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

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' 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.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs