Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s statement to a closed military court in Ft. Meade last month was leaked on the night of March 11 by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Manning is charged with leaking hundreds-of-thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks.
In a statement, the Freedom of the Press Foundation said that though there are some transcripts available of Manning’s statement, this is the first time American’s have had the chance to hear Manning describe for himself why he leaked 700,000 government documents to WikiLeaks.
You can listen to audio of what he said to the hearing here or below:
You can see the redacted statement released by his attorneys here.
Manning has plead guilty to 10 of the 22 lesser charges levied against him. For these charges alone he could receive up to 20 years in prison. Manning pled not guilty to the other 12 counts including violating the Espionage Act.
Manning claims to have attempted to leak the information to the Washington Post and the New York Times, and Politico but finally settled on WikiLeaks after no others news outlet expressed interest.
Manning leaked the classified information using a variety of sources including the Combined Information Data Network Exchange Iraq and Combined Information data Network Exchange Afghanistan, and two military databases. The chat logs of Manning relaying how he transferred documents was published by Wired. In the chats, Manning describes to ex-hacker and person who tipped off the FBI, Adam Lamo, just how he provided the documents to WikiLeaks.
One of the leaked military videos that gained the most international attention showed footage of a 2007 U.S. aerial weapons team air-strike that ended up killing Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists.
Manning has been held at Quantico Marine Base for more than 1,000 days pending his trial. His treatment at Quantico has come under scrutiny. Manning has reportedly been placed in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours with guards checking in on him every few minutes. The judge ruled that the treatment he has received there was so harsh that, whatever his sentence, he will get 112 days shaved off of it.
The court-martial date for Manning is set for June 3 and is expected to take 12 weeks.