Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks Suspect, Charged With 22 Crimes, May Face Life in Prison

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WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning was formally charged on Thursday ahead of a court-martial that could see the US soldier sentenced to life in prison.

Manning was charged with 22 crimes, the most serious of which is "aiding the enemy," for allegedly turning over a trove of classified U.S. documents.

The information was later published by WikiLeaks in one of the most serious intelligence breaches in American history, and Manning has been charged accordingly.

The 24-year-old Manning is accused of passing along hundreds of thousands of military field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and US diplomatic cables.

WikiLeaks got them from November 2009-May 2010, when he was serving in Iraq.

The leak of the military documents shed light on civilian deaths, while the diplomatic cables sparked a firestorm within the State Department by disclosing the private remarks of heads of state and candid observations by senior U.S. officials.

The U.S. government slammed WikiLeaks, saying it threatened national security and even the lives of foreigners working with the military and U.S. embassies.

WikiLeaks supporters view the site as an important freedom of information source, a whistleblower that exposed wrongdoing, calling Manning as a political prisoner.

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