Bradley Manning Guilty on Most Charges in Wikileaks Case

US Army private was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.
6:08 | 07/30/13

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Transcript for Bradley Manning Guilty on Most Charges in Wikileaks Case
This is this special report from -- -- Well on Dan pepper -- -- this ABC news digital special report. Bradley Manning. Is going to jail but not for the rest of his life the prosecution failed to prove that -- privates -- as private first class. Aided the enemy through his leaking of classified documents to WikiLeaks. Military judge colonel Denise -- found Manning guilty of lesser espionage charges but did not think that many in fact helped the enemy. When he released some 700000. Classified documents to WikiLeaks. -- army private first class former intelligence officer had been cast a hero. By transparency activists and a -- and by national security hawks now though his fate is sealed through this court martial. And I want to bring in ABC's news chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz for more on the verdict. Martha I want to ask you obviously the bar was very high for the prosecution that still were you surprised by this decision. I was somewhat surprised by the decision that obviously is the most serious charge. Bradley Manning we'll spend many many many years in prison. In fact he's already pleaded guilty to ten lesser charges that could give him up to twenty years. In a military prison and these other charges he's found guilty -- will probably give him. Even more time but not life in prison that was life in prison without parole so he has dodged that. His his attorneys the defense attorneys really tried to paint him. Is a nineteenth -- he was 22 years old when this happened who didn't really know what he was doing who was trying to bring attention. To the war and -- you'll remember one of the original things that was leaked. By WikiLeaks. Through. Bradley Manning was a video and there were several videos combat cameras from the war. That showed US soldiers. Killing they did not now it was a cameraman. But a Reuters cameraman and sound man and you can hear that you hear the audio -- -- it is really quite alarming to listen to. And that video was taken back in 2007 so since that time obviously his wound through the courts and certainly a lot of people have weigh in on this. The prosecution arguing -- fact that those actions. Help the enemy the judge not seen -- quite the same way. But still the prosecution very adamant those documents. Could if then use as a target the United States what do we know then was there any action. Used or or or fought against the US from that material. Well I think the problem here for the prosecution -- you can't specifically cite something that the enemy knew and they got from that. There were massive as you as you said massive amounts of documents leaked secret cables between the State Department. And others overseas very candid conversations. Went with the Yemeni -- for instance talking about drone strikes in things that. The day and administration does not talk about in public those kind of things were exposed there was nothing. Specific they could -- site that aided the enemy you can say -- this aided the enemy. Al-Qaeda reads the Internet they saw these documents but but they certainly couldn't point to anything specific -- -- -- very difficult obviously it's not as an example is happening between the attorneys and the judge but to still go forward and and think about how this case proceeded. Did Manning's confession to -- some of these documents win him any favor with the judge. Well I mean that's hard to -- the judgment certainly trying to be objective about all of this but but look at the climate we're in right now look at the climate -- -- and we know the American public. Is upset about these things are upset about these leaks. And yet when you look specifically -- Bradley Manning I think probably his age played a part in this he was a young intelligence officer he was in Baghdad. His background I think you look at all those things that that sort of matters probably. In a courtroom. But the judge I'm sure tried to remain objective about this. I think you bring her -- point in the fact that you use your mentioning Edwards out and obviously with Manning's. Conviction being released. The intelligence community as a whole what kind of changes do you think they will be implementing -- mean how -- they gonna be reviewing either how they start. Employing new people or just new policies going forward. Well I think certainly what what happened with Bradley Manning that he was able to download those massive massive amounts. Of material of classified material I think they probably put a stop to that kind of thing -- -- was a young. Really inexperienced intelligence officer and still was able to get access to all these I think the access is closed for a lot of people. -- -- Snowden was in a very unique position I think they will start looking more closely at background checks could they have known more about Edwards Snowden. And and you know you have the the the debate on the hill last week he had a vote on the hill that was very close almost cutting off funding for one of those NSA programs. And now the sentencing phase will begin and that is expects -- take some time. That that that will probably take several weeks and -- talk about what. Kind of sentence he deserves and including those lesser charges that -- -- that he's already pleaded guilty to. ABC's news chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz in Washington for us Martha thank you so much for your time in -- is that we certainly appreciate that. But the latest coming out military judge has -- German. -- Bradley Manning has been determined not guilty of aiding the enemy. After confessing to releasing classified documents. To the website WikiLeaks. Did admit to submitting more than 700000. Of those documents not only from. Documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but also diplomatic cables as well and military. We have a complete report on abcnews.com. On the latest on that it's trial and conviction and -- sentencing -- which is expected to again. And the next coming weeks for now I'm Dan Butler New York with this ABC news digital special reports.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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