Tue 5:58pm: Judge to announce WikiLeaks sentence Wednesday
FORT MEADE, Md. – A military judge said she’ll announce on Wednesday the sentence for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who gave reams of classified information to WikiLeaks.
Army Col. Denise Lind said Tuesday she was still deliberating but she was confident she would have a sentence by Wednesday morning.
“At 10 a.m. tomorrow I will announce the sentence,” Lind said about 2 1/2 hours into her deliberations.
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He also leaked video of an U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad in which at least nine people were killed, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
Prosecutors have asked for at least a 60-year prison term. Capt. Joe Morrow said in his closing argument Monday that a long prison sentence would dissuade other soldiers from following in Manning’s footsteps.
“There’s value in deterrence,” Morrow said.
The defense has suggested a prison term of no more than 25 years, so that Manning, 25, could rebuild his life. Defense attorney David Coombs asked for a sentence that “doesn’t rob him of his youth.”
Prosecutors have requested a far longer prison term than other soldiers have received in recent decades for sharing government secrets.
Army Spec. Albert T. Sombolay got a 34-year-sentence in 1991 for giving a Jordanian intelligence agent information on the buildup for the first Iraq war, plus other documents and samples of U.S. Army chemical protection equipment. Marine Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, the only Marine ever convicted of espionage, was given a 30-year sentence, later reduced to 15 years, for giving the Soviet KGB the identities of U.S. CIA agents and the floor plans of the embassies in Moscow and Vienna in the early 1980s.
U.S. civilian courts have ordered life in prison for spies, including Aldrich Ames, a former CIA case officer convicted in 1994 of spying for the Soviet Union and Russia and former FBI agent Robert Hanssen, convicted in 2001 of spying for Moscow.