A judge says Army Private Bradley Manning is not guilty of aiding the enemy in his leak of a massive amount of classified U.S. government data in 2010. He is, however, guilty of most of the other charges against him.
In 2010, Manning released secret military information about the ongoing war in Iraq to Wikileaks, a website that often publishes this sort of information in the name of government transparency. The leaked data included insider information on the prison at Guantanamo Bay, videos of airstrikes, and a number of embarrassing communications between American diplomats.
Manning earlier pled guilty to 10 of the 22 counts against him. Today, military judge Col. Denise Lind found Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, but found him guilty of most of the remaining charges, including five counts of violating the Espionage Act.
Alexa O’Brien, who created a website dedicated to archiving the different aspects of Manning’s case, has a summary of the verdict on Twitter. He faces up to 136 years in prison and will be sentenced tomorrow.
Appeals from Manning’s lawyer are likely to follow.
Earlier, Manning admitted to releasing information to Wikileaks, and many thereafter considered him a whistleblower. Indeed, protests have been held advocating his release.
Wikileaks tweeted, “Bradley Manning’s convictions today include 5 courts of espionage. A very serious new precedent for supplying information [to] the press.”
Manning’s family also released a statement, which comes from an aunt who wishes to remain anonymous, according to The Guardian. The statement reads:
While we are obviously disappointed in today’s verdicts, we are happy that Judge Lind agreed with us that Brad never intended to help America’s enemies in any way. Brad loves his country and was proud to wear its uniform.
We want to express our deep thanks to David Coombs, who has dedicated three years of his life to serving as lead counsel in Brad’s case. We also want to thank Brad’s Army defense team, Major Thomas Hurley and Captain Joshua Tooman, for their tireless efforts on Brad’s behalf, and Brad’s first defense counsel, Captain Paul Bouchard, who was so helpful to all of us in those early confusing days and first suggested David Coombs as Brad’s counsel. Most of all, we would like to thank the thousands of people who rallied to Brad’s cause, providing financial and emotional support throughout this long and difficult time, especially Jeff Paterson and Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. Their support has allowed a young Army private to defend himself against the full might of not only the US Army but also the US Government.