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Bradley Manning: friend or foe of the US?

Bradley Manning: friend or foe of the US?
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It was part of the biggest leak in US intelligence history.

A video dating from 2007 shows an attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad.

It had been released by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, which fights against government secrecy.

The source for the footage, as well as thousands of documents, including sensitive diplomatic caps was Private Bradley Manning.

They were splashed across the front pages of the world’s newspapers for weeks in mid-2010.

Manning had served as an intelligence officer in Baghad before his arrest in May of that year.

In 2011, Investigators charged the US army private with 22 offences, including aiding the enemy.

They said Manning had systematically stolen and then distributed more than 720,000 secret documents to WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks gained notoriety from the Manning leaks and the site’s founder, Julian Assange, has been a vocal critic of Manning’s prosecution.

The case has also divided Americans. Some back his actions, although one recent Rasmussen poll found that 52 percent thought Manning was a traitor to his country.

Defence lawyers for the 25-year-old portrayed him as a well-intentioned but naive young man who thought his actions could spark a broader debate in the United States about its overseas operations

But that argument did not impress judges and Manning will face a lengthy jail term.

Could that bode well for NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden who faces similar charges? He’s currently in hiding in Moscow Airport.