Wikileaks Leaker Bradley Manning Convicted of 5 Charges of Espionage & Theft, Computer Fraud … But Not Guilty of Aiding Enemy (Update: WikiLeaks Blasts Obama)
A military judge has Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted five espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions, but found Manning not guilty on the greater charge of aiding the enemy. Even though, convicted of several lesser charges could carry a maximum of a 136 year prison sentence. Obviously the information that Manning released through WikiLeaks aided the enemy as some of it was found in Bin Laden’s complex when he was killed. This issue was where Manning’s intent was to aid the enemy, not whether it actually did. It is hard to believe that it some one would not think that the release of such classified information would not aid the enemy, but it all comes back to intent.
A military judge acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning on Tuesday of aiding the enemy, but convicted him of violations of the Espionage Act for turning over a trove of classified data to the website WikiLeaks, in a case where the soldier has been portrayed variously as a traitor and as a whistle-blower.
The verdict by the judge, Col. Denise Lind, dismissed the prosecution’s argument that Manning released documents — in the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history — that he knew would end up in the hands of al Qaeda. The verdict also found Manning not guilty of unauthorized possession of information relating to national defense.
The U.S. Army soldier charged with providing troves of government documents to WikiLeaks was found not guilty Tuesday of aiding the enemy, the top charge in his 21-count indictment that could have carried a life sentence, however, he was convicted of several lesser charges that can carry a 128-year prison sentence.
Prosecutors had to prove Army Pfc. Bradley Manning had “a general evil intent” and knew the classified material would be seen by the terrorist group Al Qaeda. Legal experts said an aiding-the- enemy conviction could set a precedent because Manning did not directly give the classified material to Al Qaeda.
The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, deliberated for about 16 hours over three days before reaching her decision in the case.
Manning was convicted of five espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. The sentencing phase of his trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., and will likely go on for several weeks.
Legal Insurrection has a list of all counts and whether manning was guilty or not guilty.
Sentencing for Manning on his convictions of espionage will begin tomorrow at 9:30 AM.
UPDATE I: WikiLeaks blasts Barack Obama and the “Dangerous national security extremism from the Obama administration.”