Soldier said that he had “done something that allows him to consider his conscience is clear.”
Almost three years after solitary confinement in a military prison Private Army U.S. Bradley Manning (Bradley Manning) finally appeared in court, where he was not found guilty of the most serious allegations put forward by him – of aiding an enemy state. For such violation is punishable by U.S. legislation including the death penalty.
At the same time, 25-year-old soldier has pleaded guilty to 10 charges, including abuse and transmission of classified information that threatens him with imprisonment for a term of 20 years to life imprisonment.
As follows from the 35-page report, Manning, he admitted that in the period from 2009 to 2010, he downloaded about 250 thousand intelligence reports, diplomatic cables of U.S. diplomats abroad, reports on the situation in Guantanamo Bay prison camp, as well as video of combat in Afghanistan, including one entry from Apache helicopters, showing shooting unarmed civilians.
“I am convinced that if the public … will have access to the information … it could be a starting point for a broad discussion of the role of military and foreign policy in general,” – said Manning in court.
The soldier also said that originally intended to pass information to journalists publications New York Times and the Washington Post, but they ignored his message. In consequence of that, he decided to send the information to Wikileaks. According to Manning, he decided to transfer sensitive information only after a lengthy correspondence with Julian Assange in which he was convinced that he can be trusted with this information.
“I felt that I had done something that allows me to consider my conscience is clear,” – concluded Manning.
Meeting of the full court-martial is scheduled on June 3. As stated by lawyers, Manning not face the death penalty, but in all the circumstances, he may spend the rest of his life behind bars.