17 January 2017

Obama's Gesture and Bradley Manning

Obama's commutation of Bradley Manning's prison sentence will probably be the one gesture that is genuinely appreciated by the Left, not the DNC-style Left, but the actual Left that has been mostly opposed to Obama and his many betrayals. Obama the president that has more than any other crushed whistleblowers, leakers and investigative journalists, the president who has empowered the NSA and accentuated the domestic spying apparatus, has in his final hours shown a degree of magnanimity.

Manning, obviously a dark and troubled soul will now emerge from incarceration. What will be his/its role? After making the rounds, will Manning become the champion of identity politics, a crusader against American imperialism, something of both... or perhaps an opportunist, the very caricature of an activist? Time will tell.

I also await the fanfare that will surround the release of John Walker Lindh. As amazing as it is to say, his release is only a couple of years away. Will he leave the country? Will he speak out against what happened to him?

I have never been in prison. The closest thing for me was boot camp. But I know people who have, some who have done hard time. It changes you. In Manning's case that takes on a different meaning.

We've been awaiting the final hour pardons. I must say I didn't see this one coming. While not actually a pardon, it will at the very least get Manning out of prison.

That's good news. There hasn't been a lot as of late.


  1. When I heard about Manning's plea for transgender therapy/pharmaceuticals/surgery in jail, I wonder if something had snapped. I assume that if Obama released him, it would not be generosity, but pity on an operator who couldn't take the toll of resistance. He'll either melt away as bent and broken or he's been wound up to make the talk-show circuits doing as you say. While it waits to be seen, Obama doesn't seem like a Kennedy, someone who recognized how dark the inner apparatus is and tried to renege. This seems like an empty gesture. I guess at the least, Obama isn't a sadist: there's no point torturing a broken soul.

    That's my pessimism anyhow,

  2. I think your assessment is probably accurate. I believe (if memory serves) he's attempted suicide more than once.