Hero or traitor? – wikileaks whistleblower manning in u.s. Court

Hero or traitor? - wikileaks whistleblower manning in u.s. court

In addition, the 25-year-old defendant had direct contact with wikileaks founder julian assange. "Manning knew the consequences of his actions and disregarded them," military prosecutor joe morrow said monday. Manning faces life in prison.

Before the trial began, he had already confessed to leaking hundreds of thousands of confidential documents from the U.S. Intelligence database to the wikileaks disclosure platform while stationed in iraq. The revelations made headlines around the world in 2010.

The defense credited manning with collecting the information because he felt it needed to be made public. In addition, he said, he was only 22 years old at the time. "He was young, naive, but with good intentions."The defendant followed the proceedings on the military grounds of fort meade near washington calmly and attentively. He wore his uniform.

Experts speak of the most spectacular betrayal of secrets in US history. Some top-secret military documents describing atrocities in the iraq and afghanistan wars came to light. President barack obama has repeatedly announced that he will take tough action against any kind of military revelations.

Manning is accused of, among other things, "aiding the enemy" – a crime punishable by death. In view of the confession, however, the public prosecutor’s office has decided not to demand a death penalty. But mannning must expect a life sentence. The trial was allowed to last about three months.

The publication of the secret documents was also a gross embarrassment for the USA at the time. It was particularly incriminating for washington when 250,000 diplomatic dispatches from U.S. Embassies appeared on the internet at the end of 2010. Previously, some 490,000 U.S. Military documents had revealed horrific details of the war in iraq and afghanistan.

The U.S. Government claims the disclosures endangered the safety of american soldiers. Manning, on the other hand, emphasizes that his intention was in no way to help the enemy. His only concern was to bring the truth about the wars to light. Peace activists and civil rights activists therefore call him a hero.

About 50 demonstrators protested outside the military base. They demanded "freedom for manning". On other banners, "the truth before the court" was written.

The partial exclusion of the public from the proceedings is disputed. The judge, colonel denise lind, announced even before the trial began that 24 witnesses would be questioned behind closed doors. These were ambassadors or high-ranking military officers, for example, who had secret information at their disposal. The testimonies are to be published afterwards, but critical parts are blacked out. Civil rights groups had protested against the trial.

Wikileaks founder julian assange was also allowed to look to fort meade with great interest. The australian had cursed his way into the diplomatic mission of ecuador in london about a year ago because he was to be extradited to sweden. Authorities in stockholm are looking for him for alleged sexual offences. Assange, however, fears he will be taken from stockholm to the USA, where he also faces life imprisonment for the revelations.

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