military

As the sentencing hearing for former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning begins today, he faces the possibility of spending many decades in prison. Manning was found guilty Tuesday of 19 counts for giving thousands of classified U.S. documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning, 25, was acquitted of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge against him, which would have put him in jeopardy of a life sentence. He was found guilty of other serious charges, from theft to espionage, for his role in the largest leak of U.S. secrets in history.

This post was last updated at 6:42 p.m. ET.

Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst who perpetrated the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, has been acquitted of the most serious charge against him.

Col. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the case in Fort Meade, Md., found the Army private not guilty of aiding the enemy, when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks. The charge carried a possible punishment of life in prison.

For the next 12 weeks, a military judge in Fort Meade, Md. will consider the case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning. It's bound to be a complicated, long-running and often secretive process that kicked off on Monday.

Before we get too far into the court-martial, we wanted to put together a shortish guide to bring you up to speed on the trial.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning revealed today that he leaked classified information to WikiLeaks because he wanted to "spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general."

As The Christian Science Monitor reports, Manning made the statement in a court filing that is part of a pretrial hearing.

(7 a.m. ET, Jan. 9: We've updated the headline and reworded the top of this post to better reflect the judge's ruling. Our earlier headline was "Judge Reduces Possible Sentence For Alleged Leaker Bradley Manning.")

At a pretrial hearing Tuesday at Fort Meade in Maryland, a military judge ruled that the Army private accused of leaking a mass of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks was subjected to illegal pretrial punishment while being held in a military prison.

The pretrial hearing for WikiLeaks suspect Pfc. Bradley Manning ended Tuesday, but as The Associated Press reports, the massive amount of documents he is accused of leaking were hardly mentioned.

Instead, the hearing focused more on "a bedsheet noose, confiscated clothes and whether Manning seriously contemplated killing himself with flip-flops or the elastic waistband of his underwear."

Bradley Manning, the Army private accused in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, took the stand for a second day in a row, today.

Politico reports that in one more dramatic moments of the Article 13 hearing, Army Capt. Ashden Fein, the military prosecutor, pulled out a noose from a paper bag.

Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking a massive cache of classified information to WikiLeaks, testified for the first time since he was arrested in May 2010.

According to CNN, Manning said at one point during his military custody, he considered suicide. CNN adds:

"He first discussed his arrest in Iraq and his transfer to Kuwait where he was held for a nearly two months before being transferred to the brig at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia in July 2010.

Before he was in the national spotlight, Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who now faces charges of giving classified material to WikiLeaks, was an isolated young man with a troubled family life, according to Frontline correspondent Martin Smith.

In a profile of the jailed soldier for Frontline, Smith conducted extensive interviews with Manning's family and friends. Smith says his goal was to explore Manning's life before his arrest last summer.

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