It is a bit of news that Edward Snowden will be watching very closely. Like Snowden, who could not in his "good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world," - Bradley Manning, 25, sentenced to prison for 35 years, on several charges of espionage, said he leaked the secret files in the hopes of sparking a public debate about US foreign policy and the military.
But, Snowden may be right on one count about his NSA snooping revelations."The greatest fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change." he had told the Guardian in an interview.
Manning in a statement read out by his defence lawyer said that, his decision to reveal the sensitive information in 2010, "were made out of a concern for my country and the world we live in."
"When I chose to disclose classified information... I did so out of love for our country and a sense of duty for others. If you deny my request for a pardon I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society."
On Wednesday, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Prosecutors were not pleased as they had asked for a 60-year sentence for him. They wanted to send a message to future potential leakers.
However, Wikileaks termed the 35-year sentence a "significant strategic victory". According to the Time magazine, "when compared with the hysteria that characterized the official response to Manning's leaks three years ago, a sentence of 35 years with a chance at parole and perhaps credit for time served begins to look rather tame."
His supporters have called on President Barack Obama to pardon the soldier or commute his sentence to time served.
Manning's leaks to the whistleblower site, Wikileaks included sensitive messages between US diplomats and records of military incidents in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as a cockpit video showing an Apache helicopter killing 12 people in the Iraqi capital in 2007.
The revelations called huge global outcry that caused significant embarrassment to the US government and its officials. US said the disclosures damaged America's relations with its allies and disrupted the war effort in Afghanistan.
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