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.
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.
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

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs