Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was sentenced this morning to 35 years in prison for giving U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks.
Prosecutors had portrayed 25-year-old Manning as "the determined insider," an anarchist hacker and traitor who started working within weeks of his 2009 deployment to provide WikiLeaks with all the information it wanted, according to an Associated Press report. The government was hoping that the military judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, would give Manning 60 years behind bars for crimes he was convicted for, including Espionage Act violations, five theft counts, and computer fraud.
Manning supporters, who are calling on President Obama to pardon him, will be out in San Francisco later this evening for a rally. They plan to gather at Justin Herman Plaza on The Embarcadero at 5 p.m.
Tentatively scheduled speakers include Rainey Reitman, the co-founder of Bradley Manning Support Network, and Sue Englander of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, among others, according to the Ex.
Last month, Manning was convicted of leaking more than 700,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports and State Department diplomatic cables in 2010 when he was working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
His attorneys argue that the gay soldier's gender-identity crisis in the "don't ask, don't tell" military reached a breaking point, causing him to act out, the AP reports. Manning claims he believed unveiling the secret government documents would alter the way everyone viewed the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
"I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people," Manning said in a courtroom apology last week.