A military judge has found Pfc. Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, not guilty of aiding the enemy — a charge that would have carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Manning was found guilty of most of the remaining charges, with the judge accepting some of the guilty pleas the defense made previously to lesser charges.
The remaining charges could carry 20 years behind bars.
Manning already has spent three years in custody, most of which was spent in solitary confinement while the government stalled the trial.
Authorities have accused B. of delivering three quarters of a million pages of classified documents and videos to the secret-sharing site WikiLeaks, which has never confirmed the soldier was the source of its information. The material covered numerous aspects of U.S. military strategy in Iraq, gave what some called a ground view of events in the Afghanistan war and revealed the inner workings of U.S. State Department diplomacy in leaked cables.
When B. entered the guilty pleas on the lesser charges this year, Manning spent more than an hour in court reading a statement about why they leaked the information.
Manning was arrested within months of a video that appeared on WikiLeaks in April 2010. The secrets-busting site called it “Collateral Murder.” It appeared to be shot from a U.S. Apache helicopter as it fired on a group of people in Baghdad in 2007. A dozen people were killed; among them were a Reuters TV news cameraman and his driver.
Reuters has been trying to obtain the video through the Freedom of Information Act, without success since the time of the attack. The video, shot from an Apache helicopter gun-sight, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded.
The Apache crew and those behind the cover up depicted in the video have yet to be charged.