Bradley Manning pleaded guilty today to leaking classified material. "Army Pfc. Bradley Edward Manningpleaded guilty Thursday to 10 charges that he illegally acquired and transferred U.S. government secrets, agreeing to serve 20 years in prison for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks that described U.S. military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe," reports the Los Angeles Times.
... He also admitted that he leaked confidential file assessments of detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and five classified records from a U.S. bombing in the Farah Province of Afghanistan, which killed up to 30 civilians.
In all, the 5-1/2-year veteran once assigned to Operation Station Hammer near Baghdad in Iraq pleaded guilty to 10 counts, each drawing two years in prison.
Manning, however, pleaded not guilty to the more serious charges. "The 25-year-old soldier, however, pleaded not guilty to 12 more serious charges, including espionage for aiding the enemy, meaning that his criminal case will go forward at a general court-martial in June. If convicted at trial, he risks a sentence of life in prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan."
Though he ultimately gave the documents to WikiLeaks, he tried first to send them to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Politico.
In response to a report that classified information had been leaked to the makers of the Hollywood movie Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, Congressman Peter King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, says he's concerned.
In a letter to the White House, four members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence asked President Obama whether recent disclosures to the press of classified information on the Benghazi terrorist attacks were authorized by the Obama administration or illegal leaks subject to prosecution.
Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has released a statment urging the Obama White House to cooperate with authorities on the national security leaks investigation.
President Obama's top political adviser, David Axelrod, came under heavy fire this morning on MSNBC this morning about high-level national security allegedly coming from the White House:
Axelrod at first dances around the issue, claiming that others do not believe that the leaks are coming from the White House (which is not the same as saying, with absolute certainty, that the leaks did not come from individuals in the White House).
Mitt Romney will hit President Obama for high-level national security leaks coming from the White House, according to excerpts of the speech the Republican presidential candidate will deliver later today at the VFW in Reno, Nevada. Romney will call the leaks "contemptible" and a betrayal of "our national interest."
Senator Dianne Feinstein, a top Democratic from California, accused the Obama White House of leaking national security information at a recent event in Washington, D.C. Here's video of Feinstein's accusation:
The House Intelligence Committee chair, Congressman Mike Rogers, unloaded on the Obama administration for what he calls "probably the most damaging" national security leaks in history, the National Journal reports.
The recent congressional ire over the Obama administration's suspiciously convenient national security leaks reminded me of an unusual bit of political trivia: Defense Secretary -- and prior to that, CIA head -- Leon Panetta is the prime suspect in one of the most notorious political leaks of all time.
A sizable group of Republican senators have introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint an independent special counsel to investigate high-level national security leaks to the media.