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The Boston Globe



Bradley Manning deserves punishment, but not life sentence

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning should be held accountable for his recklessness, but it was a stretch when prosecutors charged him with “aiding the enemy.” Although classified documents that Manning released to the world ended up in Osama bin Laden’s hideout, there is no evidence that he intended to help Al Qaeda. Tuesday, he was rightfully acquitted of that charge, which carried a potential life sentence.

Still, Manning was found guilty of violating the Espionage Act of 1917, a charge that was also a stretch. The act was designed to punish spies who pass secrets to foreign governments, not people who leak to the public.

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