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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid