March 11, 2013
Private First Class Bradley Manning
A whistleblower hero to some, a traitor to others, Private First Class Bradley Manning faces a life sentence for turning over hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and intelligence reports about the United States’ mission in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy Web site operated by Australian Julian Assange.
by Don Fulsom and Avi McClelland-Cohen
U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is cooling his heels in a military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he awaits a military trial for breaching national security by leaking classified war intelligence. The most serious charges are violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy.
Prosecutors preparing to try Manning say they will also introduce evidence showing that Osama Bin Laden himself requested some of the reports Manning is accused of leaking.
If convicted, the 25-year-old Manning—whose trial is set to begin in June 2013—could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.
An Army intelligence analyst, Manning was arrested in Iraq in May 2010 and accused of disclosing hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and intelligence reports—as well as one video of a military helicopter attack. Most of this information was furnished to WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy Web site operated by Australian computer hacker Julian Assange.
In February 2013, Private Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges related to the misuse of classified information. The Washington Post reports Manning is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison on those charges.