See You in May Chelsea
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) would like to extend our congratulations to Chelsea Manning, as we anxiously await her release from military prison on May 17, 2017. We appreciate that President Obama chose to commute the unreasonably harsh 35-year sentence that had been handed down to Ms. Manning though we believe a pardon would have been more appropriate.
We believe that the lengthy sentence was disproportionately severe and politically motivated, considering Ms. Manning’s willingness to be honest with the military investigation about what she exposed and why. Ms. Manning made the noble choice to accept the consequences of her actions, which resulted in the tortuous treatment she has received while incarcerated. That she received a sentence that was significantly more severe than what other military member have received for similar charges in the past is a clear indicator of this.
We take the announcement of Chelsea Manning’s release as a sign that should encourage whistleblowers to continue to speak out through this new administration. We stand with those who have the courage to inform the people of this nation about abuses of power and potential war crimes. We rely on members of our military and government agencies to uphold the principles that our country espouses and to keep our government accountable. We believe that transparency is vital to an informed citizenry and the democratic process.
We are counting the days until Ms. Manning’s release and welcome her to the community of veterans who work to hold our elected and appointed leaders accountable for their actions. On the day of her release, we call on all veterans to welcome Chelsea with kindness, peace and thanks for her sacrifices.
Chelsea, please stay strong until your release, and know that we are here for you.
Iraq Veterans Against the War