I’m elated! Chelsea Manning is finally going to be released. Obama signed the commutation today.
Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organisation which published the diplomatic cables, has previously said its founder Julian Assange would agree to be extradited to the US if Mr Obama granted clemency to Manning.
The White House said the Manning commutation was not influenced in any way by Mr Assange’s extradition offer.
Mr Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, did not immediately comment on whether he plans to surrender.
But he did tweet: “Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Chelsea Manning’s clemency. Your courage & determination made the impossible possible.”
I think if the decision Obama made was not a prisoner exchange, then Assange doesn’t have to surrender. He’s already being illegally detained by the US extradition order they funneled through Sweden. Or, if he is sentenced to a day in prison, he’d keep his promise if he serves that time. I think a day in jail is too much for the person who stood up to the US intelligence machine and exposed some of their worst crimes.
ADDED: It’s only a shame that Edward Snowden and Jeremy Hammond can’t also be set free from their political prisons.