February 28, 2013
The U.S. Army private accused of providing diplomatic cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website pleaded guilty on Thursday to misusing classified material, but denied the most serious charge in the case, aiding the enemy.
Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, entered the pleas prior to his court martial, which is set to begin on June 3, in a case that centers on the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history.
“I believe that if the general public … had access to the information … this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general,” Manning, dressed in full military uniform, testified calmly.
Reading from a 35-page statement as he remained seated next to his lawyers, the short, slight private described his feelings after he submitted the secret information to WikiLeaks.