News / USA

US WikiLeaks Defense Says Army Ignored Manning's Bizarre Acts

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse after receiving a verdict in his court-martial, in Fort Meade, Maryland, July 2013.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse after receiving a verdict in his court-martial, in Fort Meade, Maryland, July 2013.
Reuters
Lawyers for Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks, sought to show during a sentencing hearing on Tuesday that the Army ignored his mental health problems and bizarre behavior.

Manning's violent outbursts and his emailing a supervisor a photo of himself in a dress and blond wig with the caption “This is my problem” were signs the gay soldier should not have a job as an intelligence analyst, defense attorney David Coombs told the court-martial.

Manning, a 25-year-old private first class, faces up to 90 years in prison after being convicted July 30 on 20 charges, including espionage and theft, in the biggest release of classified files in U.S. history.

Attorneys for Manning are expected to read a statement from him on Wednesday as they conclude their case in the last part of the trial. Sentencing by Judge Colonel Denise Lind could follow shortly after.

Manning's court-martial has drawn international scrutiny, and the trove of documents he provided catapulted WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the spotlight.

Coombs asked Manning's supervisor, former Master Sergeant Paul Adkins, why he did not remove Manning from his job as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010 when he showed erratic and sometimes violent behavior.

Coombs mentioned incidents in which Manning punched a soldier in the face, carved the words “I want” into a chair with a knife and flipped over a table while being reprimanded about being late to his job.

Adkins said his unit was short-staffed and needed Manning's analysis work.

“The biggest threat to our soldiers and our operational environment emerged from the Shia [Muslim] insurgent group, which PFC Manning helped to assess,” said Adkins, who was demoted after the WikiLeaks release.

Wrong assessment

He said he believed Manning was being helped by mental therapy. “I wrongly assessed that he was stable enough to continue his shift,” said Adkins.

Coombs has asserted that the Army's failure to act on  Manning's mental health problems contributed to his release of more than 700,000 secret diplomatic and military documents and videos.

Under questioning from prosecutor Captain Angel Overgaard, Adkins said Manning was among several soldiers in his unit who underwent psychological counseling for stress in Iraq.

Chief Warrant Officer Joshua Ehresman said that in a December 2009 incident Manning turned over a table with two computers on it while being reprimanded for tardiness.

“I felt as though he was going toward the weapons rack,” Ehresman said. “I grabbed him and put him in a full nelson and put him on the bench.”

Defense lawyers have sought to portray Manning as naive but well-intentioned and struggling with his sexual identity when he arrived in Iraq. His lawyers have said Manning wanted to show Americans the human cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The prosecution has portrayed Manning as arrogant in releasing the classified material and has tried to show damage that the leaks to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website, had done to the United States.

Judge Lind overruled three of five defense objections to classified information presented during court sessions that were closed to the public and media.

The judge did not reveal the information, but said it was proper “aggravation evidence” of the damage the releases did to U.S. foreign relations. She upheld the other two objections, saying the information presented by military officials was speculative.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Brian Penny from: Arizona
August 14, 2013 2:00 AM
Whistleblowers everywhere are treated like criminals for doing the right thing.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid