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

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years 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.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs