Yes, I could have jumped on this story last night before Allahpundit did, but I chose not to for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted the chance to make sure that this was a real story and not just some fever swamp nightmare induced by a bowl of three bean chili of questionable age. Second, if I had jumped into the fray immediately I would probably be unemployed by now because we strive to keep this a PG-13 site. My initial reactions, echoing through my house for more than an hour, were definitely not suitable for a family audience. But in defiance of any expectations in a sane world it turned out to be true. Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence and he will be released in May. (Yes, I said “he” and will continue to do so until such time as he has surgery, which last I heard was scheduled but still hasn’t happened. That won’t remove his Y chromosome or make him a woman, but with the sort of dedicated effort involved in having a surgeon hack off your genitals I’m willing to toss someone a new pronoun.)
AP did a fine job of covering the backstory, initial reactions and possible political implications, including kindly linking to my own conspiracy theories of the subject, written back when it was still just a horrible hypothetical. (We’ll see how many – if any – of those speculative musings pan out.) As far as the politics of this action goes… enough said.
What’s of greater interest to me is the proper level of outrage being expressed over this blatant insult to the military, the intelligence community and the citizens of the nation. The New York Post provided a fairly good roundup of some of the initial reactions last night. Speaker Ryan was one of the first out of the gate.
“This is just outrageous,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets. President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”
Outrageous is accurate, but falls short of the mark. More on point was Senator Tom Cotton.
“When I was leading soldiers in Afghanistan, Private Manning was undermining us by leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.).
“I don’t understand why the president would feel special compassion for someone who endangered the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers, and allies. We ought not treat a traitor like a martyr,” Cotton added.
My thanks to Senator Cotton for busting out the T word in the most appropriate fashion. I am sickened by the many media outlets (which I won’t be linking to here) who are insisting on calling Manning a “whistleblower.” He is not. Chelsea Manning is a traitor in all ways except for the technicality of not being officially convicted of treason. If he had any interest in whistleblowing over a specific instance or instances of what he viewed as misconduct in Iraq there were ample channels available for him to take that information to his superiors. If he received no satisfaction there he could have taken specific videos and communications regarding those incidents directly to the media, asking for anonymity from the reporter. That would have still been a violation, but he could have made a case for himself as exposing misdeeds.
Stealing hundreds of thousands of classified files and dumping them out for the entire world to see was not whistleblowing. He put people’s lives at risk, and while we may never know for sure, it’s more than likely that people actually died because of his actions. Intelligence agencies were hampered for years because sources feared talking to American agents after so many names were exposed. It’s been said many times before, but we may never know the full extent of the damage that this traitor inflicted on us.
Barack Obama has insulted the military and the nation with this shameful act. Seven years out of a 35 year stretch is nothing compared to the crimes that were committed. And being “transgender” is not a free pass to get away with what he did, regardless of how politically popular it might be with liberals. This is a disgrace.