WikiLeaks soldier Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse during his court martial at Fort Meade in Maryland, August, 20, 2013. Credit: Reuters
U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse during his court martial at Fort Meade in Maryland on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters

Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of the biggest breach of classified data in the nation’s history, was sentenced today to 35 years in a military prison.

The 25-year-old private first class was facing up to 90 years for turning over more than 700,000 classified files, battlefield videos and diplomatic cables to the pro-transparency website WikiLeaks, in a case that has commanded international attention since 2010.

Prosecutors had asked for 60 years, while defense attorneys this week pleaded with Lind not to “rob him of his youth.”

Manning was working as a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad when he handed over the documents, catapulting WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the international spotlight.

In July, Lind found Manning guilty of 20 criminal counts including espionage and theft, but not of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge, which carried a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.

The classified material that shocked many around the world included a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Baghdad. Among the dozen fatalities were two Reuters news staff, and WikiLeaks dubbed the footage “Collateral Murder.”

The case highlighted the difficulty of keeping secrets in the Internet age. It raised strong passions on the part of the U.S. government, which said Manning had put American lives at risk, and anti-secrecy advocates, who maintained Manning was justified in releasing the information.

A U.S. rights group has said Manning should be a candidate for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Manning’s trial at Fort Meade, Maryland, home of the ultra-secret National Security Agency, is winding down as the United States continues to seek the return of Edward Snowden. The former NSA contractor who disclosed details of secret U.S. programs that included monitoring the telephone and Internet traffic of Americans, has been given temporary asylum in Russia.

The Guardian newspaper reported on Tuesday that British authorities had forced it to destroy the materials leaked by Snowden.

Broader debate

Manning’s defense argued that his aim had been to spark a broader debate on the role of the U.S. military and make Americans aware of the nature of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to defense testimony, military supervisors ignored erratic behavior on the part of Manning, which included trying to grab a gun during a counseling session.

Defense attorneys had argued that such actions demonstrated that the slightly built Manning, who is gay and was increasingly isolated while deployed to Iraq, had not been fit for duty overseas.

During a pretrial hearing, Lind reduced Manning’s sentence by 112 days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in 2010. He likely will be imprisoned at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Manning pleaded guilty to lesser charges earlier this year, but military prosecutors continued their efforts to convict him on more serious counts.

Last week, Manning apologized to the court for what he had done, saying: “I understand I must pay a price for my decisions.”

The Bradley Manning Support Network, a group backing the soldier, said in a statement it plans to seek clemency from Army officials after sentencing. Manning’s attorney David Coombs also will ask for a pardon from President Barack Obama, it said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.