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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid