Seven current or previous government officials or contractors, including Pfc. Bradley Manning, have been charged with espionage for leaking secrets since President Obama took office.
The case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, convicted of stealing and then leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents, has spurred an unprecedented, governmentwide crackdown on leaks.
Though acquitted of “aiding the enemy,” a charge that could have brought a life sentence, Manning was found guilty under the Espionage Act of six counts of stealing secret documents that he then delivered to the anti-secrets website WikiLeaks, which published them.
But long before Tuesday’s verdict, this case had made a major impact on government agencies and the Pentagon, which were given explicit orders by the White House to plug the leaks – and to investigate the identity of leakers and charge them as spies, close observers say.
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