An Army private suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive and classified documents to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group was charged Wednesday with aiding the enemy, a crime that can bring the death penalty or life in prison.
The Army filed 22 new charges against Pvt. 1st Class Bradley E. Manning, including causing intelligence information to be published on the Internet. The charges don't specify which documents, but the charges involve the suspected distribution by the military analyst of more than 250,000 confidential State Department cables as well as a raft of Iraq and Afghanistan war logs. Thousands of the documents have been published on the WikiLeaks website.
Although aiding the enemy is a capital offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Army prosecutors have notified the Manning defense team that it will not recommend the death penalty to the two-star general who is in charge of proceeding with legal action.
The Army has not ruled out charging others in the case, pending the results of an ongoing review. Army leaders have suggested that there may have been supervisory lapses that allowed the breach to occur.