Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Classified Information
Bradley Manning received a 35-year prison sentence on Wednesday after being convicted of espionage and theft. Manning shared more than 700,000 documents—including battlefield videos, diplomatic cables and classified files regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—with the website Wikileaks in 2010.
Manning was convicted by Judge Colonel Denise R. Lind on July 30, and the charges carried a maximum term of 90 years. Prosecutors had asked for 60, while the defense had asked that the judge not “rob him of his youth.” The request followed the defense’s argument during the trial that Manning was a naive young soldier who was only trying to do what he thought was the right thing.
At a sentencing hearing last week, Manning himself said to the judge, “I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. … When I made these decisions, I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people.”
Col. Lind rejected that line of argument, calling Manning’s actions “wanton and reckless,” adding that what he did “made it actually and imminently dangerous to others.”
Manning will be dishonorably discharged from the Army, and his rank will be lowered from private first class to private.
The specific charges of which Manning was convicted include: six counts of violating the Espionage Act, five counts of stealing government property and one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Manning will continue to be held at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas while his conviction works its way through the military’s appeals process.