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Judge explains Bradley Manning verdict

By Larry Shaughnessy, CNN Pentagon Producer
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Fri August 16, 2013
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted July 30 of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos to WikiLeaks, and the counts against him included violations of the Espionage Act. He was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges but acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted July 30 of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos to WikiLeaks, and the counts against him included violations of the Espionage Act. He was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges but acquitted of the most serious charge, aiding the enemy. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
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Key WikiLeaks figures in Manning trial
Key WikiLeaks figures in Manning trial
Key WikiLeaks figures in Manning trial
Key WikiLeaks figures in Manning trial
Key WikiLeaks figures in Manning trial
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Judge said Manning knew possible consequences to U.S.
  • Army private to be sentenced
  • Manning says he recognizes he has to pay a price for his actions

Washington (CNN) -- Col. Denise Lind, the Army judge who found Pfc. Bradley Manning guilty on 20 of 22 counts in the largest classified leak case in U.S. history explained her thinking, calling Manning's conduct "wrongful."

When Lind handed down her verdicts in July, Manning's lawyers asked her to issue her "special findings" for the guilty counts. That document was released Friday at Fort Meade, Maryland, where the sentencing phase of the trial continues.

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John Walker ran a father and son spy ring, passing classified material to the Soviet Union from 1967 to 1985. Walker was a Navy communication specialist with financial difficulties when he walked into the Soviet Embassy and sold a piece of cyphering equipment. Navy and Defense officials said that Walker enabled the Soviet Union to unscramble military communications and pinpoint the location of U.S. submarines at all times. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors promised leniency for Walker's son Michael Walker, a former Navy seaman. Click through the gallery to see other high-profile leak scandals the United States has seen over the years. John Walker ran a father and son spy ring, passing classified material to the Soviet Union from 1967 to 1985. Walker was a Navy communication specialist with financial difficulties when he walked into the Soviet Embassy and sold a piece of cyphering equipment. Navy and Defense officials said that Walker enabled the Soviet Union to unscramble military communications and pinpoint the location of U.S. submarines at all times. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors promised leniency for Walker's son Michael Walker, a former Navy seaman. Click through the gallery to see other high-profile leak scandals the United States has seen over the years.
Sharing secrets: U.S. intelligence leaks
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Sharing secrets: U.S. intelligence leaks Sharing secrets: U.S. intelligence leaks

One of the questions that both sides debated at length during the court-martial was whether by leaking material to WikiLeaks, Manning also was providing it to the enemy.

She ruled Manning had "knowledge that intelligence published on the Internet was accessible to al Qaeda."

The judge went on to say that "Manning's conduct was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others. His conduct was both wanton and reckless."

Bradley Manning's father says son was 'grandstanding'

Lind said that Manning had "reason to believe the information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation."

Manning told the court Wednesday, in an unsworn statement, "I am sorry. I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I am sorry that it hurt the United States."

He went on to say, "Unfortunately, I can't go back and change things. I can only go forward. I want to go forward. Before I can do that, though, I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions."

Manning faces up to 90 years, minus time served.

Fast Facts: WikiLeaks and Manning

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