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Entries in Pvt. Bradley Manning (1)

Wednesday
Mar022011

Twenty-Two New Charges Against Pvt. Bradley Manning, Accused WikiLeaks Source

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Army late Wednesday filed 22 new charges against PFC Bradley Manning, suspected of passing classified information to the WikiLeaks website. The charges include "aiding the enemy," which is a capital offense, but Army prosecutors told Manning's lawyers that they would not be seeking the death penalty in this case.

The new charges come after a seven-month investigation into whether Manning was the person who leaked the hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department cables that were made public by WikiLeaks.

Since his arrest last June in Baghdad, Manning, an Army intelligence analyst, has been detained under 12 similar charges that he illegally transferred classified data and provided the information to an unauthorized source. Wednesday's filing updates those original charges.

Since last July WikiLeaks has published incident reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as diplomatic cables that created an international firestorm.

Though not mentioning WikiLeaks by name, the new charge sheets indicate Manning is now being charged with having illegally downloaded the hundreds of thousands of cables and military incident reports that were provided to "an unauthorized source" and ultimately made public by WikiLeaks.

The charge sheets say Manning illegally obtained and transferred 380,000 records from a U.S. military database of military incident reports in Iraq, as well as another 90,000 records from a similar database for Afghanistan. He is also charged with obtaining a video of a 2009 U.S. bombing incident in western Afghanistan that resulted in many Afghan civilian deaths, another item that WikiLeaks has promised to reveal publicly.

According to an Army press release, Manning is being charged with introducing "unauthorized software onto government computers to extract classified information, unlawfully downloaded it, improperly stored it, and transmitted the classified data for public release and use by the enemy.

"The new charges more accurately reflect the broad scope of the crimes that Pvt. 1st Class Manning is accused of committing," said Capt. John Haberland, a legal spokesperson for the Military District of Washington. "The new charges will not affect Pvt. 1st Class Manning's right to a speedy trial or his pre-trial confinement," he added.

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