Army judge to sentence WikiLeaks' Manning on Wednesday

FORT MEADE, Maryland Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:32pm EDT

1 of 4. U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse during his court martial at Fort Meade in Maryland, August, 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Luis Magana

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FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) - Bradley Manning, the soldier convicted of giving classified U.S. files to WikiLeaks, will be told at 10 a.m. EDT on Wednesday how much of his life will be spent in a military prison, a U.S. Army spokesman said on Tuesday.

The judge, Colonel Denise Lind, began deliberating Manning's sentence on Tuesday and later told the court that sentencing would take place at 10 a.m., the spokesman said.

Manning, a 25-year-old private first class, could face as up to 90 years in prison for giving more than 700,000 classified files, battlefield videos and diplomatic cables to the pro-transparency website. Prosecutors asked for 60 years, while the defense asked the judge not to rob him of his youth.

Manning, who was a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when he handed over the documents, was convicted in July on 20 counts including espionage and theft.

He was found not guilty on the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which had carried a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.

The classified material that shocked many around the world was a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Baghdad. A dozen people were killed, including two Reuters news staff, and WikiLeaks dubbed the footage "Collateral Murder."

The release of the documents catapulted WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, to the international spotlight and heightened a debate on government secrecy. A U.S. rights group has said Manning should be a candidate for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Prosecutors have contended that when Manning turned over the secret documents he had put national security, including overseas intelligence operatives, at risk.

BROADER DEBATE

His defense argued that the slightly built soldier had hoped to spark a broader debate on the role of the U.S. military and make Americans aware of the nature of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to defense testimony, military supervisors ignored erratic behavior by Manning that included trying to grab a gun during a counseling session.

Defense attorneys had argued that such actions showed that Manning, who is gay and was increasingly isolated while deployed to Iraq, was not fit for duty overseas.

During a pretrial hearing, Lind reduced Manning's sentence by 112 days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in 2010. He likely will be imprisoned at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Earlier this year, Manning pleaded guilty to lesser charges but military prosecutors continued their effort to convict him on more serious counts.

Manning apologized to the court for what he had done, saying, "I understand I must pay a price for my decisions."

The trial is winding down at the same time the United States is seeking the return of Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who disclosed details of secret U.S. programs that included monitoring Americans' telephone and Internet traffic. Snowden has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

(Reporting by Medina Roshan; Editing by Ian Simpson and Leslie Gevirtz)

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Comments (12)
In the 1970′s a U.S. Navy Warrant Officer, his son and his brother gave the Russians Cryptographic keycards, cryptomachine repair manuals and many details of Our Submarine force and none received sentences of life or great lengths…..I believe they are all out of Prison NOW.
Bradley Manning did nothing even remotely that dangerous to our country’s safety and security.

Aug 20, 2013 12:12pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
pilisugsug wrote:
Hopefully Manning will spend most of his life in prison. Forty five years would be a fair sentence.

Aug 20, 2013 12:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SaggyNutzinHD wrote:
They will come down hard on all these heroes: Manning, Greenwald, Snowden, and Assange. It is highly likely one or more of them could be knocked off as I suspect the US Military has set a very heavy price for their revelations. Right now they have the Military establishment and our Federal government on the ropes. Hard. Make no mistake about it – these are big punches Snowden has delivered. Edward alone has literally made liars out of the current Director of National Intelligence (Jim-Tom Clapper) and the Commander in Chief of the United States (Barack “the Clown Face” Obama). These two guys will look you directly in the eye and lie to you – criminally. There are a few senators and congressmen sprinkled about as well. It is quite arguable these leaders have committed treason through their failure to uphold the US Constitution as they have been sworn to do.

And I honestly and truly believe the Military establishment will come up with something really big that will change the hearts & minds of all people everywhere back to their side. After all – that is the only real problem they have. SO turn on your TV’s folks. Something BIG is coming.

But the military establishment won’t change my mind unless they adhere to the US Constitution. That document can handle everything – including terrorism.

WE WANT OUR CONSTITUTION BACK

Aug 20, 2013 12:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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