FORT MEADE, Md. (WJZ) — There are new accusations against the Army private charged with leaking classified government documents. Now, the military reveals it believes Bradley Manning aided terrorists with his actions.
Weijia Jiang reports.
Pfc. Bradley Manning faces 22 charges including aiding the “enemy.” His defense lawyer asked exactly who that was. Without hesitation, the military judge answered: al-Qaida.
A security detail escorted Manning into a military courthouse Thursday as he took one step closer to a trial.
The 24-year-old Army private is accused of spilling hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks and faces nearly two dozen charges, including aiding al-Qaida.
“Manning went out on his own conscience said, ‘Hey, this is what’s up. I think people need to know the truth. I did this so people know the truth,’” Owen Wiltshire, a member of a Bradley Manning support network, said. “And he’s being persecuted by the government.”
Wiltshire held a vigil outside Fort Meade. Inside, Manning faced a judge during a motions hearing. His lawyer requested to see more evidence to receive more details about the charges and to compel potential witnesses to give depositions.
Then, he asked the case be dismissed altogether claiming the Feds failed to turn over documents.
But the government says Manning released a classified military video of an American attack in Iraq that killed 11 and state department records with candid remarks about world leaders.
If he’s found guilty, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Protesters promise to keep fighting.
“I and all these people here consider him a real hero,” another Manning supporter said.
The hearing is expected to wrap up on Friday. Then, the judge will set the trial date.