Sentence Commuted For Chelsea Manning! Twitter Explodes (TWEETS)
Chelsea Manning has had most of her sentence commuted by President Obama. She will be freed in May instead of in 2045.
The congratulations immediately began pouring in from activists, celebrities, and just plain people who were pulling for her release. Edward Snowden weighed in immediately. After urging her to stay strong until May, he added:
Let it be said here in earnest, with good heart: Thanks, Obama. https://t.co/IeumTasRNN
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 17, 2017
And from Susan Sarandon, a message also went to the President:
— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) January 17, 2017
Jeremy Scahill encapsulated much of what Chelsea Manning had to endure during her imprisonment:
Chelsea Manning is a brave hero who never should have been tortured, caged and punished. President Obama did the right thing!
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) January 17, 2017
Events happened so fast on Tuesday that Manning’s lawyer was talking to the press before she even had a chance to tell her client the good news. Attorney Nancy Hollander’s reaction to the announcement was captured by The Guardian, for whom Manning is a columnist:
Oh my God! I cannot believe it – in 120 days she will be free and it will all be over. It’s incredible.
Manning filed a petition for clemency with President Obama as a last-ditch effort for freedom and a chance at regaining some emotional stability. While hopeful of a commutation, she had already served more prison time than any other whistleblower in U.S. history. There was some fear that she would be held as an example because former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden is beyond the administration’s reach.
But to have her sentence commuted is not necessarily an end to Manning’s woes. The Army private still needs to compete the process of transitioning into being a woman.
Even that may not be her biggest worry. While the congratulations for her were pouring in, as well as the thank you!s for President Obama, there was also a Twitter storm of opposition. Much of it came from identified Republicans, like Tea Party Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona who seemed intent on agitating against her:
Chelsea Manning intentionally leaked 251,287 US diplomatic cables & 482,832 Army reports. That's not whistle-blowing, that is treason.
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) January 17, 2017
Or Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who couldn’t wait to get on CNN and say we “ought not treat a traitor like a martyr” and then tweeted the link to his interview.
Hate-filled objections came from those who can’t stand the sight of anything good happening for someone who is openly transgender. But let those people keep their hatred parked in their own front yards, rather than publish it here.
It’s bad enough that Donald Trump weighed in with his own brand of agitation, mostly aimed at President Obama:
@AP Obama, the Criminal in Chief. What a disaster! We will UPHOLD the law, not promote lawlessness like LIGHTWIEGHT Obama!
— Donald J. Trump (@eealDonaldTrump) January 17, 2017
Trump does nothing but underscore just how humanitarian the President’s action was. Obama freed the whistleblower not only from prison, but from the clutches of a Trump administration.
Bottom line: today belongs to Chelsea Manning. It’s a great day to have a sentence commuted!
Feature photo via @Ron Paul on Twitter.