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Bradley Manning Apologizes To Judge

Last month, Pfc Bradley Manning was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges against him, but was found not guilty of the most serious charge - that of "aiding the enemy." On Wednesday, the Wikileaks soldier read a lengthy statement to the army judge assigned to his case, Col. Denise Lind, in which he apologized for his actions.

Said Manning:

6a00d8341c730253ef0192ac45ac2a970d-250wiI am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people. The last few years have been a learning experience. I look back at my decisions and wonder how on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better (unintelligible) on decisions of those with the proper authority.

In retrospect, I should have worked more aggressively inside the system, as we discussed during the provenance statement. I had options, and I should have used these options. Unfortunately, I can't go back and change things. I can only go forward. I want to go forward. Before I can do that, I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions.

Manning, who faces up to 90 years, minus time served, will very likely learn his sentence from Judge Lind next week.

Read his full apology, AFTER THE JUMP.

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Judge: Verdict For Bradley Manning Coming Tomorrow

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Col. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, has announced that she plans to announce her verdict at 1 PM Eastern on Tuesday. Manning, who has been on trial since June 3, faces the potential charge of "aiding the enemy" among others, the penalty for which is life in prison without parole. Manning faces 21 counts in all for his release of over 700,000 to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. He has already plead guilty to 10 of those counts, all of which could potentially carry the collective penalty of 20 years in prison. According to the Huffington Post:

"He also is charged with eight federal Espionage Act violations, five federal theft counts, and two federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, each punishable by up to 10 years; and five military counts of violating a lawful general regulation, punishable by up to two years each."

A sentencing hearing has also been tentatively scheduled to begin on Wednesday. 

With various "whistleblowers" making headlines throughout recent months, Bradley Manning's soon-to-be verdict will no doubt revive much of the extensive debate that erupted when his story first broke in May of 2010. Closing arguments from both sides reflected the nature of the debate surrounding Manning, with the defense painting him as a "naive whistleblower" and the prosecution characterizing him as "an anarchist hacker and traitor". 

Manning was also the subject of controversy earlier this year, when it was first revealed that he had been appointed grand marshall of the San Francisco Pride Parade. SF Pride subsequently changed their minds, prompting extensive debate.


The Trailer for the 'Wikileaks' Movie 'The Fifth Estate' is Here: VIDEO

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The trailer for The Fifth Estate, the movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, directed by Bill Condon. Assange has called the film "a propaganda attack on Wikileaks".

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Vulture talks to Condon about the film:

We're trying very hard to make a movie that raises all the questions without providing all the answers. Even recently, when you saw what happened with the Snowden case, I think it's hard to come down cleanly on one side because this is all just unbelievably complicated; only by getting involved and understanding the issues can people come to an informed decision of their own. I don't want to make it sound like a history lesson, but I think the movie does show, in an exciting way, just how complicated these issues are. And the tagline, it has to do with the idea of citizen journalism, the great wild west of the Internet. It's a true revolution that we're just coming to terms with.

Condon also responds to Assange's 'attack' assertion:

He had a tremendous falling-out with Daniel, and they have a real disagreement about events as they occur. Our movie is also based on a book by a Guardian reporter, and Assange took exception to that, too. But you know, he took exception to his own autobiography, which was ghostwritten by a wonderful author — he wouldn't allow the release of it because it had things that were mildly critical of him. So he's somebody who doesn't really take well to presenting any other side.

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LGBT Issues Make Appearance at Bradley Manning Trial: VIDEO

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The Bradley Manning trial enters its second day today. It is expected to run all summer.

The AP reports on the first day:

The soldier from Crescent, Okla., has said he did not believe the information would harm the U.S. and he released the information to enlighten the public about the bitter reality of America’s wars.

...His attorney has also said Manning struggled privately with gender identity early in his tour of duty, when gays couldn’t openly serve in the military. Those struggles led Manning to “feel that he needed to do something to make a difference in this world,” Coombs said.

[Adrian Lamo, a convicted hacker] testified Manning had contacted him because of his notoriety in the hacking community and because of his open support and leadership in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Watch a clip from Reason TV on the protests in support of Bradley Manning, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Trial Begins for Wikileaks Soldier Bradley Manning: VIDEO

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Wikileaks soldier Bradley Manning's trial began today, three years after his arrest in May 2010.

ManningMashable, in an "everything you need to know" piece about the Manning trial, spoke with Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the New York University School of Law Brennan Center for Justice about Manning's best hope and what will likely happen:

Even though the defense can't technically argue that his actions were motivated by noble intentions, Goitein says, it may be a bit more complicated in practice to "disentangle his subjective motive from what he should have thought or believed." This may be Manning's best hope.

"He does not appear to have intended in any way to harm the U.S. or to give an advantage to a foreign nation," Goitein continues. "The fact that he didn't intend this result may be hard to tease apart from whether he objectively should have believed that that result would occur."

Despite his partial guilty plea, the outcome of the case is still very open-ended. Manning pleaded guilty to 10 charges, which collectively could carry a 20-year prison sentence, but the judge may issue a lesser sentence. The prosecution, meanwhile, is still asking a life sentence for the "aiding the enemy" charge.

Manning also still has the option of entering a plea deal with the government to get a lesser conviction. So far, however, the defense hasn't indicated that this is a possibility.

David Coombs issued a brief statement on his website Sunday thanking supporters:

On behalf of both myself and PFC Manning, I would like to thank everyone for their continued support over the last three years.  I especially appreciate the the tireless fundraising and awareness efforts of Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network.  Finally, a special thank you to those journalists who have been reporting on PFC Manning since the beginning and who have brought worldwide attention to this important case.

Watch a Euronews report on the start of the trial, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Protesters Hit SF Pride Parade Over Bradley Manning Removal: VIDEO

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Approximately 200 protesters demonstrated in front of SF Pride offices on Monday night to protest Bradley Manning's removal as grand marshal of the Pride parade, the HuffPost reports:

Angered by the decision, protesters demanded parade organizers reinstate Manning with the honor. "We're here today because a big mistake was made by the Board of Directors of Gay Pride," Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, who would have marched in the parade on Manning's behalf, told the assembled crowd Monday. "They were talking about a mistake that was one of the most honorable things the Gay Pride people have probably done for a long time."

Williams pointed to the danger Manning placed fellow members of the military in as justification for her decision. "Even the hint of support for actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform--and countless others, military and civilian alike--will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride," she said.

Manning is currently in custody awaiting the outcome of his pending court martial.

Ellsberg plans on marching in this year's parade with a banner supporting Manning. "If that will not be tolerated by the leadership, I guess I'm in for a little intolerance," he said.

Watch Ellsberg speak, AFTER THE JUMP...

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