January 18th, 2017

On 17 May will walk free from the United States military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Ed Pilkington, writing in Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence commuted by Barack Obama for The Guardian ledes:

Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier who became one of the most prominent whistleblowers of modern times when she exposed the nature of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who then went on to pay the price with a 35-year military prison sentence, is to be freed in May as a gift of outgoing president Barack Obama.

In the most audacious—and contentious—commutation decision to come from Obama yet, the sitting president used his constitutional power just three days before he leaves the White House to give Manning her freedom.

Predictably, Pilkington details the reactions of the cockroaches who wish to be free to do their nasty bits in darkness are outraged that the brave soldier who shone light on their crimes will rightly go free, but for all their blustering, they cannot point to a single harm to anyone but themselves and their oligarch masters.

Alex Emmons, posting in President Obama Commutes Prison Sentence For Chelsea Manning for The Intercept, writes:

Even with her sentence commuted, Manning will have spent more time in detention than anyone convicted of leaking to news organizations: Just over seven years. After being arrested in 2010, she endured 11 months of solitary confinement, and was repeatedly denied medical care for her gender dysphoria.

In September, Manning staged a five-day hunger strike, and ended it only after the Army allowed her to consult a surgeon to receive gender-affirming surgery. Later that month, the Army punished Manning in retaliation for a suicide attempt, and she spent a week in solitary confinement.

Human rights activists and lawyers for Manning celebrated the decision.

“I’m relieved and thankful that the president is doing the right thing and commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence,” said Chase Strangio, an attorney with the ACLU representing Manning, in a statement. “Since she was first taken into custody, Chelsea has been subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement — including for attempting suicide — and has been denied access to medically necessary health care. This move could quite literally save Chelsea’s life, and we are all better off knowing that Chelsea Manning will walk out of prison a free woman, dedicated to making the world a better place and fighting for justice for so many.”

The move was quickly hailed by human rights groups. “Instead of punishing the messenger, the U.S. government can send a strong signal to the world that it is serious about investigating the human rights violations exposed by the leaks and bringing all those suspected of criminal responsible to justice in fair trials,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

[Disclosure: First Look Media Works, Inc., publisher of The Intercept, made a $50,000 matching-fund donation to Chelsea Manning’s legal defense fund through its Press Freedom Litigation Fund, and Glenn Greenwald, a founding editor of The Intercept, donated $10,000.]

Good on you President Obama and thank you Chelsea Manning.

Dare we hope for Edward Snowden?


  1. Carol Shakarian says:

    Please unsubscribe me from this blog.

    • Jeff Hess says:

      Good morning Carol,

      If you look at the bottom of the email you receive from Have Coffee Will Write you’ll see an unsubscribe option. Click there and you’ll no longer be bothered by my emails.

      As a veteran of our armed services, 5 years active duty in the Navy (1974-1979) and six years in the Ohio Army National Guard (1980-1986) I honor Manning’s service and her bravery for standing up against the dark forces that sends our brave men and women in harm’s way for less than honorable reasons. Manning helped to expose those forces and to really help to keep our service members, and our nation safe from unnecessary harm. We are a more secure nation for her good work and I wish her nothing but the best.

      Do all you can to make today the best day you can,


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