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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Political Imprisonment?

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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 :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

        Re: Political Imprisonment?

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

        1. JDX Gold badge

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Joke

            Re: Political Imprisonment?

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

            All of them.

            1. Kay Burley ate my hamster

              Re: Political Imprisonment?

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

        2. smudge Silver badge
          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.

  2. Not That Andrew

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

        1. Brangdon

          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.

          1. El_Fev

            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!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              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.

          2. macjules Silver badge

            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?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        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....

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          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.

        2. JimC Silver badge

          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.

          1. Merchman
            Facepalm

            Re: Assange v Chris Grayling

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

      3. macjules Silver badge

        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.

        1. Admiral Grace Hopper

          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.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          :)

        3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          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

      4. gnasher729 Silver badge

        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.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

        2. Jaybus

          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.

      5. Lotaresco

        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.

  3. DougS Silver badge

    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.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      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?

    2. Halfmad

      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.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        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.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      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.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        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.

  4. ma1010 Silver badge
    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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..

    2. Wzrd1

      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.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        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.

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I bet neither of them will survive another 35 years.

    2. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge

      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.

    3. Thesheep

      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.

      1. Shaha Alam

        Re: One way only

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

        1. Thesheep

          Re: One way only

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

          1. Wzrd1

            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?

            1. Thesheep

              Re: One way only

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

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Concrete answers

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

      1. macjules Silver badge

        Re: Concrete answers

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

        Russian or Italian?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          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.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            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.

            1. Stevie Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Biden is president for one day

              That is the most brilliant suggestion for Trump annoyance I've heard bar none. Beer is insufficient reward for this fiendish wittiness, but have one anyway DougS. If only Obama read El Reg comments.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Forget pardons

              "cheap inauguration clothing with '45' emblazoned on it"

              Non-US person here. What does that mean?

              1. skeptical i
                Thumb Up

                Re: Forget pardons

                Hi, John:

                '45' refers to Trump being Amurka's forty-fifth president, and the high likelihood that much of his supporters' tat will have '45' emblazoned on it somewhere. And of course, all said tat was made in the U.S. of A. right? No plastic tchotchkes from China, no tee-shirts made in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Vietnam, or wherever is today's low-wage winner, right?

  6. James Wheeler

    Julian's Hollow Promises

    The United States has never charged Assange with a crime, much less filed an extradition request. So it's easy enough to say these things. Even in the highly improbable event of a future indictment for the Manning affair, he will have grounds for defense by arguing that he is (a) not a citizen and (b) a journalist. Not a case the government would expect to win.

    1. Bill Stewart

      Re: Julian's Hollow Promises

      Assange's excuse for "why I shouldn't be extradited to Sweden to answer rape charges" has always been "the US will kidnap me if I walk out the door". If he's willing to risk being extradited to the US to answer charges that haven't been filed, he should be willing to risk being extradited to Sweden.

      I don't think we'll see his lying ass leave the embassy unless Trump grants him asylum for services rendered.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Julian's Hollow Promises

        "I don't think we'll see his lying ass leave the embassy unless Trump grants him asylum for services rendered"

        Actually even then he'll find a new excuse. He won't leave unless Sweden drops case and the UK breaking of bail is dropped.

        The UK could have shipped him to USA. Sweden is very very much less likely, so the the "reason" for being in the Embassy is either something else, or he's deluded.

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: "or he's deluded"

          Is there any doubt on that on point ?

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: Julian's Hollow Promises

      Even in the highly improbable event of a future indictment for the Manning affair, he will have grounds for defense by arguing that he is (a) not a citizen and (b) not in the US when in control of a server, which also was not in the US, when he violated US law.

      Seriously, it'd be like attempting to enforce US bigamy laws against Saudi citizens who never left their country.

      1. d3vy

        Re: Julian's Hollow Promises

        "Seriously, it'd be like attempting to enforce US bigamy laws against Saudi citizens who never left their country."

        But as we know the US does like to *try* to impose its laws internationally...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real culpability lies...

    with the commanders who forced Manning into the situation.

    The poor guy was acting out, and was clearly not fit for duty - particularly in a sensitive area. The response of his chain of command should have been to relief Manning of all duties and keep him from anything more dangerous than a kitten. These clowns failed in their basic duties of personnel security, and have not suffered because of it.

    Manning was just the fall guy: the 35 year sentence was clearly over the top.

    This also demonstrates what a complete tosser Obama is. He all these years to do something about Manning and did nothing. Just as with standing up for the Palestinians, he made a meaningless gesture after the election of his successor, who made lots of noise in opposition to Obama. So Obama can go back to the only thing that he does well - preening himself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real culpability lies...

      Unlike Trumpelthinskin, who can continue twittering [sic] himself to a glory available only to himself?

      Unlike Obama, who actually did accomplish something, despite the best efforts of Republican'ts?

      1. MrDamage

        re: twittering [sic]

        I thought the correct term was queefing.

        It's the only fitting term for a tw@tter outburst coming from an utter twunt.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real culpability lies...

      The poor guy was acting out, and was clearly not fit for duty - particularly in a sensitive area. The response of his chain of command should have been to relief Manning of all duties and keep him from anything more dangerous than a kitten. These clowns failed in their basic duties of personnel security, and have not suffered because of it.

      Err, hang on, so it's their fault that Manning decided to steal sensitive documents? I have sympathy for Manning in that he/she/it was easily deceived and abused by Assange to do his dirty work for him, but the decision to do something that was clearly illegal was taken by Manning - you can't just excuse that as "the bad management made me". That sort of logic is only compatible with The World Of Assange™, not with real life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        I seem to remember a similar logic pervading in Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s...

        Failures of Senior Officers and Manning's mental state may have been mitigating factors but they don't absolve the individual of responsibility.

        1. Windrose

          Re: The real culpability lies...

          And since US soldiers have gotten away with exactly that defense since then, I see no reason why THAT US soldier can't get away with it as well ....

          You KNOW personal responsibility only apply to the losing side. We ALL know.

      2. Halfmad

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        Yes, partially. Officers are always responsible for monitoring the performance and fitness for duty of those under their command. I'm by no means saying Manning wasn't guilty but that doesn't mean all of his senior officers were blame.

      3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        Err, hang on, so it's their fault that Manning decided to steal sensitive documents - that demonstrated that the US policy in many areas violated not only International law but also US laws.

        1. d3vy

          Re: The real culpability lies...

          "Err, hang on, so it's their fault that Manning decided to steal sensitive documents - that demonstrated that the US policy in many areas violated not only International law but also US laws."

          Not quite, I think the argument was that he should never have been in the position where he was able to steal them.. I mean, he had access to sensitive documents on a PC with a R/W DVD drive... You can't think that's a good idea? Someone approved those machines for use for that purpose.. That person bears some responsibility, not that they are at fault, but that their decisions allowed it to happen.

          Same reason I have to carry professional indemnity insurance, I might make a decision for a client that down the line causes them financial harm.. It wouldn't be directly my fault but I might be liable for it.

      4. Wzrd1

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        "Err, hang on, so it's their fault that Manning decided to steal sensitive documents? "

        Yes. Per US Army, US DoD regulations and US law. Personnel pending deleterious personnel actions are to have their access to classified information terminated immediately.

        Had that entire lot of officers and senior NCO's performed their duty, Manning would be free.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        Let me see here - you are responsible for the good functioning of a system. A component is clearly defective and will cause a problem. You ignore this and insist on using the component, and something goes awry. Don't you have some culpability?

        In this case, Manning was under lots of stress and was not coping: even requesting not be sent back. This was known by the chain of command, ignored everything and put Manning in the frame. Huge leak happened, no blame laid at feet of command.

        This is just a symptom of a greater malaise in the military - the complete abnegation of responsibility of the officers and the tenancy to cover oneself. This happened and will continue to happen so long as the the military have this attitude.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        re: "... sympathy for Manning in that he/she/it was easily deceived ...." -- "it"? Really? While a proper third-person singular gender-neutral pronoun for people has yet to be decided, surely one can do better than "it"?

    3. LionelB

      Re: The real culpability lies...

      "with the commanders who forced Manning into the situation."

      No, the real culpability lies lies with the people who authorised and executed the (really) bad things that Manning leaked.

      1. Wzrd1

        Re: The real culpability lies...

        "No, the real culpability lies lies with the people who authorised and executed the (really) bad things that Manning leaked."

        In other words, when summoned to provide air support for besieged ground forces, air support units should instead land their aircraft and surrender, right?

        Or should the ground forces simply surrendered?

  8. Herby Silver badge

    Who is next??

    Seems that El Presidente is a pretty busy guy these last few days. I wonder if a person named Clinton is somewhere in the stack of papers, or just waiting till 11 AM on Friday (EST).

    Maybe I'm to cynical (or not!).

    1. d3vy

      Re: Who is next??

      " I wonder if a person named Clinton"

      Doubtful, last I heard about it the FBI said that there was no case to answer - just a few days before the election.

  9. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I'd rather be done with the drama surrounding Pvt Manning [who I understand got the sex change done AT THE TAXPAYER'S EXPENSE] anyway, but letting Manning out of prison early isn't necessarily the best way to be done with this...

    it doesn't send a very good message. not at all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why are Americans OK with insurance? It's the same damn thing. You pay your premium even if you don't get sick.

      The state is a larger base to amortize the costs, fairer because you don't get hit with higher premiums for getting sick (kicking a man when he's down), and it's more efficient because you don't need the profits to pay dozens of private insurance companies.

      Are Burgers just irrational corporate boot-lickers?

    2. Esme

      @bombastic bob - folk who are gender dysphoric generally function better (as well as being happier) and have less illness once reassigned, which tends to improve their ability to earn and pay taxes. Overall it's a nett gain if the state pays for gender reassignment treatment (at least, it is over here in the UK. Unsure whether the same would be true in the US where medical providers are even freer to set rip-off prices for treatments)

      It's funny how when a prisoner is gender dysphoric and needs treatment there's usually someone crops up to protest their receiving treatment, whereas if it's cancer (which can be a durned sight more expensive to treat) there's seldom a peep.

      And all that is putting aside the ethical consideration of why is a person being punished at all for bringing gross wrongdoing to light? Seems to me that the US isn't so much a beacon of justice to the world as it claims as a horrible exemplar of state-sponsored vindictiveness, as has been shown by cases like the McKinnon one where the fault clearly lay with the people running the systems for having next to no security in place. The Chelsea Manning case is another example, and, for once, I agree that President Obama did the wrong thing by not intervening MUCH sooner and pardoning her. Any decent person in the same situation should have done exactly what Ms Manning did - and should not then be punished for the crimes of others, which was what she was reporting. The ones that should be doing time are the ones perpetrating the crimes she exposed.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: "if it's cancer [..] there's seldom a peep"

        Hint : it's because cancer has nothing to do with . . <whisper>SEX</whisper> . . in a "puritan" country which just happens to be the world's #1 porn video maker.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @BoBo,

      it doesn't send a very good message. not at all.

      The sentence was excessive so it was commuted, not annulled. Manning will still have to live with a criminal record now, and the time already spent in prison wasn't exactly the regular model found in normal prisons and was liked to a form of torture - I reckon the example is already there, not just in sentence but also in how much you can trust Assange and Wikileaks to keep their word.

      The latter, I think, is the real benefit to society that Manning has brought. Now, nobody will trust promises made by Assange & co.

      Not even star struck girls.

    4. LionelB

      @BOKBASTIC BOB

      "it doesn't send a very good message. not at all."

      Well, at least it sends a MESSAGE to people who cover up BAD THINGS that there is some SYMPATHY for people WHO are prepared to reveal them (at GREAT COST to themselves).

    5. Brangdon

      Re: it doesn't send a very good message. not at all.

      The average sentence for this kind of crime is 3.5 years. Manning has already served double that. She's not getting let off lightly at all.

    6. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      @Bombastic Bob.

      Your trolling isn't bad, but its no MB.

    7. Wzrd1

      "[who I understand got the sex change done AT THE TAXPAYER'S EXPENSE]"

      Yes, the US provides medical and mental health care for convicted felons. How horrible! Maybe you'd prefer we not provide those services and summarily execute them instead?

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Happy

    Manning up

    The Trumpolumpa won't be happy!

    Watch out Twitter.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Trumpolumpa

      Isn't that one of those Orange midgets from some far away fantasy land ?

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Manning up

      Incorrect spelling.

      TrumpoLumpen, not TrumpoLumpa

  11. LDS Silver badge

    Another Obama wrong move

    Snowden deserve it far more than the stupid Manning. But once again Obama has been not bold enough to do the right thing, and just choose the simplest one, good for media but useless. Just like its presidency.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another Obama wrong move

      I'd prefer Obama, aged; 7, than the full-gown man-baby we are about to get.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Another Obama wrong move

        Trump is probably very happy Obama didn't pardon Snowden. If I were Snowden, I wouldn't feel very secure in Putin's land now that Trump is willingly to have "good relationships", and of course will want also to have something in exchange. If no longer useful, Snowden could be a good "gift" to the new friend of Russia.... then Trump can jail or pardon Snowden, and get the benefit anyway.

        Manning was just a stupid boy who did it just because he could, one of the many Assange's puppets. Most of Manning data were just the usual useless stuff that goes among diplomats. His behaviour after his arrest show also how childish he is. Expect he dumping lipstick and wig, now.

        While Snowden acted in the interest of US citizens and their allies - trying not to endanger people's lives, Manning acted only in Assange interest, disregarding anything else.

        Pardoning Snowden would have been a far bolder move from a President with the motto "Yes, we can", and for a Nobel Peace prize winner.

        Just, he couldn't.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        I'd prefer Obama, aged; 7, than the full-gown man-baby we are about to get

        Yes, but you should also ask yourself why after eight years of Obama a Trump was elected - and why the choice was reduced to be between a Trump and a Clinton.

        The biggest failure of Obama presidency is exactly to have led to Trump - and one of the reason is lack of courage and always going for the low hanging fruit - as long as it will look anyway "good" in the media.

        After Snowden revelations, Manning represented just a small issue, and there's also the media-fashionable gender issue on the top. And reducing his sentence won't enrage TLAs too much, now.

        While Snowden had shown how the much vaunted USA democracy had steered towards a STASI like Orwellian surveillance, and shined a strong light over those TLAs unconstitutional practices.

        But Obama still regards him a criminal and a traitor, not a patriot.

        So USA got a Trump - no surprise.

        1. loneliberalrumbler

          Re: I'd prefer Obama, aged; 7, than the full-gown man-baby we are about to get

          The election was a perfect storm. Budweiser renamed the country's favorite beer to "America", cable TV was playing the Benghazi (13 Hours) story around the clock for 5 months and the Republican Senate put in a poison pill for our ACA (Obamacare) that would remove some re-imbursements to our FOR PROFIT insurance companies.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Another Obama wrong move

        I'd prefer Obama, aged; 7, than the full-gown man-baby we are about to get.

        On the plus side, he still has a full gown. It's when he drops it that I'd really have to reach for the mind bleach.

        :)

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Another Obama wrong move

      It's interesting that nobody at Booze Allan, Snowden's employer, seems to have suffered at all - ah well, that's IT outsourcing I guess - not their fault.

    3. strum Silver badge

      Re: Another Obama wrong move

      >Snowden deserve it far more

      A president can't pardon (or commute) someone who hasn't been convicted (or, at least, admitted the crime).

      1. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Another Obama wrong move

        A US president can indeed pardon someone who isn't convicted (yet).

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... and to each according to his deeds

    It is interesting to watch how a guy who spent the last few years warming a chair in the senate, and will at best get a footnote in the graduate-level history books, receives the highest decoration the country has to offer, while the person who has done more for the cause of restoring the american freedom and honor than the entire Obama administration, and will likely appear alongside MLK and Snowden in the late 21st century school programs (assuming the US manages to restore the school system by then after the desolation of Trump, that is) has 28 years slashed from her prison term.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    but will she make it to the release date?

    so, what are the odds on pvt. manning making another suicide attempt between now and the scheduled release day, which, despite the valiant efforts by the prison staff will unfortunately succeed?

    i would also suggest a side bet on the prison CCTV feed misteriously malfunctioning during that time.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: but will she make it to the release date?

      I think the question is more about will she make it AFTER release. There are still many nutjobs in the US who think Manning should be shot on sight.

      1. JetSetJim Silver badge

        Re: but will she make it to the release date?

        > I think the question is more about will she make it AFTER release. There are still many nutjobs in the US who think Manning should be shot on sight.

        Quite possibly, although there are also quite a few who probably don't even know who she is - a lot barely know who Snowden is (see this Last Week Tonight, around the 07:30 mark).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a pawn

    Unfortunately for Manning. She has only ever been a pawn in this whole affair. Used by both her own government and then by Wikileaks, neither ever really cared about her.

    At least this way, maybe she can make something of her life.

    1. Halfmad

      Re: Just a pawn

      Pawn? No she was the main actor in the leak, that's not a pawn. She was let down by her commanding officers who should have pulled her from duty, but as an adult she was responsible for her actions.

  15. Slx

    I'm assuming this is final, right? There's now way Trump could roll back on a predecessors commutation?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >I'm assuming this is final, right? There's now way Trump could roll back on a predecessors commutation?

      Not impossible but far from easy. There are precedents - W reversed one of his own pardons a few years back, but it would be foolish of Trump to try in this case. If Trump has taken it as a personal slight, he's probably in a room full of (mortified) constitutional lawyers right now.

  16. Paul Westerman
    Coat

    Hardly related

    I was listening to a Marcus Brigstocke thing on the way to work this morning and he said that Julian Assange in French means 'thinly sliced monkey'. Well, it made me laugh.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Hardly related

      The only way that would be possible would be to consider the pronunciation as "julienne à singe". Une julienne is a dish based on sliced veggies, adding monkey to it is an easy step.

      Personally, I think that would be pushing it, as the man's name (as written) would logically be pronounced "à s-ange" in French, "ange" meaning "angel".

      In this case, however, I fully subscribe to the initial interpretation since I am extremely loath to assign any "ange" quality to that monkey's ass.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly related

        >The only way that would be possible would be to consider the pronunciation as "julienne à singe"

        You're clearly approaching this from the perspective of a French speaker. Using the Standard English pronunciation of the French language I learned at school, which was almost certainly designed in the light of historical enmity with the explicit and generally successful aim of torturing French people who hear it, julienne à singe sounds exactly like Julian Assange....

        ....Juvay churcher mon man toe.

  17. ukgnome Silver badge

    Assange is vermin

    the thing is, he's a Russian puppet just like trumpski.

    I am pleased Manning will be getting out. Just hope the trumptards don't get nasty.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Assange is vermin

      I think that the jury is still out on that call - it's uncertain just who's puppet Assange is - my suspicions are that he's been unwittingly used by both sides for their own ends.

  18. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    Interesting times these are.

    Pvt Manning dumped a crapton of documents to the WikiLeaks folks that basically revealed that the US military actions in the middle east included illegal actions by American military staff. Illegal in terms of US law and illegal in terms of global military conventions.

    In terms of *how* this happened, who gives a fat rats ass? The Internet Media Personality that has been couch surfing for too long may have "Manipulated" Pvt Manning, the media could have "Manipulated" Pvt Manning, or perhaps Pvt Manning was just plain seriously horrified at what was there.

    President B Obama decides to commute the vast majority of Pvt Manning's sentence. This, in most respects is a sensible move. Pvt Manning's sentence was long. I do believe that I've read a summation by someone in a global NGO thinktank that pointed out that the sentence itself may have contravened a little known loop in American military law. There are other reasons why, on the tail end of his presidency he should be cleaning up messes like this.

    The Internet Media Celebrity enshrined in the Ecuadorian Embassy has decided to participate in a twatteratti posturing competition with Prez.Tweeter.Trump. Sadly for IMCetEE, B Obama's actions have basically placed IMCetEE in the position of having to get off the couch and dance. Considering IMCetEE's penchant for celebrity and luxury, I seriously doubt he'll be putting his money where his mouth is. <*cough*>

    Finally, along with all this, the lot that seem to think that Prez.Tweeter.Trump is about to change anything at all in the United States of Goldman Sachs loose their collective mind yet again because B Obama is trying to do something even so slightly correct.

    Manning commutation makes sense.

    Snowden hasn't even been charged, as far as I recall, let alone convicted of a crime.

    While wall street speculation banks and the military industrial complex *still* ran the united states under B Obama's watch, I think he put more style, class and grace into the 'reality tv show' that is the presidency than we've seen from any president since before I was born. He also tried to make a very few small changes that *might* have improved the american situation just a little tiny bit. <note : tried : >

    Sadly, the *media* has spent the last umpty-leven years doing everything it can to polarize every component of american society apart from every other component of american society. This keeps the american voters at *each others* throats. Its quite simple, if the left is beating the shit out of the right who is beating the shit out of the poor who are beating the shit out of the police, then they're all too busy to notice who is running the train off the bridge.

    Seriously?

    If I could quit, pack up everyone I care about and put together enough acreage in the farthest reaches of the south pacific, disconnected from "Modern Society" to make sure we'd be fed, I *just* might do it. The amount of stupid flying about these days, even here is making me seriously want to just leave the game.

  19. chivo243 Silver badge
    Coat

    Lou Reed

    shaved his legs on the way and he was a she... Is this the get out of jail free card?

  20. d3vy

    I might be missing something here.

    I have not read at any point over the last few years that America actually WANT him.

    My understanding was that his concern was based on being taken to Sweden and then extradited from there (This was why he would not travel to Sweden to be interviewed).

    So have I missed something? Have the US actually expressed an interest in extradition? If not assange may as well have said that if Manning was released he would serve his time in a German facility - as far as I know they have expressed as much interest in imprisoning him as the US has.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Assange lawyer: Manning commutation doesn't meet extradition offer's conditions"

    http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/314783-assange-lawyer-conditions-not-met-for-assange-manning-extradition-offer

    Not that many people thought his offer was sincere... still must be a bit disappointing for the Ecuadorian embassy to discover that there's still a deadbeat on the couch.

    1. Not That Andrew
      Holmes

      Re: "Assange lawyer: Manning commutation doesn't meet extradition offer's conditions"

      What! Assenage back pedelling? Whell I never!

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