Manning’s Military Trial Begins

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Bradley Manning, center, is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, May 21, 2013, before a pre-trial military hearing.

VOA News —  More than three years after he was arrested, Army Private Bradley Manning’s court martial is underway at Fort Meade, Maryland, near Washington.

The trial has begun for a U.S. soldier accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Manning already faces 20 years in prison for pleading guilty in February to 10 of the 22 charges brought against him.  At this trial he could receive a life sentence if convicted on the most serious charge of aiding the enemy.

The 25-year-old Manning was arrested while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. He admitted giving WikiLeaks scores of 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 will argue that he put the lives of U.S. soldiers in danger.

 

Key Dates in WikiLeaks2006: 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

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