ACLU and others denounce Manning sentence, others see it as a deterrent against leaking

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — The ACLU and Amnesty International are among the groups denouncing the 35-year sentence that was given to former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning today for giving hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks.

Ben Wizner, who heads the ACLU’s speech and technology project, says, “When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system.”

But Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute think tank is welcoming Manning’s punishment. Schoenfeld, the author of the book “Necessary Secrets,” says, “The sentence is a tragedy for Bradley Manning, but it is one he brought upon himself.” He says the sentence will serve as a deterrent against others who might want to leak documents.

Schoenfeld also warns, however, that the sentence will ensure that Edward Snowden “will do his best never to return to the United States.” Snowden, who leaked details of National Security Agency surveillance programs, has taken refuge in Russia.

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141-a-13-(Sterling DeRamus (dih-RAY’-muhs), military law expert at Tully Rinckey and retired Navy Reserve captain, in AP interview)-”to the WikiLeaks”-Military law expert Sterling DeRamus finds it surprising that the judge gave Bradley Manning such a long prison term. (21 Aug 2013)

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158-r-31-(Sound of unidentified Bradley Manning supporters, chanting “Free, free, free Bradley Manning”)–Sound of unidentified Bradley Manning supporters chanting “Free, free, free Bradley Manning.” (21 Aug 2013)

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144-a-09-(Sterling DeRamus (dih-RAY’-muhs), military law expert at Tully Rinckey and retired Navy Reserve captain, in AP interview)-”is pretty significant”-Military law expert Sterling DeRamus says the judge did not need to issue a longer sentence to send a message to other soldiers who might consider leaking government secrets. (21 Aug 2013)

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GRAPHICSBANK: Bradley Manning headshot, US soldier accused of leaking classified material to the Wikileaks website, Fort Meade, Maryland, graphic element on gray (21 Aug 2013)

APPHOTO MDPS111: In this courtroom sketch, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, second from right, is escorted out of a courtroom after receiving a sentence of 35 years in prison for leaking classified materials to WikiLeaks in a hearing in Fort Meade, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/William Hennessy) NO TV, NO ARCHIVE, NO SALES, LOCALS OUT (21 Aug 2013)

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