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SPEAK OUT: Is Alleged WikiLeaks Source a Hero or Traitor?

If found guilty, Pfc. Bradley Manning could spend the rest of his life in military prison for allegedly divulging more than 250,000 diplomatic cables and secret war documents.

The latest pretrial hearing for the Army analyst accused of masterminding the largest leak of diplomatic and military secrets in U.S. history is expected to end today in military court at Fort Meade in Maryland.

Pfc. Bradley Manning, a 24-year-old from Oklahoma, is charged with giving WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.

At issue during this week’s hearings: what kinds of evidence will be admissible in the jury trial scheduled for early next year.

Manning’s attorneys argued that military prosecutors have withheld half of the roughly 1,400 emails relating to his detention in a maximum-security military brig, reported CBS.com.

Attorneys say those emails show the military’s preoccupation with bad publicity rather than Manning’s detention at Quantico, VA, where he was confined alone for 23 hours a day, CBS reported. The treatment provoked allegations of torture from Manning supporters.

A group of Manning supporters protested outside Fort Meade on Tuesday, shown in a video by The Baltimore Sun.

“We really hope he has a fair trial today—if that’s even possible at this point,” one protestor told The Sun.

The presiding judge is expected to rule today on procedural questions and whether to allow the jury hear evidence about a previous incident of misconduct.

Manning’s charge—“aiding the enemy”—carries a sentence of up to life in prison.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remains in Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has been given political asylum in order to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex-offense charges, reported The Guardian.

jnrentz1 August 31, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Bradley Manning may be a traitor. He is entitled to a presumption of innocence. I have issue with the allegations surrounding the conditions of his confinement, and feel that he should be allowed additional privileges during his confinement. However, if convicted he should be appropriately punished as it is not up to a soldier to violate his oath and loyalty to our Country. And if convicted he is not, and never will be, any hero of any kind.
Tim Miller August 31, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Once it's proven in court that he did this, than he's a traitor, period. Life in prison is too good for him!
Anonymous August 31, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Guilty or not guilty? No one knows at the moment because he has not had a trail. In fact he has been locked away for 830 days so far. The first 10 months in solitary confinement (23 hours a day), made to strip naked and subjected to other abuse. There is a higher authority than oath to army or indeed country. Ultimately our oath to each other as human beings is what makes us human. Let's not forget that. Whisleblowing is simply informing the public of bad people doing bad things. We remove the bad people, democracy restored. The whisleblower prevents secrecy which is a breeding ground for corruption in democratic systems. History will show, Nobel Peace Prize nominee PFC Bradley Manning is a hero to all human beings.
Peggy Anne September 02, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Hero. It takes a conscience to do what he did. So called leaders who think that they are better than the rest of us should be exposed as the fools and monsters that they are. We pay, they play god, and get people killed. I don't see Bradley going to prison for long. It's ironic how some people who torture prisoners don't even get a reprimand.
Georgette September 07, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Manning was actually trying to do the right thing by whistle blowing. The government shouldnt hide wrongdoing by classifying them as secrets.

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