Newly-elected US president Donald Trump took to Twitter to brand Chelsea Manning an “ungrateful traitor” for calling Barack Obama a “weak leader” in her column piece for the Guardian, despite the fact that the outgoing president commuted her 35-year sentence over a week ago.
“Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!,” Trump tweeted, as previously reported by Daily Mail.
Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
Manning, a former Army private who was sent to jail for leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was freed from prison thanks to Obama’s pardon. The transgender activist, however, did not pull any punches in criticizing Obama in her column, in which she slammed the outgoing president for continually resorting to compromises when dealing with political opponents during his term. Manning wrote that these compromises are to blame for why Obama ended his eight-year term with “few permanent accomplishments.”
‘The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: do not start off with a compromise,” Manning wrote for The Guardian.
— True Pundit (@true_pundit) January 26, 2017
In this vein, she called out liberals to take a more active role in making changes “at every level.”
Chelsea Manning also wrote about where she was and what she was doing during Obama’s 2009 inauguration: in New York’s Fort Drum where she was on active duty as part of an Army unit tasked to deploy to Washington, D.C. in case of an emergency.
She wrote that most of the officers selected for this security detail “openly despises” Obama.
“The seething vitriol and hatred simmered quietly in that room. In retrospect, it was an ominous foreshadowing of things to come,” Manning said.
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) January 19, 2017
Things were drastically different for Manning when Obama got reelected in November of 2012, as she was holed up in a civilian jail cell in Baltimore awaiting a court martial hearing at the time.
Her fellow inmates, she wrote, were feeling optimistic about Obama’s presidency at the time.
“Surrounded by a different crowd of people, the excitement and elation of his re-election was genuine.”
Surprisingly, Manning, being a transgender woman, also criticized how Obama handled the terrorist attack on a gay club in Orlando, specifically on how he “attempted to comprise with opponents who were uninterested and unwilling to meet him halfway.”
“In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that took the lives of nearly 50 queer and brown people, it took Obama over 300 words of his speech to acknowledge the queer community, and even then, as an abstract acronym,” she added.
In addition, Chelsea Manning criticized Obama for allowing opponents to shut him down in matters concerning health care reform and foreign policy, saying that after “months of comprise” on his end, they never capitulated to most of his proposals.
Manning wrote that eight years of compromises on Obama’s part will lead to “darker times” for minorities and the LGBT community.
“Healthcare will change for the worse, especially for those of us in need. Criminalization will expand, with bigger prisons filled with penalized bodies – poor, black, brown, queer and trans people. People will probably be targeted because of their religion. Queer and trans people expect to have their rights infringed upon.”
In closing, Chelsea Manning added that the country needs an “unapologetic progressive leader” who won’t settle for compromises, but is “willing to face all of the vitriol, hatred, and dogged determination of those opposed to us.”
“We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. We need to stop hoping that our systems will right themselves. We need to actually take the reins of government and fix our institutions. We need to save lives by making change at every level.”
Do you agree with Chelsea Manning’s criticism of Barack Obama in his Guardian piece? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by U.S. Army/AP Images]