Policy: National Security

Bradley Manning gets 35 years for giving Wikileaks classified documents

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday for disclosing classified documents to Wikileaks and his lawyer immediately announced that he was applying for a presidential pardon.

The Bradley Manning Support Network, which raised $1.4 million for Manning's defense, called the sentence "an outrage that flies in the face of America's essential ideals of accountability in government."

"The only person prosecuted for the crimes and abuses uncovered in the WikiLeaks' releases is the person who exposed them," Manning supporter and Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg said in a statement. "That alone proves the injustice of one more day in prison for Bradley Manning."

Manning's attorney, David Coombs, pledged to seek a presidential pardon for Manning.

When asked Wednesday whether President Obama would grant Manning a pardon, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, "I'm not going to get ahead of that process."

Manning must serve at least a third of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, according to the Washington Post. Factoring in timed served, Manning would be eligible in eight years, at age 33.

Army Col. Denise Lind, the judge who oversaw the sentencing, also said that Manning would be demoted to private, the lowest rank in the military, dishonorably discharged, and forced to forfeit all pay, the New York Times reported.

Lind did not say where Manning would serve his sentence, but a spokeswoman for the Military District of Washington told the Associated Press that Manning would likely go to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Manning faced a maximum of 90 years in prison after being convicted earlier this year on charges that he violated the Espionage Act, among other crimes. The former military intelligence analyst leaked thousands of documents, including sensitive State Department communications, to Wikileaks.

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