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www.wmfd.com - Army Private First Class Bradley Manning was accused of aiding the enemy after the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, but a military judge has now acquitted him of this charge and found him guilty of lesser charges. }}" />

   
 
 
Bradley Manning Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 7/31/2013  Army Private First Class Bradley Manning was accused of aiding the enemy after the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, but a military judge has now acquitted him of this charge and found him guilty of lesser charges.   Chris Lawrence tells us why some feel the outcome of this case has set a dangerous precedent.   Private First Class Bradley Manning snapped to attention in full dress blues, likely one of his last acts as an American soldier. He stared straight ahead as the judge found him not guilty of aiding the enemy, but smiled slightly as the hearing adjourned.   Manning was convicted on six counts of espionage, as well as stealing video of a U.S. military airstrike, classified state department cables, and detainee records from Guantanamo Bay, which could put him in prison for 136 years.   Prosecutors cuold have accepted Manning's guilty pleas to lesser charges in February, which could send him to prison for 20 years, but the government pushed ahead on the more serious 'aiding the enemy.'   And critics say it never proved there was any real damage done to national security, beyond the embarrassment of state department officials when their cables went public.   "I don't think there has been any evidence put forward that either Bradley Manning's leaks, or more recently, Edward Snowden's leaks have put people at risk, have harmed people, have led to deaths," says Ben Wizner of the ACLU.   Wizner says a conviction on aiding the enemy would have meant anyone who shares information with the media could be labaled a traitor, if it's published and a potential enemy could read it.   "The government equates leaks to the press with treason, in a way that could chill and endanger i nvestigative journalism," says Wizner.   Manning's acquittal on that charge means no appeal, and no further examination of what the government considers 'intent' to aid the enemy.   "had their been a conviction, we would have learned a lot mote about what Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice requires," says military legal analyst Eugene Fidell. "We're not going to know that. It's going to linger as an area of uncertainty."
   
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