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Intel leaker guilty on 20 of 22 counts, ducks life

Army News Service

Published: 12:05PM August 1st, 2013
Intel leaker guilty on 20 of 22 counts, ducks life


FORT MEADE, Md. — The sentencing phase began at Fort Meade, Md. Wednesday in the court-martial trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who was found not guilty Tuesday of the most serious charge he faced — knowingly aiding the enemy — but was convicted on 20 other specifications related to the misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of intelligence documents he sent to the WikiLeaks organization.

Manning faces a possibility of 136 years of confinement in the sentencing phase, said David Coombs, Manning’s defense attorney, speaking outside the courtroom minutes after presiding judge Army Col. Denise Lind read the verdict.

“We won the battle, per se, but the war is going to be tomorrow,” Coombs said after Tuesday’s verdict. “Sentencing is what really matters at the end of the day.” Aiding the enemy held a maximum penalty of life in prison, so Coombs said beating that specification was encouraging to the defense.

Manning also was found not guilty of a charge involving the alleged unauthorized release of a video.

Manning pleaded guilty at the beginning of the trial to 10 counts involving the unauthorized release of intelligence information, and was found guilty in his trial of nine other specifications.

These include bypassing security mechanisms, adding unauthorized software to the classified network and wrongfully storing classified information.

Manning’s release of classified material did immeasurable harm to national security and put lives at risk, the prosecutor said during his closing arguments July 25.

Manning, now 25, was an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010, working in a tactical-sensitive compartmented information facility, where secret materials are transmitted, collected and analyzed.

Manning’s rigorous training instilled in him the importance significant activities have on success, failure and deaths in battle, fail or are killed, the prosecutor said.

Yet despite this knowledge, Manning downloaded some 470,000 SIGACTS from the military’s classified section of the Internet to a memory card, which he later transferred to his home computer.

Some 380,000 documents were from Iraq, and 90,000 were from Afghanistan.

Despite Manning’s guilty plea to 10 of the charges, prosecutors went forward with the other 11 charges against him.

Those charges stated that he leaked secret documents that he clearly knew from his intelligence training to be harmful to the United States and would result in putting lives at risk.

The charges to which Manning pleaded guilty could result in a maximum possible prison sentence of 20 years. The “aiding the enemy” could have resulted in a maximum penalty of a life sentence.