3 Things You Need To Know About Obama’s Pardon Of Chelsea Manning

3 Things You Need To Know About Obama’s Pardon Of Chelsea Manning

JANUARY 17, 2017

In a massive slap in the face to both the defense and intelligence communities, outgoing President Barack Obama commuted the sentence for Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking military details to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Manning has served just seven years of his sentence; he is transgender and has changed his name to Chelsea Manning. Manning wasn’t Obama’s only controversial commutation: he also commuted the sentence of General James E. Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who lied to reporters about leaking information about the Stuxnet virus directed by Israel against the Iranian nuclear program; Obama commuted Oscar Lopez Rivera, an FALN terrorist who was convicted to a 55-year sentence for seditious conspiracy, forced robbery, and firearms charges.

So, what drove Obama to make these decisions? And what is their impact?

 Here are a few thoughts.

1. Obama Hates The National Security Community. Manning revealed documents to WikiLeaks that damaged American national security severely. According to the Associated Press, as The Weekly Standard notes, “The government presented [an] uncontested written statement that former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden asked for and received from an associate the Afghanistan battlefield reports that WikiLeaks published. The material was found on digital media seized in the May 2011 raid on bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, [lead prosecutor Maj. Ashden] Fein said. Bin Laden was killed in the raid.” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) rightly stated, “I don’t understand why the president would feel special compassion for someone who endangered the lives of our troops, diplomats, intelligence officers, and allies.” And Obama’s other commutations reveal a deep disdain for our allies and our defense community: FALN is a terrorist organization, and the leak of the Stuxnet virus information only helped Iran.

2. Democrats Pretending They Care About WikiLeaks Have A Lot To Explain. Obama and other Democrats have suggested that Donald Trump was elected thanks to the Russians “hacking the election.” What they really mean is that Russia sponsored the WikiLeaks hacking of John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee. And they’ve been fighting mad about it – many top Democrats have used the WikiLeaks stories as a pretext to call the incoming administration illegitimate. But now Obama has commuted the sentence of the man whose information made WikiLeaks famous. So leaks are only bad when they hurt Democrats – when they hurt America’s national security, they’re no big deal, apparently.

3. Republicans Who Like WikiLeaks But Angry About Manning Have A Lot To Explain. Sean Hannity has become quite friendly with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange ever since WikiLeaks helped destroy Hillary Clinton’s campaign. But back when WikiLeaks was pumping out Manning’s material, Hannity wanted Assange prosecuted. Hannity’s not the only one in this situation. Republicans seem deeply upset about the Manning commutation, even while many of them pooh-pooh Assange’s involvement in the election process.

Everybody’s a hypocrite when it comes to leaks these days. The only astonishing thing is how blatant Obama’s hypocrisy is – and how little he cares about exposing Democratic hypocrisy on WikiLeaks to the light of day on his way out.

The Morality of Voting for Trump

The Morality of Voting for Trump

#NeverTrumpers fails to persuade as Dems focus on helping their candidate win

by Laura Ingraham | Updated 12 Aug 2016 at 1:57 PM

Knowing what we know about Hillary Clinton and her plans for America, and the importance of the Supreme Court, we conservatives have a moral obligation to both oppose her and support Donald Trump.

That’s the choice the NeverTrumpers have made — a decision to do nothing.

This is the sentiment I expressed on Sean Hannity’s television show Thursday that has sent some #NeverTrump conservatives into a tizzy. Ben Shapiro is the latest in a long line of mostly Acela-corridor Republicans who spend much of their days “see-I-told-you-so’ing” about Trump.

Shapiro responded on behalf of Team #NeverTrump Friday in a piece titled “Hannity, Ingraham Say It’s Immoral Not to Vote Trump. Here Are 3 Reasons They’re Wrong,” published in the Daily Wire.

Here are his three arguments, none of which is persuasive:

1. Electing Trump as president will do more damage to the country in the long run because a Trump presidency would be the end of conservatism.
Really? What conservatism is that? The conservatism that ran up huge deficits in the 2000s? The conservatism that encouraged illegal immigration? The conservatism that pushed trade policies that led to the rise of China? The conservatism that rolled over for Obama on issue after issue? The conservatism that does whatever The Wall Street Journal editorial page wants? The conservatism of Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain? That conservatism won’t be around anymore? Good.

Those are reasons to support Trump, not reasons to fear him. Over the last 25 years, the conservative movement has failed to win a single election against Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. They failed to stop social liberalism. They failed to stop the rise of China. They failed to shrink the federal government, balance the federal budget, return power to the states, or generally do any of the things that GOP voters wanted them to do.

Now, peeved and spiteful that the base no longer trusts them to do almost anything, they are supporting Hillary Clinton — a radical liberal whose 25 years on the national stage have been an absolute disaster for the average American.

If ending this record of failure, and launching a new conservatism that actually tries to help working-class Americans, is one of the consequences of the Trump campaign, then that campaign will have been well worth it.

2. There are costs to supporting Trump if he loses.
They’re worried about conservatism being tainted by Trump? Were they there when the housing bubble collapsed in 2008, and the nation watched in horror as a Republican president struggled to explain why the U.S. economy was in free fall? Were they there when the Bush administration disbanded the Iraqi military, which made stabilizing that sectarian quicksand impossible? Were they there when Republicans were crushed in the 2006 and 2008 elections — in large part because they could make no defense of the Bush administration? Of course they were.

To this day, conservatism is tainted by its association with the Bush administration — and yet the GOP re-took the House in 2010, and re-gained the Senate in 2014. If conservatives can overcome eight years of disastrous policies that left this country crying out for Barack Obama, of all people, they can certainly overcome Donald Trump.

 3. Your vote is a moral instrument, not just an instrument of policy.
Yes, it is. Voting for Trump means that when your country had been in decline for almost two decades, and you had the chance to set the country on a different course, you took it.

Voting for Trump means that when you finally had the chance to end the corrupt and decadent Clinton machine, you took it.

Voting for Trump means that when you had the chance to write in the history books that the country had rejected the last eight years of President Obama, you took it.

Voting for Trump means that when you had the chance to save the First Amendment, and the Second Amendment, and to restore the proper checks and balances that are at risk from another Clinton administration, you took it.

Voting for Trump means that when you had the chance to stand up to pro-China billionaires who make money off of a global system that is rigged in favor of a Chinese dictatorship, and rigged against the American worker, you took it.

Voting for Trump means saying yes to a 15 percent top corporate tax rate, which will boost American wages and jobs.

Voting for Trump means that we know how critical the Supreme Court is and if we lose it, game’s over on many of the policies and principles we’ve been fighting for decades.

Is Trump perfect? Of course not. Do you know how many perfect presidents we’ve had? Zero. In the real world, if you want to be a citizen — and have the responsibilities of a citizen — you have to be a grown-up, and you have to recognize that life presents us with difficult choices.

Voting for Trump means fighting against the ennui and decline that is destroying this country.

Voting for Trump does not mean that you agree with everything he says, or that you never criticize him. It does not mean giving up your right to disagree with him — or even oppose him — when he does something you think is wrong. Does anyone think that Paul Ryan — who is supporting Trump — will simply be a rubber stamp for Trump’s policies? Does anyone think that the numerous GOP Senators who support Trump will blindly follow wherever he leads? Of course not.

The NeverTrumpers like to pretend that Trump’s supporters are weak-minded simpletons who don’t understand how politics works. But the truth is that those of us who support Trump understand all too well the reality of the choice that faces us, and are doing the best we can to save this country.

On the other hand, not voting for Trump — and hoping that he loses — also represents a moral choice:

It means being worried every time you hear a story suggesting that Hillary still faces real hurdles before Election Day and could still lose this.

It means aligning yourself, at least temporarily, with left-wing nightmares Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and all the other radicals who want Trump to lose.

It means turning a deaf ear to your fellow Americans who can’t take four more years of decline, and who are desperate for new leadership.

It means allowing another four or eight years of flat-lining wages and growth, and high taxes on American businesses.

It means hardening your heart against people those who have spent 40 years trying to stop abortion.

It means rejecting the advice of Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and the vast majority of elected Republican officials — all of whom are supporting Trump.

It means doing nothing when The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and every other left-wing outlet mocks and ridicules the Trump supporters as racists and bigots.

It means cheering (silently or not) along with every smear and every snide comment that Hollywood and the media can use to attack Trump’s voters.

That’s the choice the NeverTrumpers have made — a decision to do nothing, to wash their hands of the election, of the Republican Party, of the country itself.

That may represent some people’s version of morality. But it’s not mine.