WikiLeaks sentence hearing turns to damage done by Manning


By Tom Ramstack, Reuters

A U.S. State Department official is set to testify on Monday about how much convicted soldier Bradley Manning’s leaks of classified diplomatic cables to the WikiLeaks website hurt ties between Washington and its allies as well as global intelligence-sharing methods.

Judge Colonel Denise Lind on July 30 found Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, guilty of 19 criminal counts related to the leaks, the largest unauthorized release of secret U.S. data in the nation’s history.

Manning was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge he faced, but the crimes still carry penalties that could lead to up to 136 years in prison.

The sentencing phase, which began last week, was set to resume on Monday and is expected to last at least until August 9, military officials said.

Military prosecutors are expected to call Patrick Kennedy, a veteran State Department official who was part of an “Information Review Task Force” set up in the wake of the leak, to assess damage to U.S.-foreign relations or any other fallout.

“The post-WikiLeaks environment reminds us that technology is a tool to execute solutions but is not in itself the answer,” Kennedy, the Under Secretary for Management, told the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in March 2011.

“Simply put, we must more consistently sort out what we share before determining how we share it,” Kennedy said, adding that national security officials must do a better job confining intelligence that could threaten security.