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Originally published in the International Business Times.
It might have been thought that a consistent opposition to treason was not all that difficult. But President Barack Obama’s surprise decision last night to commute the sentence of Bradley, now Chelsea, Manning, showed how deeply political partisanship has penetrated into areas like national security, where ideally country would be put before party or ideology.
Manning began stealing US diplomatic cables in December 2009 and established contact with Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks the next month. Having never alleged a wrongdoing nor tried to pursue it up the chain of command – as a whistle-blower would – Manning provided classified information to WikiLeaks that was first made public in February 2010. The leak that caught attention came on 5 April 2010, when WikiLeaks released a video under the title, “Collateral Murder,” of an air attack by the US in Iraq in July 2007, which killed, among others, Reuters journalists Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen.
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