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.