Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced Wednesday to 35 years in prison for giving hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in one of the nation’s biggest leak cases since the Pentagon Papers more than a generation ago.
Flanked by his lawyers, Manning, 25, stood at attention and appeared not to react when military judge Col. Denise Lind announced the punishment without explanation during a brief hearing.
Among the spectators, there was a gasp, and one woman put her hands up, covering her face.
“I’m shocked. I did not think she would do that,” said Manning supporter Jim Holland, of San Diego. “Thirty-five years, my Lord.”
The former intelligence analyst was found guilty last month of 20 crimes, including six violations of the Espionage Act, as part of the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on media leaks.
But the judge acquitted him of the most serious charge , aiding the enemy, an offense that could have meant life in prison without parole.
The native of Crescent, Okla., digitally copied and released more than 700,000 documents, including Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department cables, while working in 2010 in Iraq.
More at LGBTQ Nation.