Reporting Pat Warren
FORT MEADE, Md. (WJZ)– It’s the largest case of leaked intelligence secrets in American history. And now, an army officer at Fort Meade is deciding if there’s enough evidence against Bradley Manning.
Pat Warren has the day’s closing arguments.
Pfc. Bradley Manning leaves the hearing outwardly as calm as he’s been described as being for the duration of this hearing to determine if he should be court martialed for leaking government secrets.
In a podium-pounding finish, the prosecution declares Manning defied his nation’s trust.
The army intelligence analyst is charged with leaking 700,000 documents to the WikiLeaks website, which the government says “gave enemies of the United States unfettered access to these government documents.”
“I don’t think he should be in prison for it at all,” said a Manning supporter.
Manning supporters who stationed themselves outside Fort Meade maintained throughout the hearing that he is a whistleblower deserving of respect, not a punished for a crime against the government.
“I and all these people here and a lot of other people consider him a real hero,” said another Manning supporter.
Manning’s defense argues that he believes he is a woman trapped in a man’s body, nearly paralyzed by internal struggles, that the chain of command failed to to suspend his access to classified data despite signs of emotional distress, that the documents he released did little or no harm, and that the government needs a reality check for bringing these charges against him.
In the seven days of the hearing, the prosecution called 21 witnesses. The defense called two.
A decision is expected in January but could be delayed, if necessary.