Wow. You've gotta hand it to President Obama--he really knows how to go out in style. On the third-to-last day of his Presidency, Obama delivered the biggest slap in the face to his country by commuting the sentence of treason convict Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning. Manning was to serve a 35-year prison sentence for stealing classified information on US intelligence gathering and providing it to Wikileaks--which published every single document. The breach put intelligence operations at risk, damaged relations with our allies and placed foreign agents in grave danger.
Liberals hailed Manning as a hero because those actions "revealed the abuses of government power" by those in the intelligence community. That status was further cemented when--after conviction and sentencing--Manning declared that he actually wanted to be a woman--and should not be held in a men's military prison. The Obama administration would eventually order the Army to provide Manning with the hormone therapy needed for gender conversion while behind bars.
The President's decision this week was made over the strong objection of Defense Secretary Ash Carter. It also further damages relations between the White House and Central Intelligence as the outgoing President sends a clear message to the world that exposing state secrets and undermining attempts to monitor our enemies will not be treated seriously--while the new President comes in saying the work of agents in the field is wrong and attempts at political sabotage. Meanwhile, the loss of quality intelligence makes the world a much for dangerous place for the United States.
Of course, the President's commutation for Manning also undermines liberals' efforts to de-legitimize Donald Trump's Presidency. When the President says its okay to take state secrets to Wikileaks, how can a righteously-indignant Senator think that its wrong for Hillary Clinton's campaign manager to get tricked into giving up his log-in information so that Russians can provide Wikileaks with emails showing the Democratic National Committee doing everything it can to prevent Bernie Sanders from winning the nomination?
And the best part is, the President doesn't even need to explain himself. There will be no more press briefings, no more Youtube videos or Facebook chats for the President. All he has to do is show up for the ceremonial limo ride with Trump to the Inauguration and boarding Marine One to fly off into the sunset. It wouldn't surprise me that instead of the double "victory sign" we got from Nixon on his way out--Obama gives us the "double bird".