Oh thank god. Nothing worse than having a traitor in a political position. Side note. I need to bleach my eyes…
Convicted felon and former Army analyst Chelsea Manning filed to run for a U.S. Senate seat this month, but it’s a Defense Department regulation violation and is illegal if Manning continues to run for office in Maryland, a former top Air Force judge advocate (JAG) said.
Manning, 30, is the transgender former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who leaked more than 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, making it the largest leak in United States history. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but her sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama. Manning was released from prison in May.
Col. Ralph Capio, U.S. Air Force (retired), a former Air Force JAG, told American Military News on Tuesday that Manning is still on active military duty status in an “excess leave” situation, and is therefore violating a military regulation that states active duty military can’t be engaged in partisan politics. If the regulation isn’t waived, then Manning would be considered in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
That regulation is in place for good reason, Capio pointed out – “We don’t want the military to be a politicized entity. Any number of problems can come up with a military force that’s political.”
Manning filed to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland earlier this year, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings dated Jan. 11. Manning filed to run as a Democrat.
At this point, given Manning’s active duty status and pending appeal of the convictions against her, it falls upon Mattis to ultimately make a decision and send a message as to what happens next, Capio explained.
Manning could withdraw the appeal, which would mean her active duty status would change and Manning would be discharged.
Alternatively, Manning could withdraw her candidacy – which seems unlikely, given her recent Twitter feed.
Then there’s Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Mattis could do a number of things – he could waive the regulation that prohibits active duty military from running for political office, which is unlikely, given the regulation is there for good reason, Capio stressed, adding that Mattis is the only person who could waive the regulation.
Or, Mattis could refer the case to go to an Article 32 investigator, which is the military equivalent of a grand jury investigation. Then the investigating officer would decide if Manning has violated the military regulation and if the case should go to trial.
There’s also the option to bypass that and court-martial Manning, Capio said.
“This is not a trivial regulation,” he pointed out. “If Manning gets away with [running for office], others are going to consider it, as well. The Defense Secretary has a decision to make.”
No matter the…