Warning – This article contains levels of sarcasm and frustration. Reader beware.
In his final 72 hours in the White House, President Obama, in all his wisdom, decided to pardon Chelsea (formerly known as Bradley) Manning. Bradley was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking military secrets to Wikileaks nearly 7 years ago. Conveniently, Bradley announced a day following sentencing that he identifies as female and will go by the name of Chelsea. Abra Kadabra, so it was. He underwent procedures and is now a Trans woman.
(For the rest of the article, we will call him, “her”… Though his genetics beg to differ.)
Senior Officials told CNN that President Obama granted the pardon because Manning showed remorse and responsibility for her actions and had already served six years of a very long sentence. Prison sentences don’t work that way, Mr. President. But we’re sure you know that. With that being said, let’s speculate as to what the real reasoning for the pardon might be.
Throughout his presidency, Obama did his best to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community. What better way to end your presidency than to pardon a transgender LGBTQ “hero.” But there was nothing heroic about Manning’s act at all. Manning endangered the lives of thousands of American soldiers and millions of civilians by revealing secrets. Just because s/he is trans, she has the support of the community. Once again, as Ben Shapiro of the Dailywire.com puts it: “Politics is not a team sport.” Yes, Chelsea is trans. That doesn’t mean her actions can’t be deplorable, and they were.
Furthermore, to Obama’s credit, he has assumed somewhat of a zero-tolerance attitude towards individuals who leak classified information. At least intentionally. *cough* Hillary Clinton *cough* Which leaves us even more astounded as to why Obama would damage one of the few consistent positives he has had over the past 8 years. I guess he cares more about how he will be remembered in his handling of LGBTQ issues than he does about toughening up to leakers of classified data. Just one issue – THIS ISN’T AN LGBTQ ISSUE.
I am Jewish. However, not everything I involve myself in becomes a Jewish issue, wouldn’t you agree? So why do we look at cases with people of different sexual orientations differently than we would a straight white male? We need to treat issues like these with indifference to race, gender identification, and sexual orientation and just look at the actions perpetrated by the individual.
Lastly, critics on both side of the aisle need to be consistent. To Republicans who support Wikileaks yet are upset Manning was pardoned… Make sure your reasons are wholesome. To Democrats who denounce Wikileaks and think it affected the election. Do not take joy in the release of what is one of the most memorable contributors to a Wikileaks episode. You can’t hate Wikileaks unless it helps your cause.
Decency and consistency, not too much to ask for, America.