Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges that he illegally acquired and transferred classified U.S. government information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, agreeing to serve 20 years in prison for the crime.
The 25 year-old soldier, however, pleaded not guilty to 12 of the most serious charges against him, including espionage for aiding the enemy. His case will go forward at a general court martial in June. If he is convicted of all the charges against him he could be sentenced to life in prison.
Manning on Thursday reportedly admitted that he leaked a video of an Army helicopter intentionally shooting civilians and journalists in Iraq, now a widely-viewed clip known as “Collateral Murder.” He also acknowledged he released State Department cables, an Army field manual and Army documents on Iraq and Afghanistan that detailed military operations in those countries.
WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, publicized the material worldwide. Manning was arrested in May 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst at a U.S. army base outside of Baghdad.
The young soldier spent more than two years in prison, included nine months in solitary confinement, before finally receiving a trial. On Tuesday a military judge refused a defense motion to dismiss the charges against Manning due to a lack of a speedy trial, ruling the delays by the prosecution were excludable and justifiable.
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