Thursday, January 19, 2017
Obama Commutes Chelsea Manning's Sentence
Let's be real - Barack Hussein Obama was the charming face on a mostly lousy presidency. Precious few positives happened on his watch, and even then they usually came with a caveat of some sort. And that very few good is far out-weighed by the immensely awful. Some of what he did is unforgivable. But in his final waning days in the White House, Obama finally, FINALLY committed a decent act. Earlier this week, he commuted the unjust prison sentence of heroic whistle-blower Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.
The former Army Intelligence analyst had been sentenced to 35 years in American gulags for passing "classified" information to WikiLeaks, exposing horrific war crimes committed by the American government. Most notably, the deliberate murders of journalists and civilians in Iraq by an American Apache helicopter. Manning is now set to be released in May 2017. She had already served seven years in gulags - so most of Obama's tenure. Manning was kept in solitary confinement for much of this time. She was often tortured (in addition to having been kept in solitary confinement). She reportedly attempted suicide at least twice - once in July and again in October of last year. No word yet on whether Obama will also commute the unjust sentences of Mumia Abu-Jamal or Leornard Peltier.
And let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Manning has only had her sentence commuted. She hasn't been given a full pardon. This means that Manning is still a "convicted felon", still cannot vote, cannot legally own a handgun, and is pretty much a second-class citizen at this point. All the indignities which comprise the Corporate-Prison Industrial Matrix now apply to Manning. Despite the fact that she is far more deserving of a Nobel award than longest serving war-monger Obama ever had been. It's pathetic, and it's not normal.
In other news, police gestapo units all over the country - including here in Portland,OR - are gearing up for violent combat with hundreds of thousands of citizens who plan to engage in anti-Trump protests on Inaugural day (January 20th) as well as weekend actions. Brutal police excesses and human rights abuses are guaranteed. WHEN they happen, I'll be sure to report on them.