Chelsea Manning Is on Obama's 'Short List' for Commutation, DOJ Source Says
By Nika Knight / Common Dreams
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning is on President Barack Obama’s “short list” for a potential commutation, a Department of Justice source told NBC News, which adds that the president’s decision could be announced as early as Wednesday.
Human rights and LGBTQ advocates have harshly condemned the U.S. military for denying Manning, who is transgender, appropriate healthcare.
And the whistleblower, whose leaks exposed evidence of war crimes, has already served more time in prison than any other whistleblower in U.S. history.
Moreover, despite many letters and hundreds of thousands of signatures on multiple petitions asking Obama to pardon Manning before president-elect Donald Trump begins his right-wing administration on January 20, the White House has remained silent on Manning’s case.
Chase Strangio, Manning’s attorney, said Wednesday: “The Obama administration has done many commendable things to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, but in the case of Chelsea Manning they have systematically mistreated her and denied her access to medically recommended gender-related healthcare. Chelsea won’t survive another five years in prison, much less another 30.”
“President Obama has nine days to do the right thing and commute her sentence,” Strangio continued. “The world is watching, and we hope that he stands on the side of justice, and that his legacy will be one of standing up for trans people’s rights, not having extinguished one of our community’s brightest lights.”
“Chelsea Manning is a compassionate, thoughtful, brilliant human being whose actions have always been motivated by the same thing: her desire to help people and make the world a better place,” added Fight for the Future’s Evan Greer. “She has suffered enough. President Obama should act now to right this wrong before it’s too late.”
Manning’s aunt, Deborah Manning, told NBC News: “I have more hope right now than I have the entire time since she was sentenced.”
“I do think it’s the last hope for a while,” she added.