been living in an embassy after all. Manning was essentially in solitary confinement. It’s also clear Manning’s personal issues are probably the main reason she is being released rather than a change of heart by the government. It’s also a bit of a “Lenin’s sealed train” phenomenon - they’re useful as enemies of the government when it’s no longer your government they’re attacking and the fallout of whistleblowing damages your opponents and not your party. Had Clinton won instead - which by all odds she should have - i suspect it’s unlikely there would have been a change in policy.


Nah, far from it. People have been calling for a pardon forever.

I’m firmly in the “not abused” camp myself, but not in the pardon/commuted camp. Given that the abuse was apparently never going to stop happening, I guess this is the best possible outcome, but I still don’t like it.

And this is where I have no sympathy for Manning (beyond her treatment in custody) while have a lot for Snowden.


For all you, “She’s guilty! Guilty!” people, how much punishment would you feel is necessary, on top of all the torture she’s already been subjected to? Just wondering. Is there a limit? Should she just stay in jail forever? How long would be long enough for you to say there’s been justice?

Murderers have suffered less. People who actually killed a person with intent. If she was just dumb and throwing a tantrum or whatever, then what are you accomplishing? Do you think it would stop more people from doing what she did? Do you also think we should execute or permanently imprison people for all serious crimes?

Or do you just think that the arbitrary 35 year sentence is appropriate just because some judge arbitrarily decided it?

As a side note, I’m not a fan of this person either.


What should be the punishment for purposely giving out classified info just because you can and without regard to the damage? Really high. The reason most people don’t get nailed to the wall for it is because they have connections, which is equally, if not more, bullshit.

And the “torture” is bullshit and should never have happened, but it doesn’t retro-actively make what she did fine. It is why I’m not as pissed off about it, though. In a way I see it as her getting off on a legitimate technicality.

What she did could have killed tons of people. If I throw a hand grenade out the window without knowing what will happen does that make me better than the guy who throws it at someone he really hates? Maybe, but not by a whole lot. At least the other guy had a reason, I’m just doing it because I got a hold of a grenade and there was a window.


But she didn’t kill a lot of people. We have the ability to make the punishment fit the intent AND the actual crime. Should we lock people up for almost hitting a school bus full of children on the highway?


But you know, if you did throw a grenade out a window that didn’t kill anyone, you’d be up on a weapons charge and depending on the state and whether it was in the public way as opposed to your backyard, maybe some kind of public endangerment kind of thing. The penalty for both those offenses combined would probably be less time than Manning served. Moreover if it was a first offense and you were white and well off, I wouldn’t be surprised if you just got probation (heaven help you if you were Muslim, though.)

I’m also reasonably confident Manning would have received exactly the same sentence if she had in fact carefully filtered the documents to only show criminal behavior in others and not endanger anyone.

So yeah, to the unquantifiable extent she did endanger people, what she did was morally wrong. But in the actual event she was punished more than other people who have committed worse crimes, and tormented while in prison. And her documents seem not to have killed anyone – presumably there would have been a hue and cry – while revealing many crimes.


I consider myself Left and Chelsea Manning is not my darling. I don’t know enough about the case to know whether what she did was justified or not i will admit. However, i do know enough about her treatment to know that it was not justified and was shameful.

Snowden is more my darling and i do believe he is a whistle blower. I also believe if he had stayed Obama would have thrown the book at him in some secret show trial. We as a country do not value whistle blowers, either in the government or in private industries. You almost always hear about retaliation and severe punishments for them. The danger of this is that without whistle blowers we don’t learn when our government is doing things that we don’t want it doing (because they are immoral/illegal/etc) or when private companies are doing something illegal/immoral/outrageous (IE signing people up for fake bank accounts).


Do we? Because I can find a few hundred examples where that isn’t remotely the case.

I don’t have a problem with things like endangering the nation having high penalties. It’s basically espionage via stupidity and typically the penalty for espionage is death.

And stop referring to the torture as if it was part of the package. It happened and it shouldn’t have, but it isn’t like part of the sentencing was “oh and also torture the fuck out of this person”. Again, letting her off easier because it DID happen is fine in my book, but as far as initial penalty it wasn’t part of the deal.


This is something we can all agree on, I think. But then again the concept of due process in America these days… maybe not.


The law and legal system said 8-35 years.


If you are driving erratically, and breaking the law while almost hitting a school bus full of kids, then yeah, you sometimes go to jail for that.

Look, you don’t think he did anything that bad. But that’s just your opinion, and not in line with the law.

Manning showed a complete disregard for everyone other than himself. He was a narcissistic idiot, willing to engager the lives of his fellow soldiers, for essentially no reason at all.

His action was indefensible.


Unjustly? As a retired military member who had a relatively high level clearance I do not understand your logic. She agreed to safeguard the materials given to her and then decided to give it away to a foreign national (of very questionable repute) for no reason. She didn’t do it because he though the US government was in the wrong, but because she could. Her imprisonment was very just in my book.


First, it’s “she” now. We can respect that. Second, I do think she did something very bad. I disagree on what you think are her reasons, I think she was disgusted by what she saw our soldiers doing and being told to do. I also support whistleblowers generally, how else are we supposed to learn what our own government is doing in secret without our consent? But I definitely think she deserved jail time, no doubt. Her action was reckless and dumb and put people at risk. And she was tortured for it, whether or not we think she was “supposed” to be, or “allowed” to be. Why the hell would you pretend like it didn’t happen just because it wasn’t part of her sentence?

I’m seriously wondering what a few of you think people actually do in the justice system? As in, why humans are actually involved in it? The whole point is to consider context and what actually happened, not just ignore it because it wasn’t part of the plan.

What I’m trying to get at is apparently some of you think her punishment wasn’t enough. I’m trying to see why and figure out where that leads for your position logically.


But she didn’t. She just gave him whatever info she had. There was no rhyme or reason to it.