News / USA

Prosecution Wraps Up Case in US WikiLeaks Court-martial

U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland, July 2, 2013, during the fifth week of his court-martial.
U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland, July 2, 2013, during the fifth week of his court-martial.
Reuters
Court-martial prosecutors wrapped up their case on Tuesday against the soldier charged with providing a trove of secret material to WikiLeaks in the biggest leak of classified files in U.S. history.
 
Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, faces 21 charges, including espionage, computer fraud and, most seriously, aiding the enemy. Manning could face life in prison without parole if convicted.
 
Judge Colonel Denise Lind allowed the final prosecution witness, Daniel Lewis, a counterintelligence adviser at the Defense Intelligence Agency, to testify in a closed session. An unclassified summary of his testimony - largely about the value of the material Manning provided to WikiLeaks - will be read into the record.
 
Lewis was the government's 28th in-person witness since the trial started on June 3. More than 50 written statements from witnesses have also been submitted by prosecutors.
 
Lind set a court recess from Wednesday to Monday, when “we will proceed with the defense case,” she said.
 
The defense has listed 46 potential witnesses and the trial is scheduled to run to Aug. 23.
 
Lawyers for Manning have described him as naive but well-intentioned in wanting to show the American public the reality of war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
 
Army prosecutors contend U.S. security was damaged when the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website published classified information supplied by Manning. They say Manning obtained more than 700,000 classified files, combat videos and diplomatic cables while he was a junior intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.
 
Among the accusations of harm to the United States, the former head of the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba has testified that the leaking of details of prisoners held there threatened “serious” damage to national security.
 
Arrogance
 
Military prosecutors have sought to portray Manning as a loner who boasted of his expertise with computers and ability to crack passwords. They contend that arrogance drove Manning to leak the information.
 
Manning's attorney, David Coombs, has said the soldier from Crescent, Oklahoma, believed the leaked material would not harm U.S. interests since it lacked operational value.
 
Coombs contends Manning, who is gay, was struggling with his sexual identity when he arrived in Iraq and was conflicted by his exposure to war and a trove of military data.
 
Dressed in a dark uniform, the slightly-built Manning has sat silently throughout the trial so far, dwarfed by his taller defense attorneys and listening with a chin on his fist or slumped in his chair.
 
As the case has ground on, the onlookers that filled the small courtroom in the early days dwindled to about a half dozen by Tuesday. About a dozen reporters were following the trial through closed-circuit television, far fewer than the crowds when the case opened.
 
The testimony at Fort Meade outside Washington, home of the ultra-secret National Security Agency, has portrayed a laid-back atmosphere at the outpost east of Baghdad where Manning worked.
 
He and other analysts often listened to music, played video games or watched movies while they were on duty, supposed to be tracking insurgents and al-Qaida, witnesses have said.
 
WikiLeaks returned to headlines last month when it helped organize the departure of fugitive former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow.
 
Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for the past year to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning about allegations of rape and sexual assault.
 
Assange, an Australian, says the charges are reprisal for WikiLeaks' publication of information embarrassing to the U.S. and other governments.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More