FORT MEADE, Md. — In a split decision, U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted Tuesday of aiding the enemy — the most serious charge he faced — but was convicted of espionage, theft and nearly every other count for giving secrets to WikiLeaks, a verdict that could see him spend the rest of his life in prison.
The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, deliberated for three days before delivering a decision that denied the government a precedent that freedom-of- the-press advocates had warned could have broad implications for leak cases and investigative journalism about national security issues.
From the courtroom to world capitals, people struggled to absorb the meaning of a ruling that cleared the soldier of a charge of aiding the enemy, which would have carried a potential life sentence but convicted him of 20