The prosecution and defense gave their final statements in Bradley Manning's pretrial hearing Thursday, and both sides ended up taking a "you let me down" approach. Prosecutor Ashden Fein said Manning used his Army training "to defy our trust and indiscriminately and systematically harvest over 700,000 documents from SIPRnet (The US Army's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network)," according to The Guardian. The defense claims the United States "failed the troubled young soldier and is now piling on charges in an attempt to strong-arm him into pleading guilty," the Associated Press reports. Manning's lawyer has stopped claiming the former intelligence analyst was innocent and is instead arguing that the government over-charged the case, Politico reports. The lieutenant colonel judging the hearing will issue a recommendation as to whether the court martial against Manning should proceed, and with what charges. Manning's lawyer, David Coombs, "urged investigating officer Lt. Col. Paul Almanza to recommend dismissing the most serious charge in the case — aiding the enemy — and combining the 21 other charges into just three that would carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, compared to the potential life sentence Manning currently faces."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.