It is ridiculous to think that Bradley Manning might receive a pardon from the President of the United States. To say that knowingly leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks and Julian Assange, an Australian, as a whistle-blowing technique is laughable. It leads many to believe he was paid for his production of so many documents. Bradley Manning is no whistle-blower, he is a criminal. The short sentence he received of 35 years for putting countless American lives in danger by releasing documents for which he had no authority and for which his moral code as a soldier in the U.S. military means he should have received the full sentencing.
Bradley Manning did not go to his superior, to anyone else in the military, to an American journalist, to a senator or Congressman, to his father, he went to an Australian. In itself that should prove he was not whistle-blowing. Manning's oath as a soldier in the U.S. Army is to protect the citizens of the United States. By going outside his own country with any information about his country he did the exact opposite.
Now that Manning has been convicted of a myriad of charges including violating the Espionage Act, copying and disseminating classified material and assessments of detainees at Guantamo Bay, Cuba as reported by the Washington Post his defense team is trying to gain sympathy for him by letting everyone know Manning is transgender. So what, he's transgender, big deal. It is of no concern or importance to his sentence that he is transgender. If he is happier being in women's clothes so be it but in jail they all wear the same thing so it won't matter. If he wants to grow his hair out, great, go ahead. This is a sympathy play and people shouldn't buy it. U.S. citizens shouldn't have to pay for his hormone therapy or any change in gender. Want to be called Chelsea? Great. Everybody call Brad Chelsea instead. But, until Manning gets out of jail in 35 years his personal desires are of no concern. Perhaps, he should have considered the consequences of his actions on his own life before he decided to, basically, be a traitor not a whistle-blower.
Sherron Watkins is a whistle-blower. Watkins recognized a problem, knew exactly what it was and went directly to the top of her organization, Enron, to say something must be done- there is a problem that needs fixed. Watkins helped prosecutors and officials with the Enron case. Sherron Watkins has gone on to be a public speaker on ethics. Manning cannot do the same because he didn't act ethically or morally. He didn't take an consideration for any lives he might put in danger, the collateral damage he could inflict. Evidently, this was not part of his moral code. And why did he supposedly release the information? The Washington Post reports Manning said he "started to question the morality" of U.S. policy. As if that isn't done all the time. If Manning had any moral code, which he made an oath to as an army soldier but did not follow, he would have gone to his superiors, the U.S. press (which he claims he made a couple calls but the weather kept him from going to Politico which didn't matter because he already decided on WikiLeaks!), a congressman or senator, even his own parents who might have given him better advice but instead he chose WikiLeaks. It just doesn't come out in the wash. Bradley Manning got off easy.
It's time the U.S. Army figure out what they need to do differently to ensure they have the correct people in the correct job. They clearly not properly evaluating people for their mental stability, their ethics, and the correct security clearance they should have if we have cases like Manning and Hasan at Fort Hood. The military and the U.S. government needs to re-evaluate the strength of their assessment programs.