Bradley Manning, the US soldier found guilty of passing masses of classified military intelligence to Wikileaks, has been sentenced by a court to read every last word of the hundreds of thousands of documents he leaked.
‘This sends a very strong message to anyone else thinking of betraying their nation,’ said a US military prosecutor. ‘If you choose to aid the enemy by providing them with detailed intelligence reports, do not complain if you are made to read these documents from cover to cover. And rest assured you will be tested on them too.’
Lawyers defending Manning had argued that releasing such a deluge of classified documents had actually made the US safer as active terrorist cells suspended their operations while they ploughed through the reams of out-of-date military reports and interminable diplomatic cables.
Manning could be eligible for parole as early as seven years time, depending whether he can secure a place on the prison’s speed-reading course.