Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

21 Aug 2013

Bradley Manning. Image via Wikimedia Commons

US soldier and Wikileaks whistleblower Bradley Manning has just been sentenced to 35 years in prison after a hearing at the court in Fort Meade in Maryland. He is to be dishonourably discharged from the US Army.

Manning was sentenced at 10.15am local time by the judge presiding over the court martial, Col Denise Lind.

She said Manning would be reduced in grade to the rank of private E1, will forfeit pay and allowances, and will be dishonourably discharged.

He will spend the next 35 years in a military prison. The US military establishment had been seeking at least 60 years imprisonment for Manning.

Manning is understood not to have shown any emotion at the sentencing.

Manning, who had passed revealing material about US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks, had been convicted on 29 July on a number of charges, including several violations of the Espionage Act. However, he was acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy.

The material he passed to WikiLeaks included videos of the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, as well as 250,000 US diplomatic cables and 500,000 US Army reports known as the Iraq War Logs and the Afghanistan War Logs.

Manning was arrested after a computer hacker called Adrian Lamo informed the FBI of Manning’s claims of being responsible for the leaks.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years