Manning not guilty of ‘aiding the enemy’, guilty of illegal leaking of documents

Bradley Manning - WikiLeaks trail begins Three years after Army Pfc.Bradley Manning’s arrest for leaks of U.S. government and military secrets, the WikiLeaks trial that began in early June has come to an end: a military judge found Manning not guilty of “aiding the enemy.” Manning, however was found guilty of illegally leaking documents which carries 20 other legal specifications And a potential sentence of up to 154 years in prison when all charges are aggregated. The charge of aiding the enemy would have carried a life sentence. The judge has at least two or three more weeks before she issues the final sentence.

The trial was polarising; Manning is a hero to some and nothing short of a demon to others as the result of his ‘whistle-blowing‘ actions during which he, in his position as an intelligence analyst, provided substantial amounts–the largest amount of classified information– to the website WikiLeaks, the non-profit international organisation founded by Julian Assange that publishes secret and classified media from anonymous sources.

Arguments fell on both sides: US military prosecutors sought to prove Manning aided the enemy while attorneys for the defense sought to prove that Manning is a political prisoner who effectively spoke truth to power when he acted as a whistleblower shortly after his arrival in Iraq that documented complaints of detainee and other abuses, including a U.S. Apache helicopter attack that killed civilians.

The Obama administration has been sharply criticised for prosecuting more whistleblowers than any prior US president, to which the administration has responded that military secrets and the safety of government officials is at issue.

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