Pfc Manning’s Data Theft was so Damaging that Data Access Rules had to be Changed
Reuters via Yahoo! News
As a military judge considered sentencing for convicted U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, prosecutors argued that his leaks of classified information to the WikiLeaks website changed the way the military allowed intelligence analysts to access data.
Manning, 25, on Tuesday escaped a life sentence with no parole at his court-martial when Judge Colonel Denise Lind acquitted him of aiding the enemy, the most serious of 21 criminal counts against him. But he still faces the possibility of 136 years in prison on 19 other charges.
The slightly built Army private first class was working as a low-level intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when he was arrested and charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history - a trove of 700,000 battlefield videos, diplomatic cables and other files.
Following Tuesday’s verdict, the court-martial at Fort Meade, Maryland, moved into the sentencing proceeding on Wednesday with arguments by military prosecutors and Manning’s lawyers.
A prosecutor, Major Ashden Fein, said Manning’s leaks “have impacted the entire system” for granting defense analysts access to classified information.
Manning’s attorneys were expected argue that the Army private was not trying to jeopardize U.S. national security. He did not testify during his trial or during the first day of his sentencing hearing.
The first prosecution witness, retired Brigadier General Robert Carr, said that allowing young analysts such as Manning to have access to classified information was “hugely important” to the U.S. military.