Manning acquitted of aiding enemy, found guilty on other charges
FORT MEADE, MARYLAND—A U.S. Army judge has acquitted Private First Class Bradley Manning of aiding U.S. enemies, but found him guilty of most lesser charges related to leaking secret documents to WikiLeaks.
Colonel Denise Lind found Manning guilty of charges related to espionage, computer fraud and abuse, and disobeying a lawful order. Those charges carry a sentence of more than 100 years in prison. Sentencing in the case is scheduled to start Wednesday morning at Fort Meade.
Lind read the charges in rapid succession during the verdict Tuesday afternoon. Lind found Manning guilty of 20 of 22 charges he faced, including 10 he previously pleaded guilty to. He avoided a life-in-prison sentence when she found him not guilty of aiding the enemy.
Manning’s lawyers had argued that the military documents he shared were historical records that didn’t endanger troops and the U.S. Department of State cables he shared were widely available to hundreds of thousands of users of the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), a computer network used by the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department, Coombs said.
Manning was accused of sharing more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department cables with WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks published documents detailing complaints about detainee abuses in Iraq and a Baghdad airstrike that killed civilians, as well as a number of diplomatic cables sent by State Department employees.
Manning, a 25-year-old Army intelligence specialist, was arrested in mid-2010 after he allegedly transferred thousands of documents to Wikileaks in late 2009 and early 2010. His trial began in early June.
Prosecutors argued that Manning knew that the information he released would aid enemies of the U.S. Manning endangered U.S. national security when he “systematically harvested” thousands of classified documents and allowed them to be posted to the Internet, prosecutor Captain Joe Morrow said in his opening arguments.