Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including
violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and
disobeying orders. That's the bad news. The good news is he was found
not guilty on the charge of "aiding the enemy." That's 'cause who he was
aiding was us, the American people. And we're not the enemy. Right?
Manning now faces a potential maximum sentence of 136 years in jail. When his sentence is announced tomorrow, we'll all get a good idea of how seriously the U.S. military takes different crimes. When you hear about how long Manning -- now 25 years old -- will be in prison, compare it to sentences received by other soldiers:
Col. Thomas M. Pappas, the senior military intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib and the senior officer present the night of the murder of Iraqi prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi, received no jail time. But he was reprimanded and fined $8,000. (Pappas was heard to say about al-Jamadi, "I'm not going down for this alone.")
Spec. Armin Cruz was sentenced to eight months for abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib and covering up the abuse.
Spc. Steven Ribordy was sentenced to eight months for being accessory to the murder of four Iraqi prisoners who were "bound, blindfolded, shot and dumped in a canal" in Baghdad in 2007.
Spc. Belmor Ramos was sentenced to seven months for conspiracy to commit murder in the same case.
Sgt. Michael Leahy Jr. was sentenced to life in prison for committing the four Baghdad murders. The military then granted him clemency and reduced his sentence to 20 years, with parole possible after seven.
Marine Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich received no jail time for negligent dereliction in the massacre of 24 unarmed men, women and children in 2005 in the Iraqi town of Haditha. Seven other members of his battalion were charged but none were punished in any way.
Marine Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington was sentenced to eight years for the same incident, but served only a few months before being granted clemency and released from prison.
Marine Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III was sentenced to 15 years for murder in the Awad case but his conviction was soon overturned and he was released.