In the final hours of Obama’s presidency, he is pulling out all the stops, doing things that no one thought he would do.
Since the stunning Cuba reversal, it seems like nothing is off limits for the lame-duck President. Pardons and commutations have always been in the purview of the President, but this one is almost universally looked down upon as a pass for an American traitor.
In this breaking story, the New York Times reports that Obama has just commuted over 200 sentences, and in particular one is eye-opening:
President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous.
The act of clemency could be seen as a reversal, at least in part, of the Obama administration’s unprecedented criminal crackdown on leaking: The administration has brought charges in about nine cases, about twice as many as under all previous presidents combined.
At the same time that Mr. Obama commuted the sentence of Ms. Manning, a low-ranking enlisted soldier at the time of her leaks, he also granted a pardon to Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of the highest-ranking officials ensnared in the leak crackdown.
While Obama’s presidential orders can be overturned by Trump when he takes office, pardons and commutations cannot. Obama has just cemented his legacy for good, as a man who is willing to release someone who has blood on her hands.
Thank goodness we have a man with far better judgment entering the White House.
What do you think? Should Obama have commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence? Leave your comments below!
Source: New York Times