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Manning found not guilty of aiding the enemy, guilty on 19 other charges

Posted: July 30, 2013 |   Comments

( Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who laid bare America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by covertly transmitting a massive trove of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted on 19 of 21 charges, including 5 counts of espionage. He was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious and controversial charge laid against him.

The 19 charges that Manning was convicted of can carry up to a 128-year prison sentence. When Manning was arrested May 2011, he was placed in solitary confinement and subjected to conditions that a UN investigator compared to torture. Even though he released information to WikiLeaks with the belief that he was helping to make the government more transparent and accountable for its actions, and plead guilty earlier this year to lesser offenses that could have landed him in prison for 20 years, he could now face what is effectively a life sentence.

"While we're relieved that Mr. Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act," said Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. "Since Manning already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information - which carry significant punishment - it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future."

The sentencing phase of the trial will begin Wednesday at 9:30 am.

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