Private First Class Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison Wednesday morning for transmitting government documents to the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks, and he received a dishonorable discharge. The trove of documents fell within four categories: videos, incident reports from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, information on detainees at Guantanamo and thousands of State Department cables. WSJ reporter Julian E. Barnes compiled this list of the top documents for an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal July 31, 2013.
The most important video showed an U.S. Army Apache helicopter in Iraq firing on a group of people who turned out to include journalists from Reuters. The video was edited by WikiLeaks and called “Collateral Murder.” In Pfc. Manning’s trial, the defense and prosecution have offered different theories of when the video was sent to WikiLeaks. Pfc. Manning’s lawyers have said the material in the video had been previously released to the public; prosecutors said that militants could learn about American military tactics by watching the video.
The second batch of documents provided by Pfc. Manning that WikiLeaks published were incident reports from Afghanistan and Iraq. WikiLeaks called them the “War Logs” and said they showed there were much larger numbers of civilian casualties than the U.S. had previously reported. The Iraq war logs were released first and WikiLeaks didn’t redact the names of people mentioned in the incident reports, prompting U.S. officials to charge the organization had put the lives of people who had supported the American military in jeopardy.
Source: Washington Post