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January 18, 2017
Some attacks and some defenses of Prez Obama's decision to commute sentence of Chelsea Manning
Because I have not spent a lot of time reviewing the many distinctive and seemingly unique facts relating to Chelsea Manning's offenses and personal history, I really do not have strong opinions about Prez Obama's notable decision to commute her sentence from 35 years down to roughly 7. But it does seem that a lot of other folks have strong views, and here is a mini-round up of criticisms and defenses:
From Bill Otis at Crime & Consequences here, "Treason? Not a Problem!"
From Michael Rubin at the New York Post here, "Setting traitor Manning free is a betrayal by Obama"
From Cully Stimson via the Daily Signal here, "Obama’s Commutation of Manning Sentence Sends a Horrible Message to Service Personnel"
From Fred Kaplan via Slate here, "Obama Was Right to Commute Chelsea Manning’s Sentence"
- From Charles Pierce via Esquire here, "If You Think Chelsea Manning Got Off Easy, You're Out of Your Mind"
From Benjamin Wittes & Susan Hennessey via Lawfare here, "Obama is Right on Chelsea Manning"
January 18, 2017 at 03:32 PM | Permalink
...I really do not have strong opinions about Prez Obama's notable decision to commute her sentence from 35 years down to roughly 7."
I really have a strong opinion about the use of feminine pronoun when referring to a biologically male person. The lawyers do this in their books also. It make them look like deniers of reality. Manning is a male. Most criminals are males. Most parties to legal actions are male. The artificial and politically correct use of the feminine pronoun makes them look separated from reality, and not serious. It also falsely gives the wrong impression that females are most of the criminals. In the case of the transgendered, it is an absolute denial of reality.
I understand the lawyer has imposed a tyrannical, Orwellian, false use of language on pain of severe financial punishment. The use of the real pronoun will result in a sex discrimination verdict, and will be upheld on appeal. In NYC, it will result in a fine of $250,000 per violation. That just means the lawyer profession is nuts, and must be crushed. It does not make the use of the wrong pronoun correct.
Here is an analogy. Some people strongly believe that they have no legs. They live as if they did not. They use wheel chairs. They have hand controls installed in their cars. They insist on elevators. Then, they go to surgeons. They demand that their healthy legs be amputated. Surgeons refer them for psychiatric treatment, and they get very angry. They want their biological reality to be like that of their mental reality. You are a surgeon. What would do? You are a driver's license examiner. What would you do?
Posted by: David Behar | Jan 18, 2017 9:17:05 PM
Manning wasn't actually convicted of "treason" (was charged with aid to the enemy but not convicted) though we can colloquially call it "treason" [those on the left do use the word liberally, ha ha, in other cases too] or ala OJ opine it was factually such. "Traitor" is also a word that can be used loosely, especially if you aren't a legal professional.
The government harshly went after someone who broke their oath though some have tried to argue it was in promotion of some sort of whistleblowing, involved material not really too secret and "she did nothing wrong." I disagree with that line & think she warranted punishment of some sort. The conditions of her confinement at various times appears to have been unduly harsh (I really need to get a fuller sense of all sides there to get the full picture -- is there a book that talks about it?). She submitted to the criminal justice system (cf. Snowden), was prosecuted and admitted guilt.
After seven years in prison, she will now get out. The "message" here is that if you break your oath in this fashion, you will be severely punished but if you submit to the justice system, you might eventually get some relief. I think that works.
Posted by: Joe | Jan 19, 2017 11:05:21 AM
My .02 cents but I think you should delete David's post because it is off-topic. We can debate gender issues all day but I thought this was a blog about sentencing and there is no content in his post about sentencing. To me, it is spam. And I say that taking no stance on whether I agree or disagree with the substance of its content.
Posted by: Daniel | Jan 19, 2017 5:18:08 PM
Thanks for expressing your concern, Daniel. I tend to let David (aka the artist formerly known as Supremacy Claus) have his little rants on whatever has him riled up as long as he does not go too over-the-top. Given that one of the arguments for clemency for Manning was based on her transgender status, I am disinclined to delete this rant du jour. And I think David knows that if he goes overboard and especially if others express disaffinity for his rants on similar grounds, he may be asked to leave.
Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 19, 2017 9:52:13 PM
Ah, my previous queries have been answered. David Behar is in fact the artist formerly known as Supremacy Clause.
Posted by: MarK M. | Jan 20, 2017 4:24:11 AM
Seven years seems a little short to me, but I don't have a problem with it. I don't believe this sends any message of approval for what Manning did. No one will be encouraged to follow his example who would not have done it anyway.
Posted by: Gary | Jan 21, 2017 1:09:45 PM