Manning Cleared of Aiding Enemy via Leaks, Convicted On Other Counts


A military judge rejected the Obama administration’s quest to equate the unlawful disclosure of documents with aid to mortal U.S. enemies, including al Qaeda, in a ruling that acquitted Private First Class Bradley Manning of the gravest criminal charge he faced, the Wall Street Journal reports. He was convicted of a long list of other crimes, including theft of government property and violations of the Espionage Act, and faces a potential prison sentence far longer than any yet given for leak-related crimes. The verdict came three years after Manning was arrested at a military base in Iraq for leaking thousands of secret documents and videos to the WikiLeaks website. It showed that prosecutors had a strong case against Manning for taking and leaking government secrets, but that the government may have overreached by taking the added step of attributing his actions to an intent to harm the U.S. by aiding its enemies. “The judge reined in a clearly overzealous prosecution,” said law Prof. Mary Rose Papandrea of Boston College.

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