Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s sentence was cut back from 136 years to 90 years. He was sentenced for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks Tuesday by a military judge who stated some of his offenses were closely related.
The 25-year-old soldier will be spending most, if not all, of his remaining years inside a prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The ruling was largely a victory for defense attorneys, who had argued for an 80-year maximum.
Manning was convicted last week of 20 counts, including six Espionage Act violations, five federal theft counts and a federal computer fraud charge for leaking more than 700,000 documents from a classified government computer network while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010. As of now the sentencing phase of Manning’s court-martial is in its second week.
Manning stated that he only leaked the material to expose wrongdoing by the military and U.S. diplomats. He argued that he selectively leaked material that wouldn’t harm service members or national security. The leaked cables publicly unveiled a closer U.S.-Pakistani military relationship than Pakistan had publicly acknowledged.
At his sentencing hearing, prosecutors are presenting evidence that the leaks damaged U.S. interests. The prosecutors have focused mainly on the influence of more than 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks began publishing in November 2010.
On Tuesday Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata proved for the trial that the leaked cables had an impact on U.S. military operations in Pakistan, where Nagata was himself a deputy commander of a defense office within the U.S. embassy in Islamabad. Nagata saved the details of the impact for a closed court session to protect classified information.