Whistleblower Bradley Manning Will Face Military Court Martial
Bradley Manning, the US Army Private accused of releasing nearly 700,000 US diplomatic cables and military combat material to the media organization Wikileaks, including footage of an US military assault on innocent civilians in Iraq which became known as Collateral Murder, will face a military court martial in the United States. The decision was announced late on Friday.
The Mirror in the UK reports:
Military District of Washington commander Maj Gen Michael Linnington referred all charges against Private First Class Bradley Manning to a general court-martial, the US Army said.
The referral means Manning, 24, who spent some of his childhood in Wales, where his mother lives, will stand trial for allegedly giving more than 700,000 secret US documents and classified combat video to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks for publication.
The 24-year-old Oklahoma native, who went to school in Haverfordwest, faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy - a charge which could carry life imprisonment.
A judge yet to be appointed will set the trial date.
Defense lawyers say Manning was clearly a troubled young soldier whom the army should never have deployed to Iraq or given access to classified material while he was stationed there from late 2009 to mid-2010.
The Associated Press reports:
The Bradley Manning Support Group, which contends Manning heroically exposed war crimes, issued a statement calling his prosecution "fundamentally unjust."
"This administration owes all Americans an honest explanation for their extraordinary retaliation against Bradley Manning," said Jeff Paterson, one of the group's lead organizers.