News / USA

Manning WikiLeaks Trial Approaches End

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse for his court marial at Fort Mead, Maryland, July 25, 2013.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse for his court marial at Fort Mead, Maryland, July 25, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Luis Ramirez
— A verdict is approaching in the case of U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
 
Prosecutors presented closing arguments Thursday with the defense to follow before the military judge issues a verdict. 
 
The prosecution portrayed Bradley Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, as one who “put himself before his country” and sought notoriety by releasing what he knew were sensitive files that would end up in the hands of the enemy.
 
Aiding the enemy is the most serious charge Manning faces. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison. He has pleaded guilty to lesser charges of leaking the files. Those charges could get him 20 years in prison.
 
Earlier in the proceedings, Manning's attorneys argued he was young, naïve, and ignorant of the damage that releasing the files would cause. A defense witness also testified that releasing the material to WikiLeaks was no different from leaking it to a mainstream newspaper.
 
Prosecutors on Thursday attacked that premise, arguing that leaks to any publication are a crime. They noted Manning was in communication with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and had searched for information as solicited by the website.
 
Some of that information was seen by the late terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
 
Those who sympathize with Bradley Manning see him not as a traitor or a spy, but as a whistleblower who benefited the public by exposing the actions of the U.S. government. 
 
Nathan Fuller heads the Bradley Manning Support Network and has been following the court martial since it began last month.
 
“If the government gets what they're prosecuting, if they get that ruling, we're going to set a very dangerous precedent in essentially criminalizing whistleblowing. If it goes the other way, we're going to not send to jail for life a soldier who believes that we should know more about our wars abroad and what our government does with our tax dollars and hopefully that inspires the government to be more transparent on its own and if not, then others will have to make it public.”
 
Manning waived his right to have his case decided by a military jury and it will be the military judge who determines whether he is guilty or innocent of aiding the enemy. 
 
Her decision is expected in the next few days.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hymie Porkensteen from: Ohio
July 25, 2013 11:42 PM
This issue shouldbe debated by americans, not politicians or military complex, because it is the tax payer, who should have the most say how they want their tax dollars spent

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid