Bradley Manning found guilty of espionage

US Soldier Bradley Manning could face up to a 136-year jail sentence.

US soldier Bradley Manning is facing up to 136-years in prison after being found guilty of perpetrating the biggest leak in US government history.

Judge Denise Lind found Private Manning guilty of 17 counts, but he was cleared of the most serious charge of "aiding the enemy", which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The 25-year-old soldier is due to be sentenced later today. The court martial heard how Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, which then published them in conjunction with five of the world's biggest newspapers. 

During his trial, prosecutors argued that Manning was a traitor and not just a whistle-blower.

However, prominent rights groups including Amnesty International believe the US government used Manning's trial to send a strong message to anyone thinking of leaking confidential information.

"The government's pursuit of the aiding the enemy' charge was a serious overreach of the law, not least because there was no credible evidence of Manning's intent to harm the USA by releasing classified information to WikiLeaks," said Widney Brown, senior director of International Law and policy at Amnesty International in a statement.

"The government's priorities are upside down. The US government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence."

Private Manning had already pleaded guilty to three counts Failure to obey a lawful order or regulation along with two counts of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Altogether Manning is believed to have leaked 470,000 battlefield reports from the US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan and 250,000 secured cables between the White House and foreign embassies.

Manning, who trained as an intelligence analyst, was also responsible for obtaining a video from a US Apache helicopter attack in Iraq. The footage showed eleven people including a Reuters photographer and his driver being gunned down.

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, who is facing extradition to Sweden, released a video statement from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"Bradley Manning's alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower," he said.

"This is the first ever espionage conviction against a whistle blower in the United States. It is a dangerous precedent and it an example of national security extremism."

Featured Resources

How virtual desktop infrastructure enables digital transformation

Challenges and benefits of VDI

Free download

The Okta digital trust index

Exploring the human edge of trust

Free download

Optimising workload placement in your hybrid cloud

Deliver increased IT agility with the cloud

Free Download

Modernise endpoint protection and leave your legacy challenges behind

The risk of keeping your legacy endpoint security tools

Download now

Recommended

Biden nominates Meg Whitman for ambassador role in Kenya
Policy & legislation

Biden nominates Meg Whitman for ambassador role in Kenya

10 Dec 2021
UK and US agree deeper data-sharing partnership
Policy & legislation

UK and US agree deeper data-sharing partnership

9 Dec 2021
ID.me and Sterling Check partner on in-person identity verification
identity and access management (IAM)

ID.me and Sterling Check partner on in-person identity verification

19 Nov 2021
Podcast transcript: Can the US take on big tech?
Policy & legislation

Podcast transcript: Can the US take on big tech?

19 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD
Microsoft Windows

How to move Microsoft's Windows 11 from a hard drive to an SSD

4 Jan 2022
Synology DiskStation DS2422+ review: A cube of great capacity
network attached storage (NAS)

Synology DiskStation DS2422+ review: A cube of great capacity

10 Jan 2022
Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug
email delivery

Microsoft Exchange servers break thanks to 'Y2K22' bug

4 Jan 2022