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Bradley Manning's brave lawyer just published the full statement that the young private read aloud in his pretrial hearing last month, detailing how and why he gave government secrets to WikiLeaks. It is, predictably, redacted, but much to our surprise the censorship is scant. It appears that only a handful of individual and organization names got the black out treatment. Otherwise, it's a pretty raw, however carefully worded account of Manning's infamous info heist and resulting relationship with WikiLeaks. Assuming he's actually the one who wrote the 34-page document, it's also the first time we've heard Manning's voice in quite some some time. It's terribly detailed and jargon-filled, banal at times but inevitably revealing.

Normally, this sort of document would be old news by now. Manning read the statement at Fort Meade almost two weeks ago, but because the trial is shrouded in such secrecy, details trickled out almost exclusively from the Twitter accounts of the few civilians and reporters in the courtroom. While we've heard about some of the more revealing passages — the one where Manning explained how he tried giving the documents to The New York Times, The Washington Post and other media outlets before going to WikiLeaks, for instance — the intimate details that the full document reveals are fascinating. (Update, Tuesday morning: There's audio now, too, some of which we've embedded below.) We've hand-selected a few passages and embedded the entire statement at the bottom of this post.

Manning's leak may or may not be the weather's fault

There are a million points in time that Manning could have decided to take the information he stole from the military public, but he appears to pinpoint a 2010 blizzard on the East Coast as the turning point:

Manning takes a swipe at how gay people are treated in the military

We know that Manning was alienated from his unit and, as a result, pretty lonely. This is part of the reason why he spent so much time online. Here, he gives us a better idea of why:

Manning is only interested in the truth


This statement meshes well with the defense's stated argument that Manning was acting as a whistleblower and attempting to expose misconduct within the military. He positions himself as such in the statement:

Manning fancied himself an armchair diplomat

This is the crux of Manning's defense, yet he can't help but sound self-righteous when explaining how he ended up releasing the diplomatic cables which, he said, he basically just read because he was bored at work:


Read the full statement:






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