FORT MEADE, Md. (WJZ) — It’s the second day of a hearing to determine whether Bradley Manning will stand trial for leaking thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks.

Pat Warren has the latest from Saturday’s proceedings.

Prosecutors were back in action this weekend trying to prove they have enough evidence against Manning to bring him to trial.

While prosecutors continue their case against Manning Saturday, a busload of Manning supporters came to his defense.

“Today is his birthday and he’s been held under inhumane conditions for too long,” one Manning supporter said.

Demonstrators lined Route 175 at Fort Meade Saturday just as they did Friday in support of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who spent his 24th birthday in the glare of accusations that he compromised the U.S. military and government relations with other countries by releasing a classified video of an American attack in Iraq that killed 11 people, and documents characterizing world leaders.

Prosecutors claim he spilled thousands of secrets. His supporters– holding signs like ‘Brad sez if you see something, say something’– tell WJZ the government shouldn’t need secrets.

“I think it’s very important that the American people know the truth,” Manning’s supporter Ken Sumner said. “Bradley Manning has been accused of telling the truth and I don’t think he should be punished for that.”

“It’s unclear if he’s the person who leaked information to WikiLeaks, but if he is, I think he should be protected and appreciated as a whistleblower and not a threat to national security at all,” said one person.

Manning has been detained for 19 months for what the Obama administration considers a compromise of national security.

“Whether it was one person or a conspiracy, then they need to be investigated and if the evidence is there then they need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger said.

This hearing will determine if the evidence is there.

An Army appeals court has rejected the defense request to have the presiding officer removed for bias.

The defense is arguing that Manning’s struggles as a gay soldier before the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ contributed to mental and emotional problems– problems which should have prohibited him from accessing classified material.

Comments (8)
  1. Larry26 says:

    No matter how you look at it, this is a very, very sad case. One of our own military divulges and leaks classified information so that our enemies and I include Wikileakds in this. The people lining up behind Manning just have no idea what damage has been done. I am afraid that most of them just think that is alright to put others in harms way and it’s okay, but the same ones if in danger themselves would be the first to scream help me.

    1. keets says:

      I am curious, what are the specifics of this damage that you speak of. Listen, when we, as human beings, begin to devalue life … we become less human, we diminish our own sense of righteousness. If we punish this young man for doing what he believed was right, above some kind of mandatory patriotism, we are telling the world that we do in fact, place ourselves above everyone else in the human community. We tell the rest of the world that they are right, that we don’t care about anyone but Americans. Shame on us.

      1. alan says:

        Keets, Stick with something you’re good at like baking cookies or play dough. This is big pants conversation.

      2. alan says:

        Keets is a c…..t.

  2. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    As I stated before I was cut off. . .ANYONE who gives National Security Secrets away should be given a fair trial and immediately face the Firing SQUAD!!

    1. the mole says:

      A fair trial & then the firing squad? Sounds very unfair to me……What of the oath that Bush Cheney, Rumsfeld took & then lied to the american people.

  3. Maria Allwine says:

    Secretary of War (oh, OK, we kid ourselves that it’s Defense) Robert Gates has stated that the public descriptions of harm to foreign policy by the release of those cables is ‘fairly significantly overwrought’ and Secretary of State Clinton has stated there was no damage done. Those cables were low-level cables available to a vast number of military personnel. Bradley Manning, if he did what he is accused of, is a hero and should be freed. What was released was NOT national security secrets. If any of you watched and listened to the video of those helicopter pilots murdering civilians in the square in Iraq and listen to their utter joy in doing so, you should feel deep shame at the actions of American military members and gratitude to the person who showed that video to us. War is death, murder, torture, misery, rape and destruction – nothing more and sadly, nothing less. And no amount of hyper-patriotism and righteous, American exceptionalism propaganda will ever change that. Bradley Manning did the right and moral thing – he is truly what that overused and little understood word “hero” means.

  4. J-Rock says:

    He actually has followers!!!! Americans are “CONFUSED”…

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