Pfc. Bradley Manning Speaks, Apologizes For Leaks
Following his conviction on six violations of the Espionage Act, Pfc. Bradley Manning has spoken out on his actions for the first time in six months.
Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing up to 90 years in prison for leaking 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks, apologized on Wednesday for the “unintended consequences of my actions.” He told the judge at his court-martial trial that while he “believed it was going to help people, not hurt people,” he now realized that what he did 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.
In his statement, Private Manning said these personal issues did not justify the things he did.
“Although a considerable difficulty in my life,” he said, “ these issues are not an excuse for my actions. I understood what I was doing and the decisions I made. However, I did not fully appreciate the broader effects of my actions. Those factors are clear to me now.”
Private Manning’s three-minute statement to the judge, Col. Denise R. Lind, was not sworn, so prosecutors could not cross-examine him.
Head over to the NYT for the full report of what transpired with Bradley Manning at his court martial trial.
Now that Manning's been convicted, his only hope is to receive leniency in his sentencing from the court.
Do you agree that Manning's personal battle with coming to terms with his sexuality played a role in his actions? Do you agree or disagree that he has something to apologize for?