Well, President Obama has officially commuted the sentence of Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning.
Given the blasé attitude of this Administration regarding sensitive/classified information (Hello, Mrs Clinton and her bathroom server!) this doesn’t really come as any surprise, although I am heartened by the fact that Manning’s sentence was commuted, rather than pardoned.
Commuting the sentence means that Manning is still a convicted felon, with a criminal record.
I am saddened by what I fear will be the unintended (or maybe intended) consequences of this act: there were many current and former military members (your Humble Scribe among them) who seriously believed that as soon as the conviction was handed down, Manning should have been taken outside, placed against a wall, and shot.
While President Obama is probably trying to appear kind and magnanimous, to those of us who believed that 35 years was considerably softer than the justly-deserved oxygen jig at the end of a hemp rope, this commutation smacks of a certain level of contempt towards us.
The perception of contempt, point in fact, that causes those of us who voted for someone other than Trump to be less unhappy about the Cheeto Jesus winding up with the Hot Seat At The Oval Office.
Not happy about it, mind you. But a jolly sight less unhappy about it.
I didn’t take Manning to raise, and my da’ taught me not to offer advice to those who are neither kith nor kin … but in this case, I seriously advise that Manning take the Golden Ticket that has fallen, find a quiet hole, and pull it in after. Live quietly and low-profile. Disappear.
Or Manning can hit the limelight, make political hay, and continually remind The Deplorables of the perception of contempt, and we’ll see what shakes out in the mid-term elections.
Meh. I’m good either way.
Now to see if President Obama wants to pull a contempt two-fer and pardon Bowe Bergdahl. Any takers?