A Us solider by the name of Bradley Manning who is known to have handed over thousands of confidential government documents to WikiLeaks is now facing a sentence to spend his remaining life behind bars.
He faces the sentence despite the fact that he was found non-guilty in the accusation of helping out Al-Qaeda in their struggle against USA.
It was on last Tuesday that Bradley Manning who is just 25 years old has been found guilty of handing over a large amount of confidential information to WikiLeaks and has also been charged with a dozen of other charges which may very easily result in a sentence exceeding 100 years behind bars.
However, he was been released of the most serious accusation against him according to which he was being accused of helping out Al-Qaeda against the government. Prosecutors in the case argued that the documents which were leaked by Bradley caused Osama Bin Laden to hatch various plots against the USA.
Manning’s supporter are of the view that he was just a whistle blower who has exposed the real face of the operations that America is conducting in Middle East countries. They have also stated that the military judge which was involved in the case has shied away from making a very dangerous precedent through her verdict.
The campaigners have also said that this act from the judge will serve as a good hope for prospective whistle blowers as she has denied the fact that any such leakage can serve as an aid to Al-Qaeda.
During the serving of this verdict, Manning who appeared before the court dressed up in his military uniform was emotionless and the supporters that he had stood silent in the courtroom of the military.
Manning’s family has also given the statement that he had no intention to aid any enemy of the USA in any way. They also said that he is a true patriot and was always proud to wear that uniform of his.
Manning waived off the right that he had for a jury trial and his fate has been decided by the judge named Col Denise Lind. The judge was from the military and conducted his court martial which was made at the military base at Fort Meada which is outside Washington.
The judge though cleared him of the accusation that he has aided the state’s enemies but convinced him that he has violated 6 counts of Espionage Act, 5 counts for theft and numerous other counts of a minor
nature. Around 20 charges for which he has been convicted guilty may cause him to face a sentence of around 136 years of prison. The sentencing will comment this very day and the case might be summed up in a few weeks.
Nathan Fuller who is a spokesman for the support network of Bradley Manning has said that it stands as a great relief for both the boy and this country that he has not been convicted as guilty of aiding any enemy of USA or else it would have resulted in a very dangerous precedent.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said that ‘it is quite outrageous that he was been convicted for counts of Espionage and is now facing a sentence for spending the rest of his life in prison’. She also said that ‘there are no chances of any optimism in relation to the fact that the verdict from the court might turn out to be lenient’.
The founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange stated that ‘he has not felt any relief from the fact that the boy was been acquitted of the accusation of aiding the enemy. The only victim that he considers in the whole thing is the unjustified pride of US government’. He made this statement in a briefing which was made from the embassy of Ecuador in London. Julian Assange has been held up in this embassy for about a year now to avoid his surrender to Sweden.
Mr. Assange also made the statement that this trail was never fair as the boy has been treated badly in the prison and was isolated caged and striped to break him down. He also said that Manning would be appealing his conviction with the support from WikiLeaks and the case might also be taken to Supreme Court in case it’s necessary.
In a testimony of around 8 weeks, the prosecutors have stressed that Manning was a junior intelligence analyst at Iraq and harvested around 700,000 different confidential diplomatic and military files and he miss-used by handing them over to WikiLeaks.
The court was also told that he utilized blank Cds and the one which was labeled as Lady Gaga, to download diplomatic files and videos and he then handed over this content to WikiLeaks.
It was back in 2010 when Manning got arrested in Iraq where he met a hacker named as Adrian Lamo. The hacker turned Manning to the FBI. The prosecution has said that Manning was determined to damage the war efforts of USA and is not a whistle blower but a traitor. The defense team of Manning stated that the boy was only 22 year old when the leak happened and was quite naïve and had no intention to bring any harm to the military or the USA. They also said that he was very much disturbed by witnessing what he witnessed in Iraq.
Manning made no resistance in accepting the fact that he is the one responsible behind the leaks and pleaded in February of being guilty in around 10 different lesser charges. Previously he claimed that he is only a whistle blower who just wanted to show the bloodlust intention of US forces in Middle East. He also said that what I have accomplished has given me a very clear conscience. The sentence will not bring an end to the legal proceedings which first began in 2011 in Fort Meada. This case may go on to the higher courts of US and may go on for many years to come.
Mr. Assange in his interview to the BBC went on to call manning as a hero for serving the truth.