Army private faced 90 years after espionage convictions
Bradley Manning, who was responsible for the biggest information leak in U.S. history, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Army private was convicted in July of multiple charges of espionage and had already pled guilty to several more — 19 in all. Though he was acquitted of the most serious charge –aiding the enemy — he faced up to 90 years in jail. The prosecution recommended he serve at least 60.
Manning also was demoted to the lowest military rank and dishonorably discharged.
Manning had maintained that he was simply trying to inform the public about military and government wrongdoing when he supplied WikiLeaks with over 700,000 pages of classified information in 2010, and did not intend to aid the enemy.
In a recent hearing he apologized for the broader repercussions, including embarrassing American diplomats, among others.
"I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I'm sorry I hurt the United States," he told the court. "I understood what I was doing was wrong, but I didn't appreciate the broader effects of my actions."
"When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people."