Bradley Manning, who was sentenced Aug. 21 to 35 years in a military prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks and who wants to live as a woman named Chelsea, is the latest government leaker to be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. The act, originally passed in 1917 to protect national defense information in times of war, was used sparingly to prosecute government leakers to the news media – until the Obama administration. Under President Obama, seven people have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act for leaking classified documents to the press, compared with three during all previous presidencies. Here's a breakdown of prosecutions by administration.
1973: Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo
Ellsberg, a former US military analyst with RAND Corp., and fellow analyst Russo released the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret Pentagon study of the Vietnam War, to several newspapers in 1971. Two years later, a federal judge declared a mistrial and dismissed all charges, citing 'improper government conduct' that 'offended a sense of justice.'
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