Kristina Wong at the Washington Times offers a piece on the conviction of Army PFC Bradley Manning.
A military court Tuesday convicted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of violating the Espionage Act for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, a verdict that legal analysts say likely will have a chilling effect on others considering revealing government secrets.
While Manning, 25, was acquitted of the most serious charge — aiding the enemy, which carried a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole — he still faces up to 136 years in prison when he is sentenced at Fort George G. Meade, Md. The sentencing hearing, which starts Wednesday, is expected to last most of August.
The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, did not reveal her reasoning in her ruling, but David Schanzer, a former Justice Department official, said the verdict makes clear that the leakers’ intent does not matter in prosecuting them for revealing state secrets.
“If you receive a security clearance, you don’t get the right to decide when, or when it’s not, OK to leak information. The reasons that you leak are irrelevant,” said Mr. Schanzer, associate professor and director of the Triangle Center of Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University. “No individual employee, especially lower-level employees like Bradley Manning, has a really complete picture of what the national security interest is.”
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