Bradley Manning was the likely source of vast military and diplomatic documents leaked to WikiLeaks in 2010. It was alerted to federal authorities by a former computer hacker Adrian Lamo, who is expected to testify today on the second day of court-martial trial of Private Manning.
Bradley Manning has been accused of conducting the biggest classified information leak in the history of the United States. He leaked more than 700,000 secret documents, infuriating the U.S. government
A government lawyer told Charlie Savage of the New York Times that Lamo is the third witness to testify on Tuesday. Two other forensic computer analysts who have worked with the Army’s criminal investigative division will also testify. David Shaver and Mark Johnson said they have examined the electronic evidence, including hard drives, used by Bradley Manning.
Bradley Manning's Online Chat With Hacker
Mark Johnson also testified that he analyzed a hard drive recovered from Bradley Manning's bunk area in Iraq. He also obtained a text file containing contact information for WikiLeaks which was created in November 2009. Mr. Lamo's statements that he chatted online with a person who later turned out to be Bradley Manning would be the highlight of today's trial.
Manning's defense lawyer David Coombs portrayed the former intelligence analyst as a naive young soldier who leaked the documents to reveal the human costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The trial could last up to 12 weeks. In February, Bradley Manning confessed that he was the source of WikiLeaks and pleaded guilty to nine charges.
Bradley Manning Generates Sympathy Abroad
The 25-year old ex-intelligence analyst has generated support from Britain and Europe, though the support is weak in the United States. Bradley Manning has become a focal point for a number of human rights issues. The way he was treated in the U.S. military prison itself has become a major human rights issue. The Oklahoma-based Manning has also drawn support from the Occupy movement protesters. Bradley Manning was kept in isolation for several months, and was stripped to his underwear every night during his pretrial detention.
Supporting him may be easier for British and European people, because the classified information he made public were about U.S. diplomats and military.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, slammed the court-martial trial by saying that it doesn't represent justice for the army private. Assange described Bradley Manning as the most prominent political prisoner in the history of modern United States.