Curt wechsler | December 26, 2016
The ‘Land of the Free’ houses almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population. President Obama has employed his constitutional authority to pardon 78 people this season, and commuted the sentences of another 153.
Notably absent from the list of those discharged are political prisoners, among them Chelsea Manning, most prominent victim of the president’s selective war against whistleblowers and official leakers — one law for ‘us’, another law for ‘them’.
High-level figures loyal to the regime are allowed to leak with virtual impunity. Leon Panetta enjoys his retirement at a walnut farm on California’s Monterey Peninsula. David Petraeus has been warmly re-embraced by Washington policymakers. John Brennan was promoted to lead the CIA.
“But no quantity of pardons can absolve [Obama] of his shameful legacy vis-à-vis humanity, much less atone for the United States’ enduring and unpardonable crimes,” writes Jacobin magazine’s Belén Fernández.