Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bradley Manning takes stand, apologizes for hurting U.S.

FORT MEADE, Md. — Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing up to 90 years in prison for leaking 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, apologized Wednesday for the "unintended consequences of my actions." He told the judge at his court-martial that while he "believed it was going to help people, not hurt people," he now realized that what he had done was wrong.

"I'm sorry that my actions hurt people," he said. "I'm sorry that they hurt the United States. At the time of my decision, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing and continue to affect me" — a reference to matters like his crisis over his gender identity, which he was confronting while on a military deployment in a combat zone.

Throughout the case, open-government activists have celebrated Manning's leaking as a heroic act to be admired and emulated even as his critics have denounced him as a traitor. And earlier in his court-martial, Manning's defense lawyer, David E. Coombs, portrayed his client as a whistle-blower, even if a naive one. But in the sentencing phase this week, Coombs has elicited testimony that depicted his client as a damaged and confused young man whose decision-making capacity was impaired by extraordinary stresses.

In his statement, Manning said these personal issues did not justify the things he did.

Manning's brief, three-minute statement to the judge, Col. Denise R. Lind, was not sworn, so prosecutors could not cross-examine him.

Under questioning from Coombs, Capt. David Moulton, a clinical psychiatrist who extensively examined his client after his arrest, described the stress and isolation that Manning was under and framed his release of the documents to WikiLeaks as the immature, even neurotic act of an idealist who thought he could end all wars.

Under such stress, Moulton said, "his abnormal personality traits became more prominent — he was acting out his grandiose ideation, his difficulties during that postadolescent period. And ultimately, when he came into contact or had contact with the information which he ended up releasing, his decision-making capacity at that point was influenced by the stress of his situation, for sure."

The court-martial will reconvene Friday afternoon.

Pfc. Bradley Manning said he was dealing with a gender identity crisis when he leaked files.

Pfc. Bradley Manning said he was dealing with a gender identity crisis when he leaked files.

Bradley Manning takes stand, apologizes for hurting U.S. 08/14/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Myeshia Johnson, the wife of Army Sgt. La David Johnson, looks down at his casket during his burial at Fred Hunter's Hollywood Memorial Gardens in Hollywood, Fla., on Saturday. [Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS]
  2. Josbite goes all out, gets results with annual musical, 'The Threepenny Opera'


    TAMPA — As the house lights dimmed for the second act, burglars and pickpockets, prostitutes and scam artists weaved between the little tables of the Jaeb Theater, warning customers they'd best wind down their talking and silence their phones. This was done with a wink but the point was made. This is elitism …

    Miscreants in Jobsite Theater's The Threepenny Opera, which runs through Nov. 12, include (from left) Amy E. Gray, Jonathan Harrison, Giselle Muise, Chris Jackson, Fo'i Meleah, and Derrick Phillips. Courtesy of Jobsite Theater.
  3. AHN alum, still shining on stage, returns with 'On Your Feet!'

    Human Interest


    Times Correspondent


    Back when Alma Cuervo was a high-school performer at the Academy of the Holy Names — when AHN students were taken by their talented, charismatic, big-hearted classmate — everyone just knew she was headed for much bigger things in …

    Alma Cuervo as Consuelo (Gloria Estefan’s grand-mother) during On Your Feet in New York, 2015.
  4. Buccaneers-Bills Turning Point, Week 7: How does a receiver get that wide open?


    A lot can go wrong in the time it takes you to walk from your couch to the refrigerator.

    [NFL Game Pass]
  5. McCain issues veiled criticism of Trump's Vietnam deferment, 'bone spurs'


    WASHINGTON — Republican Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war during Vietnam, issued a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump's medical deferments that kept him from serving in the U.S. military during the conflict.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, speak to members of the media after their meeting Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [Associated Press]