Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years in WikiLeaks Case

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, 25, leaked classified documents to the anti-secrecy group.
8:21 | 08/21/13

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Transcript for Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years in WikiLeaks Case
This is a special report from ABC news. What -- Devin Dwyer in New York with -- ABC news digital special report a military judge. Has now sentenced army private Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison. For leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military in diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. It was the largest -- of military secrets in American history. Right now I -- -- bring an ABC's pentagon reporter Louis Martinez who joins us from outside the courthouse at Fort -- Louis it's great to see you what do you make of the judge's sentence. It prosecution want it. -- years. -- -- That they ones have been on 125 years but this much less than we didn't -- it. We begin -- and that -- yeah. Will it really unclear to us -- -- -- judge abandoned looted and the message that. He apologized last week he's been reluctant. Cute face in jail time. But -- the group that he could live a productive like once we got out it down but -- -- -- -- the judge has now agreed that. -- This is certainly surprise and much more lenient -- I think many people thought and as we understand that he can be paroled in twelve years is that right. And because that is something that we didn't really know much about -- during the trial. But given the military's. Regulations I -- -- It could be much. And anticipate. Are -- just to recap so folks that haven't been following this closely Bradley Manning was convicted on twenty of 22 charges espionage staffed fraud. He was not convicted -- aiding the enemy the most serious charge that would -- landed him life in prison. I certainly -- as you know there this is the spark -- intense debate people calling Manning a whistle blower there's a trader. You're outside the courthouse -- -- his supporters reacting. Well actually about the -- that -- -- -- running. A black teacher with it would it would -- with the word truth written in front of them that. Security group of other supposed. Who have been showing -- relentlessly over the last yet. -- pretrial hearings. For the court martial I am certain that they are very glad it clear that he's going to be -- 35 years I don't think anybody expected. That that basically everybody knew he wouldn't answering yes and the question really was how much yelled I'm a. That's right this really case not about whether or not Manning head. Did these actions -- he admitted to leaking these documents back in February it really kind of was a battle about intentions right I mean what his intent was here. That's exactly. He hit in the and challenge the idea that he had -- it. But it isn't ready yet that he was in nineteen young soldier who wanted to ain't going well somebody who. And that we come across these documents during the deployment in Iraq and what you're setting up to 2009 at an army intelligence analyst. I bet the document showed what the US foreign policy that turned out you go out and packaging and -- Is determined try to portray. It helped in media and and reducing our -- Not include -- -- any charge. I'd be of particular world atlas and preventing. -- and information that computer that showed. Just -- -- -- I didn't ask Baghdad to delete information WikiLeaks. You know everything you can import the whistleblower by supporters. God but now he's got him with a burden to trader. And -- -- judge. Indicates that but he would not. It yet and not but that he was guilty of espionage and -- hundreds of thousand got about 700000. Military report. And diplomatic cables -- city relief during the nine month -- who. An incredible -- the largest we understand -- leak of military documents and American history -- we've heard time and again about from prosecutors in this case. That they that they had this -- -- significant damage to national security lives were put at risk. Were officials they are able to provide any concrete examples of harm done. And it didn't you know after Marshall. In two weeks and say this would -- many trial. The defense presented what is the packages you -- and it wouldn't it and basically intense years. How much content there. The change wanted to quit the mathematics on what they want it which showed that damage had been done -- -- Witnesses with evidence and reject and allow a lot of it was interesting repeatedly and really guys didn't that wasn't buying some of the arguments that are being made about how much damage had been done. And physical. Two individuals. Detonated it couldn't cut from -- Concrete cases that damage that was -- individuals. Announced. What are some of that -- that -- about. Well I think -- said that -- Edward is that it's hard to prove that has been lasting damage on the release of those -- and other goods and even son into immediate. -- -- need Hewitt after they were released but not -- -- And certainly something the judge must have considered you know and also interest seen here as you know some of -- leaked materials did appear to expose. Good potential military mistakes in in in combat right and he revealed a video of a US helicopter attack that killed at least two civilians. Did this week really change any way the US military -- the government operates at all. A lot of what he released was just -- 88. Combat situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is common incident we -- that Italy Portugal back at headquarters that's really what -- sent back to rob he. Representatives of the amount of information. And put it just what was really like almost like in Iraq and Afghanistan at this. -- it was important diplomatic cables and really -- more of -- impact. Because it showed what American policy makers and the State Department got about. Some of them -- their counterparts in other countries including some of our ally. That was really interest being generated a lot of interest -- -- especially steel lattice will receive coverage of the -- and trial. Most appropriate -- today. Work -- -- the man -- can -- look at the expense. -- if you're just joining us again we're talking with ABC's pentagon -- reporter Louis Martinez outside the courtroom. In Fort -- Virginia where a judge a military judge has just announced a 35 year sentence. For army -- Bradley Manning again he was responsible for one of the largest leaks of classified information in military history. Though that -- going to WikiLeaks those documents now on mine. If we still weren't with us I just wanna ask. Really let's talk a little bit about what's next here is -- able to appeal this sentence or is -- -- Leon's decision final here. It's exactly the -- court but it just. I'm currently on portrait appeal I could take several years again just like to -- in court. Crown -- chrome screw it -- turning to speak. Because the first time that he took credit opportunity it would since the trial began -- that -- Mainly -- about two weeks ago who sort of that he intended to appeal and Italian -- and possibly as high as the Supreme Court. He let the -- to military appeals court on young children are brokered the open court and then ultimately is -- what if he decides that it that far. Art of ABC's Willie Martinez thank you so much for joining us and we know that you'll be following this all the way through that process great work -- of course you can get all the latest on this story and all other news today For now I'm Devin Dwyer -- New York with this ABC news digital special report. This has been a special report from me.

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

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