U.S.: Manning guilty of 'aiding the enemy'

July 25, 2013 at 7:26 PM   |   Comments

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FORT MEADE, Md., July 25 (UPI) -- Prosecutors said Thursday Army Pfc. Bradley Manning "deliberately disclosed" classified documents to make information available to enemies of the United States.

During his closing argument at Manning's Fort Meade, Md., court-martial, Maj. Ashden Fein said Manning aided U.S. enemies by leaking information to WikiLeaks -- a charge the government had not previously pressed in a leak case -- The New York Times reported.

Fein said Manning's "wholesale and indiscriminate compromise of hundreds of thousands of classified documents" to WikiLeaks was no ordinary journalistic leak, the Times said.

Fein said it is criminal to leak classified information to "established journalistic enterprises" but said Manning's alleged crime is worse because Manning "deliberately disclosed classified information to WikiLeaks knowing WikiLeaks would disclose it to the world in exactly the form they would receive it."

"WikiLeaks was merely the platform which Pfc. Manning used to ensure that all of the information was available to the world, including the enemies of the United States," Fein said.

Manning -- charged with violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy -- admitted in February he leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. He has denied 12 charges against him, including aiding the enemy, but has pleaded guilty to 10 lesser counts.

If Manning is found guilty of aiding the enemy, he could be sentenced to life in military custody with no chance of parole.

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