Archive | Manning

After Manning, let’s focus on Snowden

Yesterday we learned that Chelsea Manning will be released May 17 next year. Now, let’s keep an eye on the ball. Still, much can happen.

Given that Manning really will be released from prison – it’s time to boost the campaign for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Still, in theory, there is a possibility of a presidential pardon. But it is not very likely. Instead, the Snowden campaign will have to shift focus to asylum or sanctuary in a western democracy.

Needless to say, practically all western governments reject this proposal. If it is to happen, we will have to make them change their minds.

Politicians mostly care about their image and public opinion, i.e. votes. Factors that can make them more popular or unpopular and give them more or less public support are essential. So, it really should be possible to make them change their mind about Snowden.

The first thing should be to reach critical mass. Actually, this is the hardest phase. It requires hard work. But we know that focused campaigning can lead to a breakthrough. And we already have e.g. the European Parliament and several media organizations onboard.

Furthermore, politicians saying no to Snowden might stand out as elitist, shady and patrons of the deep state. The pro-Snowden campaign, on the other hand, is from the beginning perceived as fighting for a noble cause. We also have the psychological advantage of being the underdog, the people confronting the power elite.

We need to saturate the Internet and the media with pro-Snowden messages. But we also need action. Because action is a very effective tool for communication. We need to organize rallies, seminars, and media-friendly grass root activism. And we need to take every opportunity to bring this subject up when politicians meet the public.

It is possible to provide refuge for Edward Snowden in the western world. But to reach this goal, we will have to work really hard. Nothing will happen by itself.



Obama pardons Manning

President Obama commuted the majority of the 35-year sentence faced by Chelsea Manning, a former Army private and whistleblower who supplied diplomatic and military documents to Wikileaks. (…)

The terms of Obama’s commutation will have Manning freed on May 17, 2017, the New York Times reports.

Techcrunch: Chelsea Manning to be freed this May »


Manning – will it happen?

Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich sent a letter this week to President Barack Obama requesting that Obama “grant the application for clemency submitted by Chelsea Manning and commute her sentence to time served.” The result of Obama taking this action would be the whistleblower’s prompt release from prison.

Noting that Manning “has already spent more time in prison than anyone previously convicted for providing information to the media,” the two former US House Members who have both run for president in their respective parties’ primaries, declare their belief that Manning “received a sentence that was excessively punitive and intended to send a chilling message to future potential whistleblowers acting in the public interest.”

Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul Ask President Obama To Give Chelsea Time Served »


Manning: Presidential pardon – or not?

Chelsea Manning, the Army soldier who was handed a 35 years prison sentence in 2010 for leaking military files to Wikileaks, may be on President Obama’s short list of sentence commutations before he leaves office.

This comes from NBC News, which cited an unnamed Justice Department official. The report said a decision on Manning could come as soon as Wednesday, though Obama has until his last day in office to do so. High profile or controversial pardons and sentence commutations, as this would be, typically come at the end of presidents’ terms.

Vocativ: Chelsea Manning Is Reportedly On Obama’s Commutation Short List »

Boingboing: Chelsea Manning on the short list for commutation: call the White House at 202-456-1111 to help her »