PFC Bradley Manning acquitted of “aiding the enemy” but found guilty of Espionage Act, theft & computer fraud charges

WTF Bradley Manning 7.30.13

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning was acquitted today of the “aiding the enemy” charge for releasing sensitive and classified records to WikiLeaks in 2010.

Judge Col. Denise Lind found Manning not guilty of the Article 104 charge, which could have carried a maximum sentence of life in prison or even the death penalty.

However, Manning was convicted of 20 of the 22 charges, including violations of the Espionage Act for the unauthorized leaks, computer fraud, and theft of classified government records. Manning had previously pleaded guilty to some of the lesser included offenses.

“We won the battle, now we need to go win the war,” David Coombs, civilian defense attorney, reportedly told Manning supporters. “Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire.”

At the request of the defense, Lind announced that she will issue special findings, which should provide more insight into how the judge reached the verdicts, “in due course”.

Manning could face up to 136 years in prison if the judge imposes the maximum sentences on each of the convicted charges. Each of the six counts of the Espionage Act (Section 793) carries a 10-year maximum sentence, and each of the five counts of theft of government property (Section 641) carries a 10-year maximum sentence.

Manning’s family issued the following statement to the Guardian:

“While we are obviously disappointed in today’s verdicts, we are happy that Judge Lind agreed with us that Brad never intended to help America’s enemies in any way. Brad loves his country and was proud to wear its uniform.

“We want to express our deep thanks to David Coombs, who has dedicated three years of his life to serving as lead counsel in Brad’s case. We also want to thank Brad’s Army defense team, Major Thomas Hurley and Captain Joshua Tooman, for their tireless efforts on Brad’s behalf, and Brad’s first defense counsel, Captain Paul Bouchard, who was so helpful to all of us in those early confusing days and first suggested David Coombs as Brad’s counsel.

“Most of all, we would like to thank the thousands of people who rallied to Brad’s cause, providing financial and emotional support throughout this long and difficult time, especially Jeff Paterson and Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network. Their support has allowed a young army private to defend himself against the full might of not only the US army but also the US government.”

The sentencing phase is scheduled to begin tomorrow. The prosecution plans to call 20 witnesses, 10 of whom are expected to testify in classified sessions.

The verdicts are:

1. Not guilty: Charge I Article 104 “aiding the enemy” through indirect means by releasing classified records to WikiLeaks.org.

2. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 1 for wrongful and deliberate publication of U.S. intelligence on the Internet via WikiLeaks.org. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

3. Guilty: Per Manning’s guilty plea to the lesser included offense of Charge II Article 134, Specification 2 for the unauthorized release of the Apache – aka “collateral murder” – video in February 2010 to WikiLeaks in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The video showed the U.S. Apache helicopter shooting up a bongo truck carrying unarmed civilians, including children, at least 6 times after the truck had pulled over to help a wounded Reuters journalist. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

4. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 3 for the unauthorized release of “more than one classified memorandum produced by a United States government intelligence agency” in March 2010 in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

5. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 4 for stealing, purloining, or knowingly converting more than 380,000 records (“significant activities” reports or SIGACTs) from the Combined Information Data Network Exchange (CIDNE) Iraq database in December 2009 and January 2010 in violation of 18  U.S.  Code  Section  641. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years. 

6. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 5 for the unauthorized release of more than 20 classified records from CIDNE Iraq database to WikiLeaks in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

7. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 6 for stealing, purloining, or knowingly converting more than 90,000 records (“significant activities” reports or SIGACTs) from the Combined Information Data Network Exchange (CIDNE) Afghanistan database in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 641. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

8. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 7 for the unauthorized release of more than 20 classified records from the CIDNE Afghanistan database to WikiLeaks in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years. 

9. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 8 for stealing, purloining, or knowingly converting more than 700 Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 641. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years. 

10. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 9 for the unauthorized release of more than 700 Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs to WikiLeaks in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

11. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 10 for the unauthorized release of more than five classified records –  specifically the Army’s 15-6 (informal) investigation reports on the Granai airstrike – to WikiLeaks in violation of  18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The airstrike killed 100 to 150 civilians, many of whom were women and children, in Farah Province, Afghanistan. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

12. Not guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 11 for the unauthorized release of the Granai/Farah airstrike video to WikiLeaks in violation of  18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act.

13. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 12 for stealing, purloining, or knowingly converting more than 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables from the Net-Centric Diplomacy database in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 641. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

14. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 13 for committing computer fraud to download secret State Department cables (via the use of the freeware “WGet”) in violation of 18  U.S.  Code  Section  1030(a) (1). The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

15. Guilty: Per Manning’s guilty plea to the lesser included offense of Charge II Article 134, Specification 14 for the unauthorized release to WikiLeaks of the classified Department  of  State  cable  titled  “Reykjavik-13” pertaining to Iceland’s dispute with the U.K. and Netherlands following the collapse of an Icelandic bank. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

16. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 15 for the unauthorized release of the March 2008 U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Center (USACIC) report on the dangers posed by WikiLeaks to the website in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 793(e) under the Espionage Act. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

17. Guilty: Charge II Article 134, Specification 16 for stealing, purloining, or knowingly converting the email addresses of more than 70,000 U.S. service members in Iraq in violation of 18  U.S.  Code  Section  641. The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years.

18. Guilty: Charge III Article 92, Specification 1 for attempting  to  bypass network  or  information  system  security mechanisms in violation of Army Regulation 25-2. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

19. Guilty: Charge III Article 92, Specification 2 for adding  unauthorized software  to  a  Secret  Internet  Protocol  Router  Network  (SIPRNet) computer in violation of Army Regulation 25-2. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

20. Guilty: Charge III Article 92, Specification 3 for adding  unauthorized  software  to  a  Secret  Internet  Protocol  Router Network  (SIPRNet) computer in violation of Army Regulation 25-2. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

21. Guilty: Charge III Article 92, Specification 4 for using  an  information  system in  a  manner  other  than  its  intended  purpose in violation of Army Regulation 25-2. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years. 

22. Guilty: Per Manning’s guilty plea to the lesser included offense of Charge III Article 92, Specification 5 for wrongfully storing classified information in violation of Army Regulation 380-5. The maximum sentence for this charge is 2 years

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