Manning Receives 35-year Sentence

On Wednesday, Bradley Manning a private in the Army, was sentenced to 35 years behind bars for espionage by a military court.

Manning provided over three quarters of a million secret files to the site WikiLeaks in what the government said was the largest release of documents that were classified in U.S. history.

After waiting in prison three years prior to his trial, the soldier, who is 25, heard his sentence, which was far lighter than the maximum sentence he could have received of 90 years.

Included in the files he released were military field reports, State Department cables, and different videos, such as one showing troops for the U.S. firing upon Baghdad civilians.

Manning has insisted he released the documents to expose the wrongdoing by the U.S. in its actions overseas. However, he was called a traitor by the government.

After all was said and done, testimony in his trial pointed to no deaths or specific harm being caused by all the information he leaked.

Manning, in consultation with Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, searched for material while in Iraq. Some of the information that Wikileaks published of the documents released was found inside the Pakistan compound of Osama bin Laden.

Nevertheless, the presiding judge cleared the Army Private of aiding the enemy, which was the more serious charge against Manning.

Manning, during the sentencing part of the trial, pleaded for a sentence that was lighter, which would give him the opportunity to put his life back together. He expressed his regret for harming the U.S. and said he only wanted to do well for the country.

The sentence Manning received was much lighter than the maximum, but for his supporters, it is far too much for someone they consider a hero.

Manning will be credited with the three years he has served awaiting trial and will be deducted from his 35-year sentence.



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