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Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning is a US soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified military material to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. Assigned to an army unit based near Baghdad, Manning had access to databases used by the military to transmit classified information. He was charged with 22 offences by the US government, including those of communicating national defence information to an unauthorised source and aiding the enemy. A military judge on July 30 2013 acquitted Manning of the most serious charge against him, aiding the enemy, but convicted him of most of the other charges including espionage, theft and computer fraud.

NewsWorld
UNITED STATES

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in WikiLeaks case

WikiLeaks says Manning verdict a 'strategic victory' as Moscow describes sentence as 'unjustifiably harsh'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 August, 2013, 10:30pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 August, 2013, 7:36am

Bradley Manning, the US soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified data in the nation’s history by providing files to WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday.

Judge Colonel Denise Lind, who last month found Manning guilty of 20 charges including espionage and theft, could have sentenced him to as many as 90 years in prison. Prosecutors had asked for 60 years.

Manning, 25, will be dishonourably discharged from the US military and forfeit some pay, Lind said. His rank will be reduced to private from private first class.

Manning would be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his sentence, which will be reduced by the time he has already served in prison plus 112 days.

WikiLeaks on Thursday said the 35-year jail term handed down to Manning for leaking classified files to the pro-transparency organisation was a “strategic victory” as it meant he was eligible for parole in less than nine years.

Russia called the 35-year sentence handed down to US Army Private Bradley Manning for divulging state secrets “unjustifiably harsh” and accused the United States of double standards.

The Russian foreign ministry’s human rights representative argued that “when US interests are at stake, as was the case with Bradley Manning, the American justice system adopts unjustifiably harsh decisions ... without any regard for human rights.”

Wearing his dress uniform, the slightly built Manning stood at attention as the sentence was read, seeming to show no emotion. As he was escorted out of the courtroom, supporters shouted “Bradley, we are with you.”

Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, called the sentence “unprecedented” in its magnitude.

“It’s more than 17 times the next longest sentence ever served” for providing secret material to the media, Goitein said. “It is in line with sentences for paid espionage for the enemy.”

It’s more than 17 times the next longest sentence ever served” for providing secret material to the media. It is in line with sentences for paid espionage for the enemy
Elizabeth Goitein from the Brennan Center for Justice

In 2010, Manning turned over more than 700,000 classified files, battlefield videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, the pro transparency website, in a case that has commanded international attention.

Defense attorneys had not made a specific sentencing request but pleaded with Lind not to “rob him of his youth.”

Manning was working as a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad when he handed over the documents, catapulting WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the international spotlight.

The classified material that shocked many around the world included a 2007 gunsight video of a US Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Baghdad. Among the dozen fatalities were two Reuters news staff. WikiLeaks dubbed the footage “Collateral Murder.”

 

Keeping secrets

The case highlighted the difficulty in keeping secrets in the Internet age. It raised strong passions on the part of the US government, which said Manning had put American lives at risk, and anti-secrecy advocates, who maintained Manning was justified in releasing the information.

During a pretrial hearing, Lind had determined that the eventual sentence would be reduced by 112 days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in 2010. He likely will be imprisoned at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

A US rights group has said Manning should be a candidate for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Human rights group Amnesty International called on US President Barack Obama to commute Manning’s sentence.

“Instead of fighting tooth and nail to lock him up for the equivalent of several life sentences, the US government should turn its attention to investigating and delivering justice for the serious human rights abuses committed by its officials in the name of countering terror,” said Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International.

Manning’s trial at Fort Meade, Maryland, home of the ultra-secret National Security Agency, wound down as US officials sought the return of Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor, who disclosed details of secret US programs that included monitoring the telephone and Internet traffic of Americans, has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

The Guardian said on Tuesday that British authorities had forced the newspaper to destroy materials leaked by Snowden.

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John Adams
This is a very sad day for America.
It's not only Bradley Manning who has been sentenced but the whole American justice system.
Meanwhile directors of USA companies which blatantly infringe US export laws by supplying equipment to countries like Iran to make nuclear weapons are not even indited, let alone convicted and committed, not to mention the charlatans who crippled the world's financial system in 2008.
Hypocrisy trumps justice as long as Uncle Sam comes out top in the end.
No wonder China feels it has no reason to follow the example of the USA in matters of law, justice and democracy.
The USA has lost the moral high ground for ever.
rease.92
Bruce Schneier on www.schneier.com:
William French Smith, President Reagan's first attorney general: "The Justice Department is not a domestic agency. It is the internal arm of national defense." Today we see that attitude in the war on terror. Because it's a war, we can arrest and imprison Americans indefinitely without charges. We can eavesdrop on the communications of all Americans without probable cause. We can assassinate American citizens without due process. We can have secret courts issuing secret rulings about secret laws. The militarization of the police is just one aspect of an increasing militarization of government.
donniemcm
Funny to see how people react.
In China when some "artist" are shutdown there are a lot of people standing up and spitting on China regime.
But when it's about other country like US, we don't see those guys.
There might be some favoritism and grudge here.
daniel18
The US governrment think whatever they do, even killing civilians, innocent children and eldies in Afgan or other places was lawfully right while other countries disobeying the US intimidition was breaking the law and can hand them down capital punishment. US hypocrisy! That is why the US need to have very comprehesive air security system, keep injecting lots of money in anti-terorrism, expand military expediture but slash social health care expediture. And the reason is easy to work out: beware of revenges!
andreaswagner
I am surprised he is still alive. Usually the fascists in Washington make sure they get an 'accident'.
XYZ
Ed Snowden is next.
ennoun
He is given 35 years but under US military policy he can apply for early release after serving only 1/3 of the term. Also, the 3+ years already served gets deducted so that he could be out after serving only an additional 8 years after which time he will be 33 years old. However, he could also be pardoned during this time by the US President after serving even less time. Going to be interesting to see how things pan out.
 
 
 
 
 

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