Bradley Manning Didn't Plead Guilty to the Biggest Leak

For the first time, Manning offered pleas to the charges filed against him in the Wikileaks case — and they didn't go as far as everyone expected on a video depicting an American air strike in Afghanistan or on charges that he was "aiding the enemy."

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For the first time, Bradley Manning offered pleas to the charges filed against him on Thursday and, in a lengthy statement, is expected to offer his rationale for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks. The pleas were entered on Manning's 1,005th day in government custody, and they didn't go as far as everyone expected.

Before a military judge at Fort Meade, Maryland, Manning pled guilty to ten of the 22 charges against him. Most of those were "unauthorized possession and willful communication" charges related to specific documents sent to Wikileaks. Journalist Alex O'Brien outlined the charges to which she expected he would plead guilty; he did to each except the one related to the leaked video depicting an American airstrike in Garani, Afghanistan, which killed as many as 100 civilians. For the charges to which he pled guilty, Manning agreed to a 20-year prison sentence.

To the most serious charge, that of "aiding the enemy", Manning pled not guilty. According to reporters at the trial, he also waived his right to a jury trial.

As the Los Angeles Times notes, Manning's court-martial on the 12 remaining charges will be held in June.

After entering his pleas, Manning read a lengthy statement to the court. O'Brien is sharing excerpts.

When the hearing resumes this afternoon, the judge is expected to ask Manning questions based on his statement.

Update, 12:39 p.m.: According to reporters in Fort Meade, Manning claims to have tried to leak the classified documents to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico before Wikileaks.

Update, 6:02 p.m.: The hearing has ended for the day. The judge accepted Manning's guilty pleas -- but only as being "provident", meaning that they were done voluntarily and can still be rescinded. Manning is not yet guilty even of those charges.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.