The dry language of the US Army press release is onimous for Bradely Manning.
Pfc. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy; wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy; theft of public property or records; transmitting defense information; fraud and related activity in connection with computers; and for violating Army Regulations 25-2 “Information Assurance” and 380-5 “Department of the Army Information Security Program.”
If convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment of reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade, E-1; total forfeiture of all pay and allowances; confinement for life; and a dishonorable discharge.
Computer forensic experts were able to decyrpt damning documents on Manning’s personal Macbook. I don’t see how he can avoid prison. Saying he did it for a higher reason, to oppose our insane wars, isn’t a legally justifiable defense, especially in military court. Most any country on the planet would prosecute, given what he allegedly did, and would probably also throw the book at him.
This is the opposite of spy thriller movies, where an innocent gets sucked into a murky world and eventually somehow triumphs. Manning is an innocent too but this isn’t a movie and he got in way over his head. The best that can probably he hope for is a few years in prison.