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Soldier gets 35-year sentence in prison for releasing documents

AP Photo Army Pfc. Bradley Manning It wasn’t just the media. Those who publicly disclosed government documents took a massive…

AP Photo

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning

The 25-year-old Army private accused of leaking information to WikiLeaks will spend up to 35 years in a military prison, unless he is released early on parole.

Army Capt. Joe Morrow, the prosecutor in the court-martial said in a Fort Meade, Md., courtroom in August that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning deserved to serve the majority of his life in prison for violating the Espionage Act, according to news reports.

In February, the Oklahoma native pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts relating to the release of the secret documents. The information he released included videos of airstrikes in Iraq and Afghanistan that resulted in civilian casualties, classified information about detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, and roughly 250,000 cables from American diplomats stationed around the world. A military judge in July found him guilty of multiple counts of violating the Espionage Act.

In a statement released in August, Manning apologized for hurting his country and asked a military judge for the chance to go to college and become a productive citizen.

“I am sorry that my actions hurt people,” Manning said. “I’m sorry that they hurt the United States.”

The soldier’s apologetic tone was a complete turnaround form a previous statement he gave the court in February.

“We were obsessed with capturing and killing human targets on lists and ignoring goals and missions,” Manning publicly stated in February. “I believed if the public, particularly the American public, could see this it could spark a debate on the military and our foreign policy in general [that] might cause society to reconsider the need to engage in counter-terrorism while ignoring the human situation of the people we engaged with every day.” — Nicole Lozare