Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Obama Sends Mixed Messages with Commutation
I’m a bit puzzled by the mixed messages President Obama sent out today with the commutation of the majority of Chelsea (Bradley) Manning’s 35-year court martial sentence. To understand the context, Manning stole data from the U.S. government, specifically videos of two airstrikes and diplomatic cables, and communicated these to WikiLeaks.
This comes on the heels of President Obama’s strong words and modest actions against Russia after their interference in the 2016 election was released to the public.
This seems to continue Obama’s pattern of sending mixed messages to adversaries, both foreign and domestic. Steal our information. We’ll punish you, but we’ll let you off the hook. It certainly defies logic and reason but it also disrespects the military and their process of managing their own affairs, especially those charged with espionage against the United States.
Of course, the President is the Commander-in-Chief. How would Americans respond to a President Trump pardoning any administration official responsible for giving classified information to the Russians, to WikiLeaks, or to any of our adversaries that harmed our national interests, our national security, and our allies?
I doubt most Democrats nor Republicans would be too pleased with the use of such Executive Powers in such a seemingly cavalier way.
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