Manning verdict expected to be handed down Tuesday

An Army judge on Tuesday will determine whether former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Manning, 25, faces 22 federal charges of treason and espionage after handing thousands of classified Pentagon and State Department documents to the website, WikiLeaks, in 2010.

Army Judge Col. Denise Lind, who is presiding over the case at Fort Meade, Md., is expected to issue her verdict on Tuesday.

The case has become a touchstone for civil rights activists, who claim Manning is being unfairly persecuted by the Obama administration for disclosing the information.

Military prosecutors and Manning's defense team delivered closing arguments Thursday, with the two sides portraying the Army private as either a traitor or a hero for free speech.

Since being taken into military custody three years ago, Manning has admitted to providing the classified information to WikiLeaks in an attempt to spark public debate on U.S. actions in Iraq and around the world.

But by publicly leaking that information to WikiLeaks, the Pentagon argues he willfully provided sensitive and classified data to known terror groups, like al Qaeda and the Taliban.

“This is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of classified documents and dumped them onto the Internet, into the hands of the enemy," Army prosecutor Capt. Joe Morrow said during his opening statement.