Movement Demanding Freedom for Chelsea Manning Declares Victory
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FEATURING KEVIN GOSZTOLA – President Obama on Tuesday announced a list of 273 incarcerated people to whom he gave clemency. Among them was the famous whistleblower Chelsea Manning who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking military documents to Wikileaks.
Manning, who has been the victim of torture while in custody, had fought hard for her right to a gender reassignment surgery, and had reportedly attempted suicide over the last several months. A broad movement to free her had galvanized public sympathy, culminating in a social media campaign this past week called #HugsForChelsea.
While activists are celebrating a hard-won victory, not everyone is happy. House Speaker Paul Ryan denounced Obama’s decision as “outrageous,” and a “dangerous precedent.” On Wednesday Obama defended his move in a press conference saying Manning’s time served was on par with others convicted of the same crimes.
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Kevin Gosztola, managing editor of Shadowproof.com. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, Unauthorized Disclosure.