Chelsea Manning submits request for presidential pardon
September 5, 2013
WikiLeaks whistle-blower Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison last month. Tuesday, in an appeal addressed to President Obama, the Army private’s lawyer asked that his client be pardoned or, at the very least, have her sentence reduced to time served.
Manning has already spent three years in a military prison for leaking documents that her lawyer, David E. Coombs, says were “either unclassified or contained information that the public had a right to know.” Slate discusses the request’s contents:
The earliest Manning could be considered for parole is in 7 years. In the letter, Manning’s lawyer writes, “the length of Private Manning’s sentence is one that we would expect for someone who disclosed information in order to harm the United States or who disclosed information for monetary gain. Private Manning did neither. Instead, he disclosed information that he believed could spark a meaningful public debate on the costs of war, and specifically on how we value human life.”
Referring to Manning as a “military whistleblower,” the letter says Manning “has already paid a heavy price for his conduct.”…Manning’s pardon request refers to Chelsea Manning by her former name, Bradley Manning.
The letter reminds Obama that the documents Manning revealed simply “embarrassed” the U.S. because they exposed the “misconduct” and “unethical practices” carried out by government officials. Coombs also emphasizes the importance of the role whistle-blowers play in our country: Regardless of any embarrassment they may cause, they are essential to ensuring government accountability. Punishments as drastic as those Manning has faced and continues to endure will only discourage patriots wishing to reveal injustices in the future.
Manning also writes in the request herself, according to The Guardian:
“I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society. I will gladly pay that price if it means we could have a country that is truly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all women and men are created equal.”
In other words, enough’s enough, Mr. President. Free Chelsea Manning and send the message that America stands behind whistle-blowers who try to improve our society by opening conversations that are crucial to a nation that calls itself a democracy.
Brazil is trying to make a national email system, that will be immune to U.S. espionage.
The new email system should be working in the latter half of 2014, Brazil’s communication minister, Paulo Bernardo, told the Folha de São Paulo newspaper this week.
Plans for the anti-snooping email system got underway earlier this year, after Edward Snowden revealed some of the spying tactics used by the U.S. National Security Agency, including its practice of intercepting millions of emails and phone conversations around the globe.
(Photo: Getty Images / Office of Nancy Pelosi)
After posing for that cheesy portrait for the holiday card, we all know about the headaches group portraits can cause. For House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic congresswomen, it’s turned into something of a migraine.
In Upworthy writer Edwardo Jackson’s hometown of Seattle, residents vote exclusively by mail and can register to vote online. Here’s more compelling evidence the ballot box is the analog past while online and mobile voting are our digital future.
The US House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day, the Associated Press and others reported.
It remained unclear whether the Senate would vote Monday.
Congress could pass later legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.
More from the Associated Press here.
WE’RE GOING OVER
You know, props to Obama for not giving in. About time.
This weekend, a state-sponsored cash-for-guns program in Camden County, New Jersey, saw the return of 1,137 firearms — the most successful buyback in state history, and not the only record-breaking return haul since Friday’s massacre.
Read more. [Images: AP]
David Carr, “Using War As A Cover To Target Journalists.”
This is beautifully written, and talks some serious sense about a dangerous trend.
Red v Blue, Not So True
Via Chris Howard:
America really looks like this - I was looking at the amazing 2012 election maps created by Mark Newman (Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan), and although there is a very interesting blended voting map (Most of the country is some shade of purple, a varied blend of Democrat blue and Republican red) what I really wanted was this blended map with a population density overlay. Because what really stands out is how red the nation seems to be when you do not take the voting population into account; when you do so many of those vast red mid-west blocks fade into pale pink and lavender (very low population).
So I created a new map using Mark’s blended voting map based on the actual numbers of votes for each party overlaid with population maps from Texas Tech University and other sources.
Here’s the result — what the American political voting distribution really looks like.
Augh what is this gorgeousness
- 220 misdemeanor marijuana charges have been dropped by prosecutors in King and Pierce counties before a new law legalizing possession of the (still federally controlled) substance takes effect next month. Washington’s widely publicized legalization initiative is set to become the law of the land on Dec. 6, barring federal intervention in the interim, but local authorities see little point in trying to enforce laws that will soon expire. ““I think when the people voted to change the policy, they weren’t focused on when the effective date of the new policy would be,” said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. “They spoke loudly and clearly that we should not treat small amounts of marijuana as an offense.” source