News / USA

    Defense Opens in Manning WikiLeaks Case

    Defense Opens in Manning-WikiLeaks Casei
    X
    July 09, 2013 12:30 AM
    Defense attorneys in the court-martial of U.S. Army private Bradley Manning - accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks - have opened their case. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Fort Meade, Maryland, where Manning's court-martial is in its sixth week.
    Luis Ramirez
    Defense attorneys in the court-martial of U.S. Army private Bradley Manning - accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks - have opened their case. Manning's court-martial is in its sixth week.
     
    It is his lawyers' chance to try to convince a panel of military jurors that Bradley Manning is a whistleblower, not a traitor. 
     
    The defense opened its case Monday with a combat video leaked by Manning of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed civilians including two employees of the Reuters news agency. 
     
    Manning has admitted leaking information. His lawyers want some charges dismissed, arguing Manning was a naïve young man who acted out of an interest to help, not hurt, the United States by exposing what he believed was wrongdoing by U.S. forces in Iraq. 
     
    The prosecution rested its case last week, saying Manning committed espionage and aided the enemy.   Despite much anticipation, observers note prosecutors did not present evidence showing the material he leaked caused major damage to U.S. national security.
     
    Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, a former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo, is among a long list of witnesses called by the defense.  Davis spoke to VOA earlier.
     
    “Certainly, there's been embarrassment. But there's a big difference in being embarrassed and being harmed and I just haven't seen much evidence of there being any harm.  So I think he ought to be held accountable but it ought to be a punishment that fits the crime and not what the government thought the impact was going to be," he said. 
     
    More details of the damage Manning may have caused could emerge in the sentencing phase, when the judge weighs the punishment with the amount of harm done. 
     
    Manning's leaks appear indiscriminate. They included 700,000 classified documents, diplomatic cables, and government-owned videos of U.S. troops in combat. 
     
    That's unlike the case of former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, who released smaller amounts of specific information about U.S. overseas cyber offensive  activities as well as domestic surveillance operations. 
     
    The two men had some things in common:   They were tech-savvy individuals in their 20s who operated in low-level but sensitive positions. 
     
    Manning's supporters hope the young private has started a trend. 
     
    “I think that the base of support that we've created around and for Bradley Manning might have helped Edward Snowden feel more comfortable leaking or feel it's more important. I think we've created a culture that while the government doesn't like it, we laud whistleblowers and realize their importance," said Nathan Fuller of the Bradley Manning Support Network
     
    The case raises questions of how the U.S. military and intelligence agencies will deal with potential security risks among individuals who, like Manning, show clear signs of emotional troubles or at the very least unease about their assigned missions. 
     
    In Monday's testimony, a chief warrant officer who worked with Manning described him as the best and most productive analyst on his team, albeit weak in his ability to assess information. 
     
    Manning's trial is due to continue through next month. 

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora