NBC Bemoans Trump Pardoning U.S. Soldier, Cheered Obama Releasing Manning

Despite admitting the move had the support of “three dozen generals and admirals”, NBC Nightly News seemed peeved that President Trump pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army first lieutenant convicted of unlawfully killing a terrorist in a combat zone. But back in 2017, NBC cheered when President Obama released former Army private Chelsea Manning, who damaged U.S. intelligence by leaking secrets to WikiLeaks (before the media hated them). They also ignored Obama’s release of an unrepentant terrorist.

President Trump has opened a new fault line by giving a full pardon to a former U.S. soldier, who was convicted of committing murder in a combat zone,” anchor Lester Holt set the tone at the top of the segment.

After first highlighting what Trump said in the phone call to Behenna, chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson walked viewers through the soldier’s alleged crime:

HALLIE JACKSON: It's the phone call that changed his life, with President Trump on the line, telling Michael Behenna, “I just want to let you know you're fully pardoned. Your record is being expunged.”

The former Army first lieutenant had been sentenced to 25 years for killing a suspected Al Qaeda detainee in 2008, accused of isolating the prisoner, stripping him naked, and shooting him as payback after an explosion that killed two members of Behenna's platoon.

Behenna has insisted he acted in self-defense. After serving five years behind bars, he was paroled by an army board as soon as he was eligible in 2014. His parents asking the President for clemency last year on Fox.

 

 

A common claim by the liberal media is that Trump takes policy advice primarily from Fox News. This was possibly a play on that suggestion.

The grant of clemency comes with controversy,” Jackson added. “The ACLU today calling it ‘a presidential endorsement of a murder that violated the military's own code of justice.’

Only as she neared the end of her report did Jackson admit to viewers that, “the White House points to plenty of support for the pardon with some three dozen generals and admirals backing the move. So do leaders from Behenna’s home state of Oklahoma.

In 2017, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence. At the time, NBC’s Cynthia McFadden teed up Manning’s lawyer to smear the case against the leaker, ridiculously asking, “Was the government able to point to any specific damage as a result of the releases from Chelsea Manning?”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press had reported that some of the documents Manning leaked were found in Osama bin Laden’s compound during the raid that killed him. They added that Al-Qaeda’s leaders urged “members to study them before devising ways to attack the United States.”

In the same batch of pardons and commutations as Manning’s, Obama commuted the sentence of unrepentant Puerto Rican terrorist Oscar Lopez-Rivera, who helped carry out over 130 attacks on U.S. soil over a roughly 10-year period. NBC completely ignored that release.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC Nightly News
May 7, 2019
7:13:20 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: And as that drama plays out, President Trump has opened a new fault line by giving a full pardon to a former U.S. soldier, who was convicted of committing murder in a combat zone. Here is NBC's Hallie Jackson.

[Cuts to video]

HALLIE JACKSON: It's the phone call that changed his life, with President Trump on the line, telling Michael Behenna, “I just want to let you know you're fully pardoned. Your record is being expunged.”

The former Army first lieutenant had been sentenced to 25 years for killing a suspected Al Qaeda detainee in 2008, accused of isolating the prisoner, stripping him naked, and shooting him as payback after an explosion that killed two members of Behenna's platoon.

Behenna has insisted he acted in self-defense. After serving five years behind bars, he was paroled by an army board as soon as he was eligible in 2014. His parents asking the President for clemency last year on Fox.

VICKI BEHENNA: And that's what Michael’s asking is for forgiveness so that he can move past this.

JACKSON: The grant of clemency comes with controversy. The ACLU today calling it “a presidential endorsement of a murder that violated the military's own code of justice.”

But the White House points to plenty of support for the pardon with some three dozen generals and admirals backing the move. So do leaders from Behenna’s home state of Oklahoma.

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD: This basically gives him his full life back. That's the biggest issue. He can vote. He can have a firearm. He doesn't have to worry about checking the box when he goes in to be able to apply for any kind of job.

JACKSON: A clean slate and a second. Hallie Jackson, NBC News, the White House.

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