BRADENTON – On Tuesday, a military judge found PFC Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, but convicted him of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act.
Manning had confessed to being the WikiLeaks source for files that the controversial site released, including videos of airstrikes in which civilians were killed.
The material Manning leaked also included hundreds of thousands of front-line incident reports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as dossiers on men being held without trial at the Guantánamo Bay prison, and more than a quarter million diplomatic cables.
Manning has pleaded guilty to a lesser version of the charges he is facing, for which he could face up to 20 years in prison.
Still, the government decided to try him on a more serious version of the charges, including “aiding the enemy” and violations of the Espionage Act, which would have resulted in a life sentence.
Responses to Manning's arrest were mixed. While many mainstream pundits and political figures decried his actions as traitorous, he became a symbol of many progressive movements, who often chided the press for not giving adequate attention to his case, as well as his treatment while incarcerated.
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