back to article Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring

In the final days of his administration, President Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning's remaining sentence, meaning she'll be free on May 17, or shortly afterwards. Private Manning was cuffed and charged by US military police in 2010. Three years later, she was given a 35-year sentence after being found guilty of …

Anonymous Coward

Political Imprisonment?

If only we were freed of May, I'd be happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Political Imprisonment?

I wonder how you'd call a celebratory day for that - I suspect calling it mayday would cause some confusion :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Political Imprisonment?

And what are the alternatives ?

Comrade Corbyn and his tractor production figures, Tim Farron and the Cleggers clown and gang, the short half of the Krankies (Scottish choice only) who watches Braveheart 4 times a day and thinks it's historically accurate or the dark and sinister UKIP lead by Darth Nuttall

You can forget the rest as you might as well vote monster raving loony.

And you wonder why there is voter apathy.

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Re: Political Imprisonment?

It's my was a weird day when the greens seemed the sanest choice..

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JDX
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Re: Political Imprisonment?

Especially for someone who works in IT. We'll have to turn off all the PCs as well as the lights and heating as there'll be no electricity and no oil/gas for heating allowed.

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Joke

Re: Political Imprisonment?

How many Libdem MP's can you fit in a Mini...........?

All of them.

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Re: Political Imprisonment?

Mayday would be an excellent choice, we could move the bank holiday back to May 1st where it belongs.

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Holmes

Re: Political Imprisonment?

It's my was a weird day when the greens seemed the sanest choice..

Having lost all respect for the "major" parties many years ago, I have been voting Green ever since.

I don't agree with all of their policies. But climate change is the biggest problem that we all face, dwarfing economic woes, Islamic terrorism, and whether post-Brexit UK can quickly do a trade deal with Outer Nowhereland.

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I'd be more more impressed if Assenage had agreed to be interviewed by the Swedish police. Good news about Manning, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Assange v Chris Grayling

In terms of the Swedish case. You need to put yourself in Assange's shoes. Do you really think you would have be arrested under the same circumstances? Assume Assange has opened a car door on a Cyclist like Chris Grayling (Uk's transport secretary) did, Grayling* got off Scot-free. Assange gets locked up for it. That's the equivalent case here.

*Grayling is trained to check his surroundings as he leaves a vehicle due to potential threats to MPs.

Given his comments of late, seems to have a real distain for cyclists. Who's to say it wasn't deliberate?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

In terms of the Swedish case. You need to put yourself in Assange's shoes. Do you really think you would have be arrested under the same circumstances?

Yes, there's nothing in that case that isn't perfectly legal under Swiss law. He was contacted via the police to have himself tested (as he ran away), and he said no, at which point it turned into rape. At no point was he put in a situation he could not have resolved there and then.

In addition, unlike any of us, he's had the benefit of a paid lawyer throughout (paid by others, I should add), and he has had his UK case go all the way through court to have it confirmed as rape - none of your regular tax payer would have ever been able to make that happen, let alone fund it.

If I were in his shoes I'd made more intelligent choices and would not have thought that I'm so grand that I ought to be elevated above the law - that, more than anything else, kept him digging where even the average idiot would have reconsidered his or her actions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

Now, I'm not familiar with the details of the Chris Grayling vs. cyclist case, but as a daily cyclist in the UK, I know cycling less than a car door width away from a parked car is a stupid thing to do. It's even mentioned in the highway code.Part of rule 67 of the highway code is:- "Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for doors being opened or pedestrians stepping into your path"

Saying that, it all depends on how comfortable a cyclist feels with holding up traffic, because it's usually not possible to let cars behind pass you *and* leave a safe distance between yourself and a parked car, and some parents can be very impatient on the school run....

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

I once opened my car door on a slow-moving cyclist. Once. I felt awful. Physically he was uninjured but a little shaken up. His fall was broken by some horse dung. I gave him my details and he rode off. My face must have been showing some shock, because some builders on a nearby house roof shouted down to me "We saw what happened. Are you alright mate? It was an accident"

The next day I saw the cyclist again on the same street carrying a suit bag, and he assured me he was fine. He even declined my plea to pay for his dry cleaning.

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

I believe it was the other way round to the usual - Grayling was stuck in traffic and opened a near side car door to get out and collected a cyclist overtaking on the suicide side.

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

Off the to of my head, I can't think of anything more disgusting than being in Assange's shoes.

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Facepalm

Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

You mean "a cyclist using the cycle lane"? Shirely?

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Re: nothing in that case that isn't perfectly legal under Swiss law

He's accused of having sex with an unconscious woman, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake. It didn't "turn into rape" - that is rape in Sweden (and in the UK). It only came to light when the woman asked the police to force him to get an STD test, but that doesn't change what he did.

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

@macjules

Off the to of my head, I can't think of anything more disgusting than being in Assange's shoes.

Being female, I can imagine at least one worse thing about Assange than his shoes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything more disgusting than being in Assange's shoes.

Being in the things he allegedly tore/abandoned in Sweden?

Yes, yes, here's the mind bleach. Stop retching first.

:)

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Re: nothing in that case that isn't perfectly legal under Swiss law

Oh please she only reported this so called "rape", when she found ot he was shagging another woman!

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

Would you have been arrested? That's not the question. With the accusations made, the police would want to interview you. That hasn't happened. Assange fled from Sweden before the police talked to him. It's quite possible that he would have been free after talking to the police, or after going to court. And he would definitely have been a free man years ago instead of being stuck in the Ecuadorian embassy.

So the Swedish police _still_ wants to talk to him, and if do, we'll see what happens. Plus the UK police wants to talk to him for jumping bail. (He jumped bail before some UK court could decide whether he should be extradited to Sweden. Whether he would have been extradited or not, who knows, but he jumped bail before this happened, and that _is_ a crime in the UK).

And it seems the USA haven't asked for extradition. And I would say that if they did now, they would be last in the queue.

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

"Plus the UK police wants to talk to him for jumping bail"

Possibly a few of the people who put up the bail would also like to talk to him about that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: nothing in that case that isn't perfectly legal under Swiss law

Oh please she only reported this so called "rape", when she found ot he was shagging another woman!

She asked Assange to have himself tested, given the fact that he didn't just act without her consent, but also did so unsafely. This is where it gets interesting as there are at that point 4 options:

- Assange refuses to get himself tested -> rape charge (the situation we have now)

- Assange gets himself tested and comes out "clean" (it's a relative concept) -> it probably would have all gone away, or would at most have turned into a fine

- Assange gets himself tested and turns out to have an STD -> rape charge plus other unpleasantness, not to mention the negative, not-so-good-for-the-ego publicity

- Worst case, Assange gets himself tested and turns out to have the same STD as diagnosed by one of the girls (which, I suspect, could indeed be the case as it all took a few days to kick off) -> rape charge plus a LOT of other unpleasantness and again the negative, not-so-good-for-the-ego publicity. And even less credibility that he has now.

Assange refused to have himself tested, despite that being the right thing to do and despite having more lawyers on tap than anyone else in that position so it's not like he would not know the consequences. The fact that he didn't do this regardless suggests he knows what it is really about, which in turn may suggest that he was well aware of the possible consequences when he avoided the use of protection, which also lines up nicely with how he treated Manning.

All the above remains theory until either the Swedes get hold of him and interrogate the bejeezes out of him (possibly augmented with the STD tests as provided by one or both girls), or the whole thing times out and the girls no longer have to keep quiet to protect their rights. It's just the only theory that appears to explain why the myth of US extradition had to be dreamt up and why he was suddenly so overly worried about Sweden - nothing else seems to fit the facts so well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

Not sure - those people will probably now send their lawyer instead. The problem with pissing on the people who try to help you is that you burn that relationship pretty permanently.

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Joke

Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

@macjules

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anything more disgusting than being in Assange's shoes.

"Hey, you think I enjoy this job?" Says Assange's shoes

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

"Assume Assange has opened a car door on a Cyclist like Chris Grayling (Uk's transport secretary) did, Grayling* got off Scot-free. Assange gets locked up for it. That's the equivalent case here."

Why is it that when cycling gets a mention, for whatever reason, the discussion will be trapped in the fallacy of "tu quoque"? It seems to be some natural, universal law.

  • "Cyclist seen jumping red light which is dangerous and silly." "Ah yes, but motorists do that too!"
  • "Cyclist hits pedestrian on pavement." "Ah yes, but motorists do that too!"
  • "Assange porks woman without her permission." "Ah yes but if he were to be Chris Grayling and she were a cyclist then he'd be allowed to knock her off (her bike)!"

Anyway, it's not "the equivalent case." The case of negligently causing someone injury is a tort, rape is a criminal offence. Even in the UK shagging someone who is asleep without their consent is rape.

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Re: nothing in that case that isn't perfectly legal under Swiss law

He's accused of having sex with an unconscious woman, knowing she wouldn't have consented had she been awake. It didn't "turn into rape" - that is rape in Sweden (and in the UK). It only came to light when the woman asked the police to force him to get an STD test, but that doesn't change what he did.

I am getting confused. Is this Assange we are talking about or Chris Grayling?

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Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

Exactly. I think it was his end game plan. If the US allowed clemency for Manning, then a US court might be his best bet. After all, Manning was the treasonous spy, not him. His sentence should, and almost certainly would, be less. If he can get the US to extradite, then it likely looks like a safer bet than a rape conviction in Sweden. Perhaps the US isn't asking for extradition because they know they would be last in the queue and would rather see him face the rape charges.

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Assange will back out of his word somehow

He'll claim that a commutation of the sentence isn't good enough, that it should have involved immediate release or reducing the sentence instead of the time to serve.

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Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

Well.. the Assange Media Circus will now continue... It could be interesting to see what he does or doesn't do and the resulting publicity. Popcorn anyone?

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Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

He'll blame Trump, then after Trump he'll blame someone else.

It'll never be Julian's fault that's for sure.

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Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

What I'd like to see is for him come out of the Embassy, end up facing the consequences for skipping bail and/or for the Swedish rape charges... and for the US not to bat an eyelid, and completely ignore him.

Cruel and unusual punishment.

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Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

The US haven't even charged him with anything, let alone asked for his extradition. He might as well have said he'd go along with his extradition to Luxembourg.

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Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

The important part was that he said he'd leave the embassy. As expected, he's broken his word.

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Thumb Up

Good on Obama!

What Manning did may not have been the optimum thing, but I understand the horror he (now she) felt when viewing some of these documents (I was horrified by some of them) and the desire to publicize them as a way to put an end to what they revealed.

I think more good came of Manning's actions than harm, and am glad that Obama gave Manning a chance at having a life now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good on Obama!

I think more good came of Manning's actions than harm, and am glad that Obama gave Manning a chance at having a life now.

Manning's sentence has been commuted (shortened), not taken away which means that she now has a criminal record. She won't have much chance of a life in the US, I recon, but maybe Wikileaks may give her a job. They should, after not coughing up for her defence as promised..

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Re: Good on Obama!

For one thing, PFC Manning should have never been alone in prison, from the service member's S1 through S2, plus the entire senior chain of command should have been in adjacent cells for criminal dereliction of duty, resulting in the loss of control of classified information.

Manning was flagged for pending deleterious personnel action, an involuntary discharge from the service for cause. As such, regulations and the law are clear, when an individual is flagged for deleterious personnel action, said individual's access to classified information is curtailed immediately.

Which is precisely what they failed to do.

Indeed, had they performed their duty, Manning would have never been in a position to retrieve and distribute classified information.

As for those who think that the videos were horrific, yes they are. War is horrific, I rather prefer it that way, as it keeps the village idiots in power from declaring it every other damned day. Would that we could force them to lead from the front line on the occasions that they do start a war.

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Re: Good on Obama!

War is horrific, I rather prefer it that way, as it keeps the village idiots in power from declaring it every other damned day

That is precisely why they should not be hidden, censored and whitewashed.

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But Trump is in power in a few days. What's to stop him recinding that commuted sentence and making her do the full 35 years?

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Anonymous Coward

I bet neither of them will survive another 35 years.

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I very much doubt that's possible. A high profile case like Manning's must have been very carefully thought about before a decision was made, many people in the legal profession would have been consulted on the 200 odd cases Obama had to peruse before they were made public. They have to be water-tight before a public statement is made and pending any parole breaches, I assume the convicted get to keep their free status irrespective of what "Hamster-Hair" wants when he turns up for work next week.

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One way only

As far as I can see there isn't a way of Trump undoing this. The President has the ability to commute a sentence (or grant a pardon - and yes, even in cases where no charges have yet been brought), but he doesn't have the power to extend a sentence or to impose one. That resides with the courts.

Even if it was possible legally, there is the political reality that no President would really want to mess with one of the few absolute powers of the Presidency. After all, if Trump does it to Obama, what's to stop Kang* doing it to Trump?

* Although to be fair, President Kang will have other priorities**

** Like building a death ray to destroy a planet we haven't heard of***

*** Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

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Anonymous Coward

Concrete answers

An interesting statistic would be how many Mafia bosses are released from jail in the next four years.

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Re: One way only

Kodos? that tax avoiding, green faced, froomuublub grabber? no thanks!

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Re: Concrete answers

An interesting statistic would be how many Mafia bosses are released from jail in the next four years.

Russian or Italian?

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Re: One way only

If you vote for a third party you will throw your vote away!

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Re: One way only

"If you vote for a third party you will throw your vote away!"

Which is why the torries and whigs are still real powers to contend with in the US, right?

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Meh

Re: macjules Re: Concrete answers

"Russian or Italian?" I'm just waiting for the last minute pardons from Obambi for his Chicago mafia buddies.

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Re: One way only

Sorry, pop(ish) culture reference: Citizen Kang from Treehouse of Horror VII, Simpsons season 8.

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Forget pardons

I'm hoping Obama resigns tomorrow so Biden is president for one day, ruining all Trump's cheap inauguration clothing with '45' emblazoned on it his supporters will be wearing.

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