Bradley Manning To Testify At His Sentencing Hearing

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PostMon Aug 12, 2013 10:33 pm » by Malogg


Bradley Manning To Testify At His Sentencing Hearing

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Navy rear admiral testifies warning villages which were in danger of Taliban reprisals after leaks took nine months
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Bradley Manning will make a rare statement before his defense finishes arguments in his sentencing hearing next week, his lawyers said Friday. The 25-year-old faces up to 90 years in prison for the largest leak of classified government information in US history. Manning did not make a statement at his trial. Defense attorney David Coombs said Manning will give a statement Wednesday. The defense team is set to begin presenting evidence Monday. The former military intelligence analyst gave more than 700,000 documents and some battlefield video to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks while working in Iraq. He was convicted last month of 20 counts, including federal Espionage Act violations and theft. Manning says he leaked the material to expose wrongdoing and provoke discussion about US military and diplomatic affairs, while the prosecution’s case has tried to show what damage the leaks may have caused. The revelations put entire Afghan villages at risk of harm from the Taliban for cooperating with US forces, a Defense Department official testified Friday in the final phase of the prosecution’s presentation. Navy Rear Adm Kevin Donegan, director of warfare integration, was director of operations for U.S. Central Command, including Iraq and Afghanistan, when WikiLeaks began publishing the information in 2010. Donegan was one of the last two witnesses in the prosecution’s sentencing case. He was followed by another Pentagon official, Marine Corps Major General Kenneth McKenzie, who testified in a closed session about the classified impact on long-range battle plans of the government secrets Manning disclosed. Manning’s defense team will begin presenting evidence on Monday in the court-martial at Fort Meade, near Baltimore. The defense attorney David Coombs said Manning will give a statement before the defense rests on Wednesday. Testifying as a prosecution witness, Donegan said WikiLeaks’ publication of more than 90,000 Afghanistan battlefield reports in July 2010 prompted the creation of a crisis team, to assess whether the documents contained anything immediately useful to the enemy or identified people who had given information to US forces. He said the team found “a significant number” of such individuals, and also some villages, who had to be warned they were at risk. “Each area of Afghanistan has a shadow Taliban governor associated with it,” Donegan said. “Villages, in and of themselves, for cooperating with the United States, can be retaliated against by the Taliban.” He said the United States had a moral and ethical duty to inform those people and communities of the danger, a process that took nine months from start to final report. Donegan refused to testify in open court about the number of people who were warned. He later testified in a closed session, where he presumably provided classified details of the mission. On cross-examination, Donegan said he was unaware of any casualties suffered by troops traveling to dangerous areas to inform people at risk. Manning was convicted on 30 July of 20 counts, including six federal Espionage Act violations, five theft counts, and a federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act charge

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