Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Private Bradley Manning, was serving a 35-year prison sentence for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified cables to WikiLeaks. It is widely believed that the release of this information put Americans at risk overseas.
This week, President Obama commuted the majority of Manning’s sentence and the former soldier will now be released in May.
It was a move that was questioned by many national security experts and by Americans who believe that leaking hundreds of thousands of confidential cables to our enemies is something that should be taken seriously.
Apparently, the Pentagon was not happy about President Obama’s decision to erase the majority of Manning’s prison sentence.
From The Daily Caller:
Defense Secretary Ash Carter strongly opposed President Barack Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of former Army soldier and transgender person Chelsea Manning, in effect allowing Manning to walk free on May 17.
A U.S. official said that Carter opposed the decision in no uncertain terms, even though the administration in the end pushed the move through for two main reasons, the first being that Manning had already served seven years and the second that Manning showed remorse and accepted responsibility, according to ABC News.
GOP Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, echoed Ryan’s sentiments.
“I’m stunned,” McCain said. “President Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence is a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline. It also devalues the courage of real whistle-blowers who have used proper channels to hold our government accountable.”
Many, including the Pentagon, believe the easing of this sentence sends the wrong message to those who might be considering leaking secrets about the United States in the future.
That’s a position that is hard to argue with.