Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years For Wikileaks Release

Chris CrumTechnology

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Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison today for providing WikiLeaks with 700,000 classified government documents in 2010.

He was found not guilty of the most serious charge against him, "aiding the enemy," but was found guilty on charges under the Espionage Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the code of military justice.

Manning was also received a dishonorable discharge and a reduction in rank to private (from private first class). He is also forced to forfeit pay and benefits.

Col. Morris Davis, assistant professor at Howard Law and former Gitmo chief prosecutor, had this to say:

Not the worst scenario for Manning, who faced up to 90 years. He will reportedly be credited with the 1,294 days he spent in pre-trial confinement plus an additional 112 days.

Wikleaks points to a statement from the Center for Constitutional Rights, which condemns Manning's sentence, saying he should have never been prosecuted. Here's the full statement:

We are outraged that a whistleblower and a patriot has been sentenced on a conviction under the Espionage Act. The government has stretched this archaic and discredited law to send an unmistakable warning to potential whistleblowers and journalists willing to publish their information. We can only hope that Manning’s courage will continue to inspire others who witness state crimes to speak up.

This show trial was a frontal assault on the First Amendment, from the way the prosecution twisted Manning’s actions to blur the distinction between whistleblowing and spying to the government’s tireless efforts to obstruct media coverage of the proceedings. It is a travesty of justice that Manning, who helped bring to light the criminality of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, is being punished while the alleged perpetrators of the crimes he exposed are not even investigated. Every aspect of this case sets a dangerous precedent for future prosecutions of whistleblowers – who play an essential role in democratic government by telling us the truth about government wrongdoing – and we fear for the future of our country in the wake of this case.

We must channel our outrage and continue building political pressure for Manning’s freedom. President Obama should pardon Bradley Manning, and if he refuses, a presidential pardon must be an election issue in 2016.

Manning's supporters are sharing their reactions on Twitter:

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.