Bradley Manning, who leaked government information to the press, was sentenced by a military judge to 35 years in prison. The judgment essentially equates revealing government information, including governmental abuse, as treason. This could set a legal precedent: letting people know what the government is really doing is worse than torturing and killing innocent civilians. Ben Wizner of the ACLU said:
When a soldier who shared information with the press and public is punished far more harshly than others who tortured prisoners and killed civilians, something is seriously wrong with our justice system. A legal system that doesn’t distinguish between leaks to the press in the public interest and treason against the nation will not only produce unjust results, but will deprive the public of critical information that is necessary for democratic accountability. This is a sad day for Bradley Manning, but it’s also a sad day for all Americans who depend on brave whistleblowers and a free press for a fully informed public debate.