News / USA

Military Trial for US Soldier Accused in WikiLeaks Case Opens

  • Participants in a mass rally in support for Pfc. Bradley Manning on June 1, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Bradley Manning, center, is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, May 21, 2013, before a pre-trial military hearing.
  • Protesters call for the release of U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning on the road outside the main gate at the U.S. Army's Ft. Meade in Maryland June 3, 2013.
  • Daniel Ellsberg, the whistleblower responsible for releasing the Pentagon Papers, speaks in support of Bradley Manning outside Fort Meade, June 1, 2013.
  • Laurie Arbeiter of Brooklyn, N.Y., during a demonstration in support of Bradley Manning outside Fort Meade, June 1, 2013.
  • A mural calling for the release of Manning outside the gates at Fort Meade, June 1, 2013.
  • Protesters march outside Fort Meade, Maryland, June 1, 2013.

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Lawyers for U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning say the soldier was young and naive, but had good intentions of making the world a better place by leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.
Key Dates in WikiLeaks

2006: Set up by a group of people, including Australian Julian Assange
2008: Publishes Sarah Palin hacked emails
2009: Posts thousands of text messages from U.S. emergency workers and military personnel from September 11, 2001
2010: Releases hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables
2011: Assange appeals extradition from Britain to Sweden on sex crime charges
2012: British court upholds extradition of Assange, who takes refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London.  Ecuador grants him asylum in August
But during opening statements at Manning's court-martial at Fort Meade, Maryland, prosecutors said the sensitive documents he released fell into enemy hands.  They said they have evidence Osama bin Laden asked for and received information given to WikiLeaks.  

Manning faces 20 years in prison for pleading guilty in February to 10 of the 22 charges brought against him.  But at this trial he could receive a life sentence if convicted of aiding the enemy.  
The 25-year-old intelligence analyst was arrested in 2010 while serving in Iraq.  He admitted giving WikiLeaks diplomatic cables and battlefield reports from the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying he wanted to spark public debate on U.S. policy.  
Manning supporters say he exposed mistakes the Pentagon would never admit.  But prosecutors say he put the lives of U.S. soldiers in danger.  

Related video report by Meredith Buel

Wikileaks Court Martial Under Wayi
June 04, 2013 10:39 AM
The court martial of U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, who released hundreds of thousands of secret government files to WikiLeaks , began Monday with the prosecution and defense painting different pictures of the case and the man on trial. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel has details from the site of the trial at Fort Meade, Maryland.

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Comment Sorting
by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
June 04, 2013 8:17 AM
the government is not just a government for the other people and of the other people,its for all people..if american citizens want him released ,he will be released without them having to beg..but am sure they would ask him not to be extreme and seek more wisdom.

by: Brandt from: Nashville
June 03, 2013 3:42 PM
Manning is a hero and a patriot in my book. We live in an age where the civil liberties our forefathers fought so hard for are being eroded by the day. Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly are mere ghostly images of their original intent. We’ve woken up to an Orwellian Society of Fear where anyone is at the mercy of being labeled a terrorist for standing up for rights we took for granted just over a decade ago. Read about how we’re waging war against ourselves at
In Response

by: Newcomer from: Vn
June 04, 2013 3:58 AM
Manning is crazy. He did like a traitor.
In Response

by: Mike from: Boise
June 04, 2013 1:58 AM
Manning is NOT a hero. I agree that the civil liberties our forefathers fought for have eroded, however, freedom of speech has never meant we are free to communicate anything we want at anytime we want. To knowingly disclose sensitive military documents to a forum that would most certainly make them available to our enemies is nothing short of treason. Manning was fully aware of what he was doing, and completely disregarded his sworn duty to our nation.

He is not so immature, nor was he unaware that his disclosures endangered not only the lives of his fellow soldiers, but the continued existence of our nation. Hundreds of millions of lives depend on our intelligence network, so his personal, supposedly patriotic motives, have no bearing on the fact that he engaged in treason. He IS a traitor, pure and simple, and he must be punished severely not only for his crimes, but especially to dissuade other little idiots from believing national security is a game. Manning must not become a martyr for persons deluded enough to believe if we stop actively protecting our interests, our enemies will stop attempting to bring about our downfall.

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