I am aware that President Barack Obama wants to leave a legacy. That appears to have been the wish of every president in the past 100 years. The president has that legacy in creating the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare). So why would he besmirch his legacy by commuting the prison sentence of Bradley Manning, who through a sex change operation, is now known as Chelsea Manning? I do not know the answer.
Manning was United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly three-quarters of a million classified or unclassified but sensitive military and diplomatic documents.Manning was sentenced in August 2013 to 35 years’ imprisonment, with the possibility of parole in the eighth year, and to be dishonorably discharged from the Army.
There is no doubt that Manning committed the crimes. She pleaded guilty in February 2013 to 10 of the charges. The trial on the remaining charges began on June 3, 2013, and on July 30, she was convicted of 17 of the original charges and amended versions of four others, but was acquitted of aiding the enemy. She was sentenced to serve a 35-year sentence at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth.
The decision — which a senior defense official told CNN was made over the objections of Secretary of Defense Ash Carter — immediately touched off a controversy in the closing days of the Obama administration.
In my opinion, comparing his crime to General James Cartwright or General David Petraeus is inappropriate. Cartwright lied to an investigator and Petraeus told some secrets to his mistress. Manning stole 750,000 documents and gave them to Wikileaks.