Yesterday, President Obama announced he was granting clemency to whistle-blower Chelsea Manning.
Last week, Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul joined former Congressman Dennis Kucinich requesting that President Obama grant Manning clemency.
The text of the letter is reprinted below, and here is Jack Hunter debunking the claims that Manning's actions cost lives.
The Honorable Barack Obama
The White House
Office of the President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500
9 January 2017
Dear Mr. President,
We write to urgently request that you grant the application for clemency submitted by Chelsea Manning and commute her sentence to time served. We each had the honor of serving the American people in the United States Congress for 16 years.
We respect the government’s right to hold to account members of the military who breach military law, but believe that there are strong grounds for commuting Ms. Manning’s sentence. We strongly urge you to grant Ms. Manning’s application for clemency in recognition of her acting in the public interest and the treatment that she endured in early pre-trial detention.
Ms. Manning endured treatment in early pre-trial detention that was described by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture as cruel, inhumane and degrading. Ms. Manning was confined within a segregation cage for two months in Iraq.
She was then detained for nine months in a military brig at Quantico base. During this time, she was confined for 23 hours a day to a small cell with no personal possessions, and was reportedly shackled at the wrists and legs during visits. Mr. Kucinich’s initial inquiries into the conditions of Ms. Manning’s detention were met with conditions and delays that amounted to a subversion of his rights and obligations as a Member of Congress to conduct oversight.
We jointly contend that her treatment during these eleven months violated her right to be protected from punishment without trial and cruel and unusual punishment as enshrined in the 5th and 8th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
We additionally urge you to consider that some of the materials disclosed by Ms. Manning pointed toward potential human rights violations and breaches of international humanitarian law. Her disclosures included previously unseen footage of journalists and other civilians being killed by U.S. helicopter attacks in a video known as “Collateral Murder”.
In contrast to the punitive treatment of Ms. Manning, numerous military personnel have never been held accountable for serious human rights violations committed in Iraq and Afghanistan. We strongly believe that Chelsea Manning received a sentence that was excessively punitive and intended to send a chilling message to future potential whistleblowers acting in the public interest.
Ms. Manning has already spent more time in prison than anyone previously convicted for providing information to the media. She repeatedly expressed that she disclosed this information in hopes of starting a conversation regarding the true cost of asymmetric warfare and the harm incurred by both civilians and soldiers, but during her trial she was not permitted to present evidence that she had been acting in the public interest.
We reiterate our acknowledgement of the government’s right to hold to account members of the military who breach military law, but believe that the above considerations prove sufficient to commute Ms. Manning’s sentence to time served. We urge you to act swiftly to grant Ms. Manning’s application for clemency.
Ron Paul, Member of Congress (1997-2013)
Dennis J. Kucinich, Member of Congress (1997-2013)
CC: Robert A. Zauzmer, Pardon Attorney
Honorable Loretta Lynch,
Attorney General Neil Eggleston, White House Counsel
Tags: Ron Paul, Dennis Kucnich, Chelsa Manning, Whistleblowers