All Bradley Manning has done was expose the United States for its war crimes. And in doing so, he informed the U.S. People who were being kept in the dark. Manning has aided the U.S. Population. The leaks he unveiled don't necessarily offer much to other countries. It proves to them that the war in Afghanistan is a failure. If anything, Bradley Manning proved to the people and to our enemies that to a certain level, the U.S. Activities overseas are incompetent.
Bradley Manning did not willfully aid the enemy. Manning was against some of the things that the United States Military was doing and felt that the moral thing to do was exposed it. WikiLeaks, which can be considered journalists, took the information and posted for the world to see. That is what happens in investigative journalism. That is exactly what you do. If the information Manning gave was posted on the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Boston Globe I truly believe they would not have gone the route of accusing him of aiding the enemy.
America should have a stronger commitment to freedom of the press. This latest development shows the continual fraying of the US government to respect those rights. I doubt Bradley Manning had any intention to help other countries and nations gain an advantage over the US. I believe he released those documents to help promote transparency in a place that really needs it, the US government.
I am both very surprised and pleased. He faces a boatload of additional charges, but it's nice that he was acquitted of this one. A small beacon of light. If he acquitted of more, that'd be great. I think what he did was heroic, given that the normal "appropriate channels" have proven to be ineffective over the last decade. Direct public exposure via the media is proving to be the only route for whistle-blowers, as recent administrations seem bent on keeping government operations closeted, without any hint of sunlight.
He only wanted people to question US crimes and US public to see the evils going on around them in the War on Terror. He released these war logs to expose US War Crimes and start a public debate on the War on Terror. He is ultimately a hero and does not deserve his fate once they lay out his sentence and give him 135 years.
The only way that Manning could have been found guilty is if our enemy is the United States people. He did not give the information directly to al Qaeda; he gave it to WikiLeaks. He did not do so with the intention of harming the American people; he did so with the intention of informing the American public. It is our responsibility as U.S. Citizens to keep our government in check. Without people like Manning (and Snowden), it would be impossible to do so. This ruling is a huge victory for the American people.
Manning may not have had the intent to aid the enemy and only the citizens of America, but the enemy was aided. Because there was no intent I would not weigh down the harshest penalty of aiding the enemy, but the lesser term, even though it is still high. Manning leaked over 700,000 classified documents and some of them were found to be in Al Qaeda possessions. Indicating the enemy was aided. This isn't a case where there are twenty degrees of a crime, the fact stands that the enemy was aided and willfully.