The trial of Bradley Manning begins…

Bradley Manning - WikiLeaks trail begins

Image: CCO Wikimedia Commons

Three years after Army Pfc.Bradley Manning’s arrest for leaks of U.S. government and military secrets, the WikiLeaks trial has begun.

The trial is expected to be polarising; Manning is a hero to some and nothing short of a demons of others as the result of his actions during which he, in his position as an intelligence analyst, provided substantial amounts–the largest amount of classified information– to the website WikiLeaks, the non-profit international organisation founded by Julian Assange that publishes secret and classified media from anonymous sources.

Arguments fall on both sides: US military prosecutors are seeking to prove Manning aided the enemy. If they are successful and Manning is convicted, he could be dealt a life sentence in prison. Attorneys for the defense seek to prove that Manning is a political prisoner who effectively spoke truth to power when he acted as a whistleblower shortly after his arrival in Iraq that documented complaints of detainee and other abuses, including a U.S. Apache helicopter attack that killed civilians.

The Obama administration has been sharply criticised for prosecuting more whistleblowers than any prior US president, to which the administration has responded that military secrets and the safety of government officials is at issue.

{End of Quick News Bite!}