US will press criminal charges against Manning, alleged Wikileaks source

manningcharge.jpg"Charge sheet" for Pfc. Bradley E. Manning lists 8 federal criminal violations, including one of espionage. PDF Link, or view JPEGs at the end of this post.

UPDATE: Read Boing Boing's interview with an Army spokesperson with more on the charges filed, and possible penalties: Manning faces up to 52 years in prison.

manning.jpgThe U.S. military has announced that it will press criminal charges against 22 year old Pfc. Bradley E. Manning for allegedly transferring classified military information to his personal computer, "wrongfully adding unauthorized software to a Secret Internet Protocol Router network computer," obtaining "more than 150,000 classified U.S. State Department cables," and transmitting data to unauthorized persons.

The charge sheet published at the end of this post reveals that he will be charged with eight federal criminal law violations including one count of transmitting classified information to an unauthorized third party, a violation of the Espionage Act.

Manning is believed to be the person who leaked the so-called "Collateral Murder" video to Wikileaks. The 2007 video, edited before release by Wikileaks, shows an Apache helicopter strike that killed 12 civilians in Baghdad, including two Reuters photojournalists.

Manning has been detained at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait since May, when he was arrested by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command. According to reports, Manning "confessed" to ex-hacker Adrian Lamo that he leaked the "Collateral Murder" video, a video of the Granai airstrike in Afghanistan, and 260,000 diplomatic cables, to Wikileaks. Lamo is said to have then turned Manning over to authorities.

According to the U.S. Armed Forces Rules for Courts-Martial, Manning is entitled to a trial within 120 days after having been restrained. Word on Manning's case has been all but silent, but some of his supporters noted that charges were imminent, given that deadline.

Lt. Col. Eric Bloom, a spokesman for U.S. Division-Center—the Army headquarters that oversees security in central Iraq—told Bloomberg News, "The initial investigation is still ongoing because there are additional items to sift through." In today's statement, the Army said the question of whether Manning must face court-martial will be determined by a military version of a grand jury hearing.

Charge sheet: PDF Link, and JPEGs in the body of this post, below.

Manning charge sheet, page 1

Manning charge sheet, page 2

Manning charge sheet, page 3

Manning charge sheet, page 4