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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bradley Manning Admitted 10 Spying Charges

Bradley Edward Manning, the US army soldier who leaked secret cables to WikiLeaks has finally admitted 10 spying charges. The 25-year-old soldier pleaded guilty to ten charges that he illegally obtained and transferred American government secrets. The lawyers point out that he could serve up to twenty years in jail for these charges.

However, Bradley Manning pleaded not guilty to a dozen of more serious charges, including espionage for aiding the enemy. As a result, his criminal case will continue at a general court-martial in June 2013, and the soldier could spend the rest of his life in prison if these charges stick.

Press reports revealed that the soldier admitted he leaked the video of a helicopter gun battle, State Department cables, an Army field manual and Army documents on Iraq and Afghanistan which contained the military’s patrol reports there. In addition, Manning admitted that he leaked confidential file assessments of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and 5 classified records from an American bombing in the Farah Province of Afghanistan, which resulted in up to 30 civilians’ death.

When being asked repeatedly by the judge, Denise Lind, whether he wanted to go forward with the guilty pleas, Bradley Manning answered “yes”. The soldier pointed out that the Apache team in the video he leaked worried him, because they seemed not to value human life. In his statement, Manning compared the team in the now infamous “Collateral Murder” video to a “child torturing an ant with a magnifying glass”, according to press reports. In the meanwhile, Bradley Manning has so far spent 1,007 days in prison without trial. 

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