Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army soldier convicted of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, will be sentenced to his prison term at 10 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
Reuters reports that judge Colonel Denise Lind will preside over Manning’s sentencing. Manning, who was convicted on 10 counts of espionage and theft on July 30, faces up to 90 years in prison for disseminating more than 700,000 classified U.S. Army files to Wikileaks. Prosecutors have asked for a 60-year sentence for the 25-year-old private first class, while his defense team has asked Lind for a light sentence due to his youth.
At his trial, Manning was found not guilty of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy, which by martial law carries a maximum penalty of the death sentence. Despite being acquitted of that charge, he is still facing an enormous prison sentence. However, at a pretrial hearing, Manning received a small amount of leniency. Lind reduced Manning’s sentence by 112 days due to harsh treatment after his arrest.
Manning was accused of being responsible for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. military history to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad. These files amounted to 91,731 pages of classified documents that covered the period from January 2004 to December 2009 and were published by the New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel. The most notorious file was WikiLeaks' "Collateral Murder" video, which famously showed an Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents and killing two Reuters journalists. Manning was arrested on May 27, 2010, in Kuwait and has been in custody ever since.
In his 35-page statement to the court, read on March 1, 2013, Manning said he backed up all the information he took onto paper, CDs, local computer drives and shared backup drives, and that he believed “the information would help document the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” He stated that after trying to contact the New York Times and Politico and not receiving a response, he was directed to the WikiLeaks Organization submission website.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.