Expressing dismay at President Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence, Charles Krauthammer said it was a disgrace and that this will hurt America’s credibility around the world:
I’m just hoping that in the next 48 hours, Obama doesn’t return Alaska to the Russians. After all, it was an unfair deal. I think it’s a disgrace what he did. There was not exactly a groundswell for Chelsea Manning, and I think people know how many people were put in danger. We are talking about Afghan villagers who chose our side over the other, were betrayed by these half a million Afghan and Iraqi reports. We know, reported by Jennifer griffin and by others, particularly here, that there was a Taliban killing spree after the release when they went after people who fit the description of those helping us. This was deadly. This is murder, this is treason.
Obama expresses sympathy, “Oh, the sentence was too long originally.” A generation ago, someone who did that on that scale would have been hanged. 35 years was an act of mercy and restraint. The idea that you would let him go sends exactly the wrong message.
We are going to have engagements throughout the world, twilight struggles like these. People in villages are going to have to decide, “Do I join the Americans or do I inform against the Americans?” Anyone who hears about this — how lenient we are with someone who betrays this country and betrays them — is going to think twice about ever helping us.