Freedom!

President Obama commutes Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence

This news has absolutely made my day. President Obama has decided to commute the bulk of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. The whistleblower will be released from prison in May of this year! She will have served over seven years of her thirty-five year sentence, the longest sentence ever dished out for her type of “crime.”

I’m not going to make this post about bashing the powers that be, even though I do think that Chelsea should have never been locked up in the first place. I’m just happy that President Obama did the right thing. Given Chelsea’s mental state after being subjected to long stretches of solitary confinement (a practice that is now condemned internationally as a form of torture), I have no doubt that Obama’s decision has saved her life. This is something that he can be proud of. One of his final acts as President of the United States was to grant mercy to a young woman who would have most likely died without it.

So, in a few short months the whistleblower will be set free. I wish her well, and hope she finds happiness in her new life outside of the cage.

Good night, my friends.

 

Sending a Hug

With the last few days of Barack Obama’s presidency dwindling away and the window of opportunity closing for Chelsea Manning, I wait in hope. I sincerely hope our president does the right thing and fees the whistleblower. I’m not going to get into the blame game, I just want her to be set free.

However, this is life, and life is seldom fair. If mercy is denied to Chelsea and she is left in that dark place, I want her to know that we will not abandon her. The thousands of supporters who champion her cause, the cause of justice, will continue to do so.

So, Chelsea, you are not alone. Here is a hug from me to you. Stay strong.

Thanksgiving Eve and The Whistleblower

Denice and I have been working as a team to clean and cook in preparation for Thanksgiving. It turns out that one of our relatives has opted to go elsewhere to celebrate, so that leaves us with myself, Denice, my mother, and her significant other. Oh, and four dogs. My mother’s dog is a wired-up chihuahua, and one of our dogs is a grumpy-grump around unfamiliar dogs. I have a feeling that things may go south, but it’s a risk that we take when dog people come together.

I’m going to postpone writing up a review of Walden Two until after Thanksgiving. I don’t want to rush it. It was a very good book, and has raised some interesting thoughts. Expect them soon.

chelseaI watched President Obama pardon a couple of turkeys today. It’s a fun tradition, and as always Obama is quiet entertaining. I suspect he is a likable guy in “real life.” I get the feeling that he would like to do a lot of good things, but is hamstrung by the interests that he has to pander to. I say that to bring up the fact that there is a young woman sitting in a lonely prison cell in Kansas who does not belong there. Chelsea Manning’s “crime” was giving a damn about her fellow human beings, and exposing the atrocities committed against them by the US military. Over the years of her unjust imprisonment she has been subject to long stretches of solitary confinement – conditions that are now recognized internationally as torture. She has been denied medical care, and basic human dignity. As a result this young woman has suffered severe mental distress, resulting in two unsuccessful suicide attempts. All of this has happened under the watch of a President that I still believe is a good person. I know that this is probably more complicated than I’m aware of, but still… Chelsea Elizabeth Manning has been punished enough. If there is anyone who has ever deserved and desperately needed a pardon, it would be her.

President Obama, I doubt sir that you would ever come across my little blog in the sea of information that you swim in, but if by chance you do… I humbly ask you to please, please don’t let your final days in office pass without setting Chelsea free.