The trial of Private Bradley Manning, began Monday at Fort Meade, a military base in Maryland, north of Washington, DC. Manning has been in custody since his arrest on May 29, 2010 on charges of disclosing classified information to Wikileaks.
He said Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan out of a belief that “the American public should know what is happening on a day to day basis” in the two countries. He said Manning’s research indicated the reports did not include intelligence sourcing, were historical in nature and did not contain information about future operations. [ABC News]
In contrast, Army prosecutor Captain Joe Morrow attempted to protray Manning as recklessly putting information “in the hands of the enemy.”
The second day of the trial focused on the hardware Manning used, his training, and his internet chats with Adrian Lamo.
Lamo testified that he chatted with Manning over a period of six days, starting May 20, 2010. He said that Manning mentioned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange but never expressed disloyalty to the United States.
“At any time, did Pfc. Manning ever say he wanted to help the enemy?” defense attorney David Coombs said.
“Not in those words, no,” Lamo said. (David Dishneau, Associated Press).
Nathan Fuller, of the Bradley Manning Support Network, reports that “proceedings moved quickly – the military’s subject matter expert told us that the government is two days ahead of schedule – because the defense continues to stipulate to expected testimony, which allows the government to simply read what a witness would have testified to without the need for cross-examination.”
On the Wikileaks website, Assange condemned the proceedings as a “show trial…a public relations exercise, designed to provide the government with an alibi for posterity.”
“This is not justice; never could this be justice. The verdict was ordained long ago,” he wrote. (AFP)