News / USA

Manning Guilty of Espionage, But Not Aiding the Enemy

Manning Guilty of Espionage, But Not Aiding the Enemyi
X
July 31, 2013 1:03 AM
A military judge in Maryland has found Army Private Bradley Manning guilty of espionage - but not aiding the enemy - by leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. As VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Manning could now get a life sentence, and the case sets a precedent on how the U.S. government is willing to deal with intelligence leaks in the Internet era.
Luis Ramirez
A military judge in Maryland has found Army Private Bradley Manning guilty of espionage - but not aiding the enemy - by leaking hundreds of thousands of documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning could now get a life sentence, and the case sets a precedent on how the U.S. government is willing to deal with intelligence leaks in the Internet era.  

After three years in custody that included time in solitary confinement, the verdict is in for Bradley Manning: guilty of espionage.   

He was acquitted of the most serious charge: aiding the enemy.  But the espionage conviction may still get him a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison.

Some of the leaked files were found in the hideout of Osama bin Laden.

Manning earlier pleaded guilty to what is being called the largest leak of secret U.S. documents in history:  700,000 files sent to WikiLeaks while he was deployed in Iraq.  They included this video of a U.S. helicopter crew attacking civilians in Baghdad.

Those disclosures led civil libertarians to rally behind the 25-year-old intelligence analyst. On the morning of the verdict - as they did throughout the case - his supporters demonstrated outside Fort Meade.

“He represents the American desire for freedom of information, for democracy, where we hold our leaders accountable, for direct governance by the people," said Manning supporter Emma Cape.

But to the U.S. government, he's a traitor who put the lives of U.S. troops and U.S. national interests in danger.  

Jeffrey Gordon is a former spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense.

“We're in a 21st century conflict and a big part of that conflict is a battle of ideas.  So if you can embarrass the United States, if you can make them look bad in the eyes of the world, that's actually part of war.  It's asymmetric war.  I think Bradley was a frontline warrior against his own country," he said.

The defense sought to portray Manning as a young, naive, and well-meaning humanist.  Since his arrest three years ago, details have emerged of emotional problems and resentment against his own government that observers say raise questions about why the military put him in a sensitive position.  Larry Korb is a former U.S. assistant secretary of defense.

“Before he deployed to Iraq, his commanding officer said, 'I don't know if we should deploy this guy. He's got all kinds of mental problems, but we're desperate,' so they put him over there.  So basically, what happens if you take someone who doesn't belong there, you put them into a situation, you're asking for trouble," he said.

Korb and Manning's supporters believe the government went too far in charging Manning with aiding the enemy and in the end, the judge ruled the evidence did not support it.  But the verdict also shows the government will convict those who leak information to expose alleged wrongdoing.

The Manning case was tried at Fort Meade, in the shadow of the National Security Agency where Edward Snowden was a contractor.  He recently leaked secret documents on government surveillance of private citizens.

Manning's sentencing phase could take weeks, and the judge will decide if he'll spend the rest of his life in prison.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
July 31, 2013 6:32 AM
manning must from now onwards realise that he is the person with the guts,not assange of wiki leak.manning ought to believe in GOD and feel free with what he is doing..i think he will be wise and realise some mistakes such as concluding that what he is being accused of was meant to be hidden under the carpet by the government.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 31, 2013 4:42 AM
I suppose he will be sentenced as much as life sentence but would be pardoned before long.

In Response

by: GH1618 from: USA
July 31, 2013 1:19 PM
Not likely. His sentence will be substantial, but nowhere near the maximum. He will never have his sentence commuted, and certainly will not be pardoned. I'm guessing thirty years, tops.


by: GH1618 from: USA
July 30, 2013 3:02 PM
Acquittal on the most serious count was appropriate, I think. This was not the sort of act that was intended to be covered by that section of the code. Pvt. Manning stands convicted on several serious counts and should get a severe sentence, but not life.

In Response

by: joseph abishaloom from: 6400N.sheridanRD618 Il
July 31, 2013 3:10 AM
It is certainly when Manning did a crime like this . He should keep secrets of his country . The judge if he will send Manning all his life in prison because this crime . He deserve it.

In Response

by: Jordan from: California
July 30, 2013 5:59 PM
Bradley Manning was rightly convicted of serious crimes for which he still may serve up to 136 years in prison. This would be a life sentence. Pay attention to the details please.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid