The cables showed what the US really thought of its allies, all the while it was trying to pretend that they were mates. Judge Colonel Denise Lind on July 30 found Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, guilty of 19 criminal counts related to the leaks, the largest unauthorized release of secret U.S. data in the nation's history. The crimes still carry penalties that could lead to up to 136 years in prison and much of that depends on how much damage the Judge thinks he did.
Military prosecutors are expected to call Patrick Kennedy, a veteran State Department official who was part of an "Information Review Task Force" set up in the wake of the leak, to assess damage to U.S.-foreign relations or any other fallout. Lind said she would rule or issue guidance on the defence motion to exclude testimony that uses "chain of events" reasoning to suggest future potential damage done by Manning.
Manning's lawyers, who have portrayed him as naive but well intentioned, were expected to ask Lind for leniency in sentencing. They argue the soldier's aim was to provoke a broader debate on US military policy, not to harm anyone.