Prosecutors: Manning Wasn't Naive, Had Huge Ego

Closing arguments underway in WikiLeaks case

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 25, 2013 5:23 PM CDT

(Newser) – The prosecution made its closing arguments against Bradley Manning today, arguing that he wasn't a "naive soldier" out to to better the world as his attorneys would have us believe, reports the Los Angeles Times. He may have had a dog tag that read "Humanist," but "the only human Pfc. Manning ever cared about was himself," said the chief prosecutor. Manning was simply "interested in making a name for himself," and he did so knowing full well that the classified information he gave to WikiLeaks would end up in terrorists' hands, he said. That gets to the heart of the most serious allegation against him, aiding the enemy, which would put Manning in prison for life.

The New York Times picks up on one part of the strategy: The prosecutor made the case that Manning gave WikiLeaks a video of a US airstrike in 2009, just two weeks after he arrived in Iraq. The defense disputes that and says Manning didn't start turning over data until 2010, after he became troubled about what he was seeing. If the prosecutor is right—he's only got circumstantial evidence to back up the claim—it suggests Manning went to Iraq already bent on disclosing whatever information he encountered. The defense will wrap up its closing arguments before the judge tomorrow.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on July 18.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted to a security vehicle outside a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., on July 18.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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