Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning Hit with 22 Charges, Could Face Death Penalty Over ‘Aiding the Enemy’

A seven-month investigation has led U.S. officials to file 22 new charges against Private Bradley Manning accused of downloading thousands of classified documents released by Wikleaks, NBC News reports:

Manning The charges filed Wednesday include 16 specifications of wrongfully obtaining classified material for the purpose of posting it on the Internet, knowing that the information would be accessed by the enemy.  Other charges include the illegal transmission of defense information and fraud.

While conviction on the charge of "aiding the enemy" could result in the death penalty, military prosecutors recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on that charge alone.  But the presiding military judge would have the authority to dismiss the prosecution's recommendation and impose the death penalty.

Like the earlier charges, the charges made no specific mention of WikiLeaks.

Officials have not been able to connect Manning with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Manning's previous charges included "illegally downloading and transferring defense information to an 'unauthorized source.'"

In recent months there has been concern for Manning's health and the "needless brutality" of his solitary confinement, and accusations of torture.