US soldier Bradley Manning took the stand today during his sentencing hearing for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks and apologized for hurting the United States and others. Manning gave an unsworn statement, which means he cannot be cross-examined by prosecutors. He began with an apology. "I'm sorry that my actions hurt people. I'm sorry that it hurt the United States," he said. Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for leaking the information while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.
He said he understood what he was doing and the decisions he made. However, he said he did not believe at the time that leaking the information would cause harm. Earlier, an Army psychologist said Manning's private struggle with his gender identity in a hostile workplace put incredible pressure on the soldier. Manning eventually came out to Capt. Michael Worsley and emailed the therapist a photo of himself wearing a wig of long, blond hair and lipstick. "The pressure would have been difficult to say the least," Worsley said. "It would have been incredible."