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Bradley Manning Abetted Enemies with Classified Information Dump, Say Prosecutors as Trial Commences
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Dubbed a hero by some, a traitor by others, Md. Pfc. Bradley Manning is finally facing justice for his leaking of hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, a transparency website that tries to secure sensitive documents and make them available to the public.

Manning, 25, has already admitted to making such leaks, in an attempt to expose anti-humanitarian practices in the U.S. military – clearly something he had no right to do, but took it upon himself as a sort of vigilante – but prosecutors want to expand to what amounts now to a 20 year sentence to a life sentence, proving that the information he leaked indiscriminately aided the enemies, and even fell into the hands of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

  
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“This, your honor, this is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of documents from classified databases and then dumped that information on the Internet into the hands of the enemy,” said prosecutor Capt. Joe Morrow.

The defense attorney David Coombs said Manning was “young, naïve, but good-intentioned,” as CBS News reported, and, referencing his dispersal of information of an unclassified video of a U.S. Apache helicopter attacking civilians, he said, “He believed this information showed how we value human life. He was troubled by that. He believed that if the American public saw it, they too would be troubled.”

Manning is being court-martialed by a judge, not a jury, and the summer-long trial is expected to involve 141 witnesses and cover sensitive information, thus closing off proceedings from reporters.

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Supporters of Manning include the Bradley Manning Support Network, which has raised over $1.1 million for his defense; they also include filmmaker Michael Moore and musician Graham Nash. Detractors of Manning, who see his actions as not only literal treachery and an endangerment of American serviceman, also question whether his actions did any subsequent good. Others say his efforts helped Arab Spring happen, among many other helpful revelations. Opinions are clearly mixed on this case.





 

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