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Published On: Tue, Jul 30th, 2013

Bradley Manning acquitted on aiding the enemy for Wikileaks documents leak, but guilty on other charges

After three years U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning a military judge acquitted the former intelligence analyst Tuesday of aiding the enemy by giving classified documents to Wikileaks, but convicted him of espionage, theft and computer fraud charges.

photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, deliberated for about 16 hours over three days before reaching her decision in a case that drew worldwide attention as supporters hailed Manning as a whistleblower.

The U.S. government called him an anarchist computer hacker and attention-seeking traitor.

The charge of aiding the enemy was the most serious of 21 counts Manning faced and carried a potential life sentence. His sentencing hearing on the convictions begins Wednesday. He faces up to 128 years in prison.

Manning’s court-martial was unusual because he acknowledged giving the anti-secrecy website more than 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables, and video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed civilians in Iraq, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. In the footage, airmen laughed and called targets “dead bastards.”

Manning said during a pre-trial hearing in February he leaked the material to expose the U.S military’s “bloodlust” and disregard for human life, and what he considered American diplomatic deceit. He said he chose information he believed would not the harm the United States and he wanted to start a debate on military and foreign policy. He did not testify at his court-martial.

Defense attorney David Coombs portrayed Manning as a “young, naive but good-intentioned” soldier who was in emotional turmoil, partly because he was a gay service member at a time when homosexuals were barred from serving openly in the U.S. military.

He said Manning could have sold the information or given it directly to the enemy, but he gave them to WikiLeaks in an attempt to “spark reform” and provoke debate. A counterintelligence witness valued the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs at about $5.7 million, based on what foreign intelligence services had paid in the past for similar information.

Coombs said Manning had no way of knowing whether al-Qaida would access the secret-spilling website and a 2008 counterintelligence report showed the government itself didn’t know much about the site.

The WikiLeaks case is by far the most voluminous release of classified material in U.S. history.

 was arrested for giving classified secrets to WikiLeaks

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email theglobaldi[email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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