Accused WikiLeaker Manning Said He Was Punished Before Trial
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is due back at Fort Meade this week, where lawyers for the alleged WikiLeaker plan to argue that he was punished at a military brig before his case had been heard — grounds, they say, to dismiss all charges against him.
By the time he arrived at the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Va., Manning was world famous. The former intelligence analyst, who lived in Maryland before enlisting in the Army, had been accused of giving hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
While being held at Quantico pending trial, his lawyers contend, Manning was singled out for punishment, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the U.S. Constitution. He has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy.
Manning, 24, is the only suspect arrested in the largest leak in U.S. history. He is accused of sending raw field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the world and a video of a U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad to be published by WikiLeaks. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
To some, Manning is a traitor; to others, a hero. His alleged mistreatment at Quantico, where he was held from July 2010 to April 2011, drew concern from Amnesty International, the British government and the United Nations’ anti-torture watchdog, among others, and helped to make him an international cause celebre.