Though U.S. Army Pfc Bradley Manning was found guilty on most of his lesser charges, he was found not guilty of the most serious offense: aiding the enemy. After spending three years in custody after his arrest for the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, Manning, 25, received his verdict today in Fort Meade outside Baltimore.
Two dozen activists donned "truth" T-shirts and waved signs outside Fort Meade in support of Manning, according to the Associated Press. The exuberance is tenfold on Twitter, where WikiLeaks, the publisher of the leaked documents, has a strong following.
Stunned and delighted that they acquitted Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy. The guy should be getting a medal rather than doing time.
— John Fee (@john_fee) July 30, 2013
Not everybody was overjoyed at the verdict. Manning, who was found guilty of lesser espionage charges, could still face time in jail. To some, the confidential documents still pose a threat. To others, the threat is the attempt to keep them confidential.
Manning faces 136 years on the charges he has been convicted of today. Dangerous national security extremism from the Obama administration. — WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 30, 2013
Both sides will declare victory in Manning case. But barring shocker at sentencing, defendant will be staying in prison for decades to come
— Andrew Cohen (@CBSAndrew) July 30, 2013
Manning's fate is still unbecoming of a truth teller. Sometimes truth is tough to face but we will be better in the end for knowing. — Jason Vastine (@JasonVastine) July 30, 2013
Bradley Manning is no hero. He caused damage. But an aiding the enemy charge should never be applied to leaks to reporting groups.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) July 30, 2013