Bradley Manning Heads to Court
In chat logs, Wikileaker wanted 'people to see the truth'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2011 8:59 AM CST
Protesters supporting Pfc. Bradley Manning gather outside Ft. Meade, Md., Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, where Manning will be attending a hearing to determine if he will be court-martialed.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – Bradley Manning will at last head to court today, for a pre-trial hearing in which prosecutors must prove they have sufficient evidence to court-martial him. The charges against him include aiding the enemy, violating the Espionage Act, and a variety of lesser offenses, the Washington Post reports. While aiding the enemy carries a potential death sentence, the Army says it will not seek it and instead try to send the alleged Wikileaker—who turns 24 tomorrow—to prison for life.

Manning hasn't been seen in public since his arrest in May of last year, though he is unlikely to speak. Prosecutors' key piece of evidence is expected to be a series of chat logs between Manning and hacker Adrian Lamo, but those chat logs may actually undercut the central "aiding the enemy" charge. For that charge, prosecutors must provide "reasonable grounds" to believe Manning intentionally gave intelligence to an enemy. In the logs, Manning instead evinces altruistic moments, saying he wants "people to see the truth. … We're human … and we're killing ourselves."