August 14, 2013

At WikiLeaks hearing, Manning apologizes for hurting U.S.

The Army private accused of leaking classified government secrets pleads with a military judge for a chance to go to college.

The Associated Press

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., last month. He spoke at his sentencing hearing Wednesday.

The Associated Press

"You put him in that kind of hyper-masculine environment, if you will, with little support and few coping skills, the pressure would have been difficult to say the least," Worsley said.

Worsley's testimony portrayed some military leaders as lax at best and obstructionist at worst when it came to tending to soldiers with mental health problems.

"I questioned why they would want to leave somebody in a position with the issue they had," Worsley said.

Navy Capt. David Moulton, a psychiatrist who spent 21 hours interviewing Manning at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after his arrest, testified as a defense witness that Manning's gender identity disorder, combined with narcissistic personality traits, idealism and his lack of friends in Iraq, caused him to conclude he could change the world by leaking classified information.

He said Manning was struggling to balance his desire to right wrongs with his sense of duty to complete his Army tasks and his fear of losing his GI benefits and the opportunity to attend college.

"His decision-making capacity was influenced by the stress of his situation for sure," Moulton said.

Moulton also reported for the first time in open court that Manning has symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome and Asperger syndrome, which is an autism spectrum disorder.

Also Wednesday, Manning's sister Casey Major, 36, testified that they grew up with two alcoholic parents in a rural home outside Crescent, Okla. She said their mother attempted suicide with a Valium overdose after Brian Manning left his wife when Bradley Manning was 12.

After looking tearfully at a series of childhood photographs presented by defense attorney David Coombs, Major said Manning has matured since his arrest.

"I just hope he can be who he wants to be. I hope he can be happy," she said. After the court went into recess, Manning went to his sister, hugged her and said something while touching his right hand to his heart.

At least 46 international journalists and 78 spectators were in attendance. Many spectators wore black "Truth" T-shirts.

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