August 22, 2013

Intelligence leaker sentenced to 35 years in Wikileaks case

An apologetic Pfc. Manning had faced a possible life term for the secrets he disclosed.

McClatchy Washington Bureau

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Bradley Manning could be released in about 6 1/2 years.

Photos by The Associated Press

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Heike Schotten of Cambridge, Mass., right, joins supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning at a rally last month outside Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information.

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"When this data got out, there was a number of foreign partners who became greatly concerned whether we were still a trusted partner and whether we could still engage in intel operations with them," retired Army Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, formerly with the Defense Intelligence Agency, testified.

A Pentagon official in charge of the military's anti-improvised explosive device organization cited "the changes in enemy IED" following the Manning leak to WikiLeaks. State Department officials testified about the consequences of having 250,000 department documents being made public.

Defense witnesses focused on Manning's troubled upbringing as the child of alcoholic parents. Beset with anxiety even before enlisting, Manning was prescribed the anti-anxiety drug Lexapro. Once in the Army, a defense witness recounted, Manning received mental health counseling for angry outbursts.

One diagnosis determined the gay, slightly built Manning suffered from "gender identity disorder," which included periods when he presented himself as a woman.


"He tends to exhibit kind of grandiose ideas, and also arrogant and haughty behaviors that become more evident when he's upset," Navy Capt. David Moulton, a psychiatrist who interviewed Manning at length, said at the sentencing hearing.

Manning's delusions, Moulton added, led the young soldier to believe he could "do something great" with his life and to underestimate the trouble he'd catch for leaking military documents.

"I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions," Manning told Lind on Aug. 15. "Once I pay that price, I hope to one day live in the manner I haven't been able to in the past. I want to be a better person -- to go to college, to get a degree -- and to have a meaningful relationship with my sister's family and my family."

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Supporters of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning hold up banners and signs as they protest outside of the gates at Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday, before a sentencing hearing in Manning's court martial.

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday.


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