WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning gives evidence for first time

Manning takes stand at pre-trial hearing and speaks at length about his treatment by the military following his arrest in 2010.

The Guardian, By Ed Pilkington, November 29

Fort Meade, MD – After 917 days in military captivity, the world finally heard on Thursday from Bradley Manning, the army soldier accused of being the source of the largest leak of government secrets in US history.

In a dramatic opening half-hour of testimony on the third day of the pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade military base in Maryland, Manning spoke at length for the first time about the period after his arrest in May 2010.


Earlier, before Manning took the stand, the military judge accepted the terms under which he would enter a guilty plea to seven charges for disseminating classified documents.

Colonel Denise Lind approved the language of the offences to which Manning would admit. She said those carry a total maximum prison term of 16 years.

The Associated Press reported that the judge’s ruling on his plea language does not mean that pleas have been formally accepted. That could happen in December.


Manning had made the offer as a way of accepting responsibility for the biggest leak in US military history. Government officials have not said whether they would continue prosecuting him for the other 15 counts he faces, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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  • Bradley Manning: how keeping himself sane was taken as proof of madness

    WikiLeaks suspect’s attempts to exercise and stay occupied in bare cell only perpetuated harsh anti-suicide measures.

    The Guardian, By Bradley Manning, November 29

    Fort Meade, MD – Shortly before Bradley Manning was arrested in Iraq under suspicion of being the source of the vast transfer of US state secrets to WikiLeaks, he is alleged to have entered into a web chat with the hacker Adrian Lamo using the handle bradass87. “I’m honestly scared,” the anonymous individual wrote. “I have no one I trust, I need a lot of help.”

    That cry for assistance was a gross under-estimation of the trouble that was about to befall Manning, judging from his testimony on Thursday. In his first publicly spoken words since his arrest in May 2010, delivered at a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland, the soldier painted a picture of a Kafkaesque world into which he was sucked and in which he would languish for almost one excruciating year.

    Over more than six hours of intense questioning by his defence lawyer, David Coombs, Manning, 24, set out for the court what he described as the darkness and absurdity of his first year in captivity. The more he protested the harsh conditions under which he was being held, the more that was taken as evidence that he was a suicide risk, leading to yet more tightening of the restrictions imposed upon him.

    Julian Assange at the Huffington Post: Two Years of Cablegate as Bradley Manning Testifies for the First Time

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