Is Chelsea Manning a whistleblower or a traitor? | The Tylt
After nearly seven years in prison, Chelsea Manning is free. Originally sentenced to a 35-year prison term for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic files to WikiLeaks, Manning was released early after her sentence was commuted by former president Barack Obama. Manning has been called a heroic whistleblower by anti-war and government transparency activists, but critics deride Manning as a traitor who belongs in prison for exposing U.S. secrets and putting people's lives in danger. What do you think?
Is Chelsea Manning a whistleblower or a traitor?
Manning's 35-year prison term seemed grossly punitive to many. She had already spent about seven years in prison—double the second-longest sentence in any leak case. Activists say she was treated unfairly compared to other whistleblowers. In their eyes, Manning's actions were entirely in the public interest and did not put anyone in danger.
But John Yoo, the George W. Bush-era Deputy Assistant Attorney General who famously authored the "Torture Memos," argues Chelsea Manning committed a grave crime against the United States and should have been punished to the fullest extent.
Bradley Manning caused one of the most harmful leaks in American history. He released into the public eye the identities of foreigners helping the U.S. in war zones, the means and methods of U.S. military operations, and our sensitive diplomatic communications with other nations. Lives—American and foreign—no doubt were lost because of the leaks. If anyone can think of a more harmful blow to U.S. intelligence in our history, let’s hear it. He should have been sentenced to close to the 90 years that were still possible.
Many people are celebrating her release as a triumph for justice.
1. Chelsea Manning is a real hero who suffered terribly. Let's celebrate her release and be furious she was ever jailed to begin with.— Leonard Pierce (@leonardpierce) May 17, 2017
But President Trump has repeatedly said Manning should not be released early from prison.
Let HILLARY CLINTON failure. Evils of communism and the U.S.A.G. Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should not be president.— Donald J. Tron (@realDonaldTron) April 22, 2017
According to the left, Trump is a traitor but Chelsea Manning is not. Got it.— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) May 17, 2017
ROAD TO 2020