November 30, 2012

GI charged in WikiLeaks case admits making noose

Pfc. Bradley Manning claims that his treatment at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., was so harsh that the charges against him should be dismissed.

The Associated Press

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This artist rendering shows Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, right, being shown a bedsheet as he testified in his pretrial Wikileaks hearing in Fort Meade, Md., Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Manning, who is charged with leaking classified material to WikiLeaks in the biggest security breach in the country's history testified Friday that he once tied a bedsheet into a noose while considering suicide after his arrest. (AP Photo/William Hennessy)

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In this June 25, 2012, file photo, Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., after a pretrial hearing. Manning, the U.S. Army private charged with sending reams of government secrets to WikiLeaks, is expected to testify during a pretrial hearing starting Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, at Fort Meade. Manning is seeking dismissal of all charges. He claims his solitary confinement, sometimes with no clothing, was illegal punishment. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Manning appeared more relaxed on the stand Friday than the day before, when he said he felt like a caged animal while jailed in Kuwait and thought he would die in his cell.

At times he flashed a broad smile and drew laughter from the courtroom. At one point he was asked why he requested new underwear and socks.

"The ones I had were from my deployment. They still smell like Iraq," Manning said.

Manning, who was an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010, is charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy and violating espionage and computer security laws. He could get life in prison.

He is accused of sending WikiLeaks more than 250,000 diplomatic cables, classified memos, Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, Guantanamo Bay prison records and a 2007 video clip of a U.S. helicopter crew gunning down 11 men who were later found to have included a news photographer. The Pentagon said its troops mistook camera equipment for weapons.

Manning has offered to plead guilty to eight of the charges, but the military judge presiding over the case has yet to decide whether to accept the plea.

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