“I felt I accomplished something that would allow me to have a clear conscience.”
By DANIEL HALPER | WEEKLY STANDARD | MARCH 1, 2013
Bradley Manning pleaded guilty today to leaking classified material. “Army Pfc. Bradley Edward Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to 10 charges that he illegally acquired and transferred U.S. government secrets, agreeing to serve 20 years in prison for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks that described U.S. military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the globe,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
… He also admitted that he leaked confidential file assessments of detainees at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and five classified records from a U.S. bombing in the Farah Province of Afghanistan, which killed up to 30 civilians.
In all, the 5-1/2-year veteran once assigned to Operation Station Hammer near Baghdad in Iraq pleaded guilty to 10 counts, each drawing two years in prison.
Manning, however, pleaded not guilty to the more serious charges. “The 25-year-old soldier, however, pleaded not guilty to 12 more serious charges, including espionage for aiding the enemy, meaning that his criminal case will go forward at a general court-martial in June. If convicted at trial, he risks a sentence of life in prison at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan.”
Though he ultimately gave the documents to WikiLeaks, he tried first to send them to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Politico.
“Bradley Manning has revealed to his court-martial at Fort Meade, Maryland, that he tried to leak US state secrets to the Washington Post, New York Times and Politico before he turned in frustration to the new anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks,” reports the Guardian.