‘Manning wanted attention for leaks’
US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning betrayed his country’s trust and spilled government secrets to make a name for himself, and he knew the material would be seen by Al Qaida, including its former leader Osama bin Laden, prosecutors said Friday in closing arguments. Maj. Ashden Fein said Manning abused his trust as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and was not the troubled and naive soldier defense attorneys have made him about to be. Fein displayed a smiling photo of Manning from 2010, about the time he gave sensitive material to WikiLeaks, and said ‘this is a gleeful, grinning Pfc.
Manning’ who sent battlefield reports to WikiLeaks, accompanied by the message: ‘Have a good day.’ Manning is charged with aiding the enemy, which carries a possible sentence of up to life in prison. His defense attorneys have argued there was no evidence he knew alQaida looked specifically at the anti-secrecy website. The 25-year-old has acknowledged giving WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and videos in late 2009 and early 2010. But he says the information did not harm troops in Afghanistan and Iraq or threaten national security.
The material included video of a 2007 US Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 11 men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. A military investigation concluded the troops reasonably mistook the photography equipment for weapons. Defense attorneys will give their closing arguments later Friday.