Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding the enemy, but guilty of espionage, after handing classified documents to WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy by Judge Col. Denise Lind today, 30 July, however he was convicted on several other counts.

Manning, an army private, admitted to sending 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and other material, including battlefield video clips, to WikiLeaks while working in Army intelligence in Iraq in early 2010.

Most of the material was published on the WikiLeaks website, and later picked up by The New York Times and The Guardian.

Manning was reportedly portrayed as a whistleblower with good intentions throughout the trial, saying he wanted to expose “the American military's bloodlust" and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, prosecutors argued that Manning had a "general evil intent.”

While he avoided the life sentence carried with aiding the enemy charges, he was convicted of five espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. A sentencing hearing will begin Wednesday 31 July.

The verdict comes as Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked information on the government’s PRISM project, remains in hiding to avoid extradition to the US under many of the same charges, including espionage, theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorised person.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.