Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified U.S. government information to WikiLeaks. The Wall Street Journal says it was the culmination of a trial that posed tough questions about government secrecy and national security. The case raised questions over whether leakers provide a public service or whether their efforts are outweighed by the potential damage to national security. Manning made more news today by saying he wants to live the rest of his life as a woman.
Antisecrecy advocates said the Manning penalty would have a chilling effect on whistleblowers looking to expose government wrongdoing. The Obama administration has used the 1917 Espionage Act to prosecute more than twice as many people for mishandling secret government information as all other administrations combined. Seven people, including Manning and Edward Snowden, have been charged. Before President Obama, the total was three. Former Central Intelligence Agency officer John Kiriakou is serving a 30-month term for sharing classified information with a reporter about the agency’s waterboarding interrogation technique.