Discuss as:

Manning ordered to face court martial in WikiLeaks case

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history.

Bradley Manning, the Army private accused in the WikiLeaks scandal, was ordered Friday to face a general court martial on charges he released thousands of documents of classified information.

Maj. Gen. Michael Linnington, commander of the Military District of Washington, made the decision after reviewing the case and the recommendations from two other officers.  A military judge will set the date for his arraignment, motion hearings and trial.

Manning, 24, is charged with "aiding the enemy" and stealing hundreds of thousand of classified US government secrets and cables, which were eventually made public on the internet by WikiLeaks.  The charges claim that Manning illegally downloaded the documents while he was an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq, and that he released those documents knowing they would be published on the Internet and accessible to the enemy.


If convicted of all charges, Manning would face a maximum punishment of reduction to the lowest enlisted pay grade, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances; confinement for life; and a dishonorable discharge.

More content from msnbc.com and NBC News