News / USA

Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Espionage

Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years For Espionagei
X
August 21, 2013 9:42 PM
A military judge has sentenced Army Private Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for espionage. He provided 750,000 secret files to WikiLeaks in what is considered the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez has been covering Manning's court martial near Washington, DC, and has this report.
Luis Ramirez
A military judge has sentenced Army Private Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for espionage. He provided 750,000 secret files to WikiLeaks in what is considered the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history. 

After three years in prison, the 25-year-old soldier and former intelligence analyst arrived at military court to hear his sentence:  35 years for committing espionage.

It's much lighter than the 90 years he could have gotten for digging up and releasing hundreds of thousands of files including State Department cables, military field reports, and videos like this one that shows U.S. troops firing on civilians in Baghdad.

Manning says he did it to expose the wrongfulness of war and U.S. actions overseas. The government called him a traitor.  

Key Dates in WikiLeaks

  • 2006: Set up by a group of people, including Australian Julian Assange.
  • 2008: Publishes the contents of Sarah Palin's hacked e-mail account.
  • 2009: Posts thousands of text messages from U.S. emergency workers and military personnel from September 11, 2001.
  • 2010: Releases hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables.
  • 2011: Assange appeals extradition from Britain to Sweden on sex crimes charges.
  • 2012: British court upholds extradition of Assange, who takes refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London.  Ecuador grants him asylum in August.
  • 2013: U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years after being found not guilty of aiding the enemy but guilty of several other charges for leaking U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks.
In the end, testimony pointed to no specific harm and no deaths caused by the leaks.

Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris Davis is a former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo who testified on Manning's behalf.

“The worst thing Bradley Manning did is embarrass the country," said Davis.

In consultation with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Manning searched for the material while deployed in Iraq.  

Some of the documents published by Wikileaks were found in Osama Bin Ladin's compound in Pakistan.

However, the judge cleared Manning of the more serious charge of aiding the enemy.  

In the sentencing phase, Manning pleaded for a lighter sentence and a chance to mend his life.  He said he meant to do good and expressed regret for harming the United States.

The court martial also raised questions about why the U.S. Army put Manning in such a sensitive position after testimony revealed he had severe emotional problems, including what a military psychiatrist described as a gender identity disorder for which he did not receive treatment while in Iraq.

Manning sent this photo, showing himself wearing a wig and makeup, to his immediate superior along with an e-mail in which he said his gender problem was causing him pain and problems in his career.

Tommy Sears heads the Center for Military Readiness, which has criticized the U.S. military's 2011 repeal of the ban on homosexuals in the military.  He believes the leaks might not have happened if Manning had received help for his emotional issues.

"Certainly there needs to be some closer scrutiny in terms of people who really have some kind of problem whether it's psychological or otherwise which he himself obviously reported up his own chain and nothing was done about it any way that was effective in preventing him from ultimately taking this bad course of action," said Sears.

The sentence is lighter than it could have been, but for Manning's supporters - it's still too much for a young man they say is a hero.  

Manning will serve less than the 35 years, getting credit for the three years already served.

You May Like

Islamic State Survivor: A Yazidi Girl's Tale

Sarah Said Haydar, captured a year ago while fleeing Islamic State onslaught in northern Iraq, was so traumatized by militants, she sought to end her own life More

EU, US Applaud Kosovo Law on Special Court

Joint statement says lawmakers' decision to address allegations of war crimes 'demonstrated their commitment to the rule of law and to honor international agreements' More

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dave from: Sydney
August 22, 2013 6:47 PM
Keep up with the play! It's Ms Chelsea Manning, not Bradley.

Hopefully Manning's decision to become a woman might inspire Obama to become a man. That's if Obama has enough time in between killing Yemeni children with drones and manipulating foreign governments to hand over anything to do with Snowden.

America: Land Of The Free.

by: jeffg
August 22, 2013 7:51 AM
with 4 years time served and minimum 1/3 to serve before parole, he'll be out in 10 years. not bad for a traitor.

by: Tim from: Canada
August 21, 2013 7:15 PM
I saw a message posted on an internet bulletin board the other day. It said "When the government catches you lying, you go to jail. What happens when you catch the government lying? Nope, guess again - it's still you." Those of us in the rest of the world hope that the Amerikan police state slides into irrelevance quickly, and without endangering any other countries. people in the U.S. are so deluded and brainwashed by their corporate-controlled media, they don't realize that if you're American, the most dangerous government to you is the one you voted for. Hopefully, someday Manning and Snowden will have the statues raised to them that they so richly deserve. Until then, arise Amerika! you have nothing to lose but your self-imposed chains.
In Response

by: Debo from: Florida
August 22, 2013 6:52 PM
By your account, Obama, Hilliary, etc.. should be put away for life.
I'll volunteer for the Jury... Guilty as charged.

by: jimmyneutron from: minnesota
August 21, 2013 7:13 PM
He should have gotten the same as George Bush for outing a CIA agent, nothing.
In Response

by: Debo from: Florida
August 22, 2013 6:49 PM
At least 4 Americans weren't murdered like Obama and his staff.

by: deded from: grf
August 21, 2013 7:05 PM
Scapegoat
and all the time real villains such as Obama, Bush and Blair are free and not behind bars where they belong.

sick world.
corrupt world.

by: Jared Purdy
August 21, 2013 4:02 PM
And when he gets out in 32 years he'll be able to say to himself that he was right, and so too was Snowden! It's only going to get worse.
In Response

by: Mouse from: Minneapolis
August 22, 2013 11:32 AM
A coward and a traitor this guy/girl is. As a gay man who is proud of his country, this lunatic's antics only set us gays further back. Thank you for nothing, "Chelsea Manning".

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 21, 2013 12:32 PM
Good riddance to bad rubbish. Manning should have been given the maximum sentence. But wait a minute, Weakilik was granted license (like Nick Carter and 007 (James Bond's) license to kill) to carry out this business in the country, how is it expected to get the information that will make headlines if there are no stupid employees in such top secret offices? Look at Manning, Snowden, look at the ones who want to be heroes for shooting fellow countrymen fighting wars on terror abroad; what is the correct name of the USA - United States of America? I rather see much more than a people united by anything other than the Devil's alternative to scuttle norms and morals. If USA is good at anything else but to shoot at themselves and always bring out all the bad news, can someone please show it.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Tradei
X
Robert Carmichael
August 04, 2015 3:07 PM
Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Cambodia Makes Progress Curbing Bear Trade

Cambodia’s wild bears are under unprecedented pressure. Their native forests are being cut down at record rates, and China's huge demand for traditional medicine has made them targets. But experts say Cambodia's conservation efforts are setting an example that has put it well ahead of its neighbors in protecting bears. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.
Video

Video Growing Number of E. Jerusalem Palestinians Seek Israeli Citizenship

Most Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have long rejected the option of full Israeli citizenship, seeing it as a betrayal to their political cause - the formation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But as that dream remains elusive, more and more Palestinians are applying for Israeli citizenship. Zlatica Hoke reports the decision is hard for many Palestinians who say they have to be pragmatic about it.
Video

Video With No Money, More Students, African Universities Struggle

Academics from around the African continent converged in Johannesburg last week for the African Universities Summit, a chance to tackle some of the major issues facing higher education in Africa today. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Wisconsin's Voter ID Law Still Mired In Controversy

Voter ID laws have sparked controversy across the US. More than 30 states enacted laws requiring citizens to show identification before they vote. Against fierce opposition, the state of Wisconsin recently enacted one the most restrictive voter ID laws in country. As Jeff Swicord reports, no one can predict its impact as the 2016 election nears.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Hailed as Highly Effective

At last, there's a way to end the suffering from the Ebola epidemic that has ravaged West Africa for more than a year. Researchers say the vaccine is so effective, there may never be a major outbreak of Ebola again. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs