News has just broken that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, has just been sentenced to jail for 35 years with a Dishonorable Discharge, following charges that he had leaked around 700,000 government security document files to the secret-leaking website, WikiLeaks, because he wanted to spark a debate about American espionage. But a question from Civl Rights Attorney, Chase Madar has been posed: Was he a real threat?
Manning, 25, who appeared to receive his sentence from the judge impassively, will also be demoted to the rank of Private, with forfeited pay, following the ruling in which he was found guilty of twenty charges, including seven out of eight for spying, five charges of theft, two for computer fraud, five military counts of violating a lawful general regulation and one of wanton publication of intelligence on the Internet, according to a recent BBC News report.
The report also stated that Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, a charge detainable for life without parole, as well as being found not guilty for unauthorized possession of information relating to national defense.
Critics have been arguing over the contentious issue as to whether Manning’s apology was sincere or whether it was it in order to get a lighter sentence.
It has also been queried whether Manning has anything to apologize for, or if he got what he deserved.
Civil Rights Attorney, Chase Madar, speaking from Cape Cod, put the question out there that seems to be on many people’s lips:
What he the real threat? Does a real threat come from the leaks and whistleblowers, or is it from what is thought to be the excessive amount of government secrecy?
As the sentence was being passed, many of Manning’s supporters stood outside the court, clad in black tee shirts with one word emblazoned across the front: “Free.” All the while, they chanted, “Free, free, free Bradley Manning.”
Manning was 22 when the Pentagon secrets were first leaked and will be closer to 56 years of age when he is due for release.
Written by: Brucella Newman