Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Pardon whistleblower Chelsea (Bradley) Manning
Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, the person who exposed injustices committed by the United States Military, including war crimes, human rights violations, and dozens of other offenses, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for the past three years, and helped bring to light the blatant cruelty displayed by American military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of prosecuting those who have committed war crimes, the U.S. instead decided to go after Manning, charging him with, among other crimes, aiding the enemy, an offense punishable by life in prison. He was not found guilty of aiding the enemy, but was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges put against him. Despite the fact that his trail just took place, much of the country, including President Obama, declared him guilty years before he faced trial.
For ten months, Manning was locked in solitary confinement, often forced to stay naked, and was not allowed any interaction with the outside world. His deplorable treatment was illegal under military law, and has been labeled cruel and unusual punishment by many.
He was detained for three years without standing trial, a violation of his constitutional rights. While Manning is able to reduce his 35-year sentence by three years for his pre-trial detention, the fact that he is going through the process at all is completely unjust. Manning rightfully exposed war crimes and was prosecuted for it. President Obama must issue a presidential pardon and let Bradley Manning go free.
Dear President Obama,
As you know, Wiki-leaks whistleblower Chelsea (Bradley) Manning has just been sentenced to 35 years in prison. Although you made it clear that you believe Manning broke the law,it seems that he had only intended to protect the integrity of the public with the information he gave. Prosecuting the whistleblower instead of the war criminals already sends a bad message to the public, not to mention the horrible treatment Manning endured even before his trial. He was left in solitary confinement for months at a time, and subjected to what has been described as cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the eighth amendment. Mr. Manning was imprisoned for three years before even facing trial, another violation of his rights as a United States citizen.
The material leaked by Manning helped to expose intolerable human rights violations around the world, and did very little damage to U.S. diplomatic relations. This situation has gone on too long, and too much has happened to Manning. It is now your responsibility to comply with the request of Manning’s lawyer, and pardon him.
[Your Name Here]
Photo from the public domain