Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Pardon Chelsea (formerly known as Bradley) Manning
A military judge recently sentenced Chelsea Manning (formerly PFC Bradley Manning) to 35 years in military prison for the disclosure of over 700 000 government files relating to Guantanamo Bay, airstrikes, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These documents revealed civilian killings, torture of detainees, and dealings in child prostitution. Some of the information showed incongruities with the US government’s statements and sparked a necessary discussion in America about government honesty, accountability, and transparency.
During her deployment in Iraq, Manning had unfettered access to classified networks of government intelligence relating to the Afghan and Iraqi wars and war detainees. She was disturbed and appalled by the records of innocent civilians and journalists killed during aerial attacks, barbaric enhanced interrogation methods, and the US government’s apparent indifference toward abuse, rape, and murder committed by American, Afghan, and Iraqi soldiers.
Ms. Manning believed that this information belonged in the public domain and that Americans had a right to know how their military represented their country. After much internal debate, she disclosed the information to WikiLeaks in hopes of provoking examination and correction of inhumane war procedures. Instead of being protected as a whistleblower for reporting misconduct, Manning was prosecuted for espionage, computer abuse, and aiding the enemy.
Chelsea Manning took a military oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and has done exactly her duty by exposing these breaches of the Constitution and of American and international laws. Ms. Manning took a great risk in the interest of making a positive change, and it’s now time for all grateful parties to come to her defense in this time of need. Your signature will show President Obama that you support Ms. Manning’s request for a pardon.
Dear President Barack Obama,
Chelsea (born Bradley) Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for publicizing documents pertaining to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These files revealed that rape, torture, and the murder of innocents was being hidden from public knowledge. In keeping with her military duty to uphold the laws and Constitution of America, Manning exposed this information that affected citizens on a global scope. Rather than being protected, she was prosecuted.
The importance of clemency for persons that report improper conduct within the military and other government agencies is paramount. By refusing this protection, you foster distrust and relay a message of discouragement for future whistleblowers.
I request that you approve Ms. Manning’s request for a presidential pardon as her actions were in the interest of American ideals. While she did release classified documents, they contributed to a more informed public opinion.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Bradley Manning Support Network