Private First Class Bradley Manning was described by prosecutors as an anarchist and a traitor in their closing remarks Thursday. They say Manning is not the saint he has been painted as by activists.
In Thursday’s closing remarks, Fein says the private has been misrepresented as a “humanist” and a “troubled soul.” Pfc. Bradley Manning, Fein says, was “not a whistle blower. He was a traitor.”
Manning has been charged on multiple counts for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. The leak involved nearly 700,000 documents. Several included military action reports and diplomatic cables. The private also released two videos of air combat missions, one depicting soldiers firing upon and killing civilians in Afghanistan.
The most serious charge, aiding the enemy, could earn Manning life in military prison. He has already plea guilty to lesser charges. This has already added 20 years to his sentence, ABC News reports.
The closing argument took five hours to present. NBC News describes Fein as portraying Manning as a “calculating” and “self-interested” young man. Fein says Manning’s goal was only in making a name for himself and become famous.
The prosecution pointed to internet chat logs where Manning supposedly bragged about his access to classified intelligence. Fein says Manning talked about how helping WikiLeaks would throw the world into anarchy and embarrass world leaders.
Pushing charges of aiding the enemy, the prosecution argued that Manning knew who would read the leaked documents. Major Fein told the court that Manning’s training included knowledge that WikiLeaks was used by Al Qaeda for intelligence.
He went so far as to say that because Manning knew this, he acted as if “Osama bin Laden asked for that information and received it.” The prosecution pointed to evidence that some of Manning’s leaked documents were found on computers in the Bin Laden compound.
Friday the defense will deliver their closing arguments. They are expected to portray Bradley Manning as a young, naïve soldier attempting to do the right thing by leaking the documents.
What do you think: Is Bradley Manning a traitor who betrayed his country — or a whistle blower who was doing what he thought was right? Let us know in the comments below!