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From VOA LearningEnglish, this is In The News.
An Americanmilitaryjudge this weekArmyPrivateBradleyManning to 35 years in prison for espionage. Manningprovidedmorethan 700,000 classifiedfiles and othermaterials to the anti-secrecywebsiteWikiLeaks. Officialshavedescribed the case as the largestleak of documents in Americanhistory.
The judge, ColonelDeniseLind, announced the sentenceWednesday at a militarybase in Maryland. She said the 25-year-old formerintelligencespecialistwould be dishonorablydischarged from the armedforces. He will be from futuremilitaryservice and loserights to anypay he is owed.
The Oklahomanative has alreadyspentthreeyears in detention. He had faced as long as 90 years in prison for providingAmericansecrets to WikiLeaks. Governmentlawyerscalled for a 60-yearsentence. Undermilitaryrules, Manningcould be considered for a from prison in lessthannineyears.
The sentencingfollowed a 12-weektrial and a longlegalbattleover the release of hundreds of thousands of records. Theyincludeddiplomaticmessages and Americanbattlefieldreports from Iraq and Afghanistan. Onevideoshowed an Americanhelicopterattack that killedtwo .
Manningsays he wanted to show the of war and Americanactionsoverseas. But governmentlawyerssay he betrayedhiscountry.
MorrisDavisformerlyserved as the government’s mainlawyer in casesagainstaccusedterrorists at Guantanamomilitarybase in Cuba. He says the Manningcaserequired a strongsentence. He adds that the informationgiven to WikiLeaksdidmore to damage the image of the UnitedStatesthanharmnationalsecurity.
“There was no realvalue to al-Qaida or anyoneelse from thesedocumentswhentheycould go on Google and get the sameinformation. It’s hard to seewherethere’s anyrealharmhereotherthanjustembarrassment to the UnitedStatesgovernment.”
The judgeclearedManning of the moreseriouscharge of aiding the enemy.
In court, Manningexpressedregret for harming the country. The soldier and hislawyerssaid he had idealisticgoals in releasing the information. Theysaid he believed he couldpublicize the truthaboutAmericaninvolvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hislawyer, DavidCoombs, comparedManning’s actions to anyonewhoexposedwartimetruths. He called the case a event in pressfreedom that threatens the flow of information to the public.
The caseraisedquestionsaboutwhy the ArmyputManning in a sensitiveposition. The courtheardevidence that he had emotionalproblems. A militarydoctordescribedhim as having a genderidentitydisorder. Manningdid not receivetreatmentwhile in Iraq.
On Thursday, Manningannounced that he is female and wants to live as a womannamedChelsea.
TommySearsheads the Center for MilitaryReadiness. The group has criticized the military’s on homosexualsopenlyserving in the armedforces. He says the leaksmight not havehappenedifManning had been givenhelp for hisemotionalissues.
And that’s In The News from VOA LearningEnglish. I’m BobDoughty.