Bradley Manning is expected to learn his fate tomorrow.. The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, is expected to announce her verdict at 1 PM, military officials told NBC News. Manning is facing 20 charges, the most serious of which is ‘aiding the enemy’. After pleading guilty to some lesser charges back in February, Manning is already facing 20 years in military prison according to ABC News. Judge Lind stated that she will give a days’ notice prior to her verdict. After the verdict, the court is expected to meet again next Wednesday to start the sentencing phase of the trial.
The case has drawn much attention to who exactly has access to classified public documents. The case has also been emotional and polarizing. Many people regard Manning as a hero. The prosecution described him as an “anarchist” and “traitor” in their closing statements. Manning even admitted to Yahoo! News that he considered suicide while awaiting trial. He has also spent time in solitary confinement while awaiting trial.
The crux of the argument against Manning is that he had “evil intent” because he somehow knew that the documents he was releasing would end up in the wrong hands. Manning’s defense team has never denied his leak; however they paint the picture of Manning as a naive young soldier who thought he was doing a good thing. The prosecution states that Manning was working for WikiLeaks and was seeking fame through his actions.
An additional angle is how the Obama administration has handled whistleblowers. This administration has charged seven different people under the Espionage Act, none of which have gone before a judge or jury. Washington Post writer Brian Fung feels like this case can set “an important precedent about the legal treatment of leakers.”
The world is watching. What will be the fate of Bradley Manning?