Sec/Def, Other Top Dems Oppose Manning’s Release

Sen. Menendez: Letting Chelsea Manning Go a National Security Risk

It’s unsurprising how many Republicans expressed outrage at President Obama for commuting the sentence of Chelsea Manning. They are, after all, condemning virtually everything Obama does in his waning days in office. The move appears to have riled more than a few Democrats as well.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D – NJ) insisted he doesn’t understand at all why President Obama would let Manning go, declaring “national security is at stake.” Menendez went on to make this somehow about Russia, saying it sent mixed messages to let Manning go and investigate Russia for “coordinating with WikiLeaks.”

Reports also indicated that Defense Secretary Ash Carter was very opposed to releasing Manning, and apparently the matter was a topic of debate within the administration before the announcement, with Carter very much making his opposition heard.

Sen. John McCain (R – AZ) also brought up Russia in his opposition to Manning’s release, condemning WikilLeaks as a “virulently anti-American organization that was a tool of Russia’s recent interference in our elections.” Manning, arrested back in 2010, of course was not accused of anything remotely related to the 2016 election.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.