FORT MEADE, Md. — Wearing his Army dress uniform, a composed, intense and articulate Pfc. Bradley Manning took “full responsibility” Thursday for providing the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks with a trove of classified and sensitive military, diplomatic and intelligence cables, videos and documents.
In the lengthiest statement to a military tribunal Manning has provided since his nearly three-year long ordeal began, Manning, 25, said WikiLeaks did not encourage him to provide the organization with any information. But he also sketched out his emotionally fraught online interactions with his WikiLeaks handler, a man he knew as “Ox” or “Nathaniel” over Internet Relay Chat and Jabber, and whom the government maintains was Julian Assange.
Manning’s motivations in leaking, he said, was to “spark a domestic debate of the role of the military and foreign policy in general,” he said, and “cause society to reevaluate the need and even desire to engage in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations that ignore their effect on people who live in that environment every day.” Manning said he was in sound mind when he leaked, and did so deliberately, regardless of the legal circumstances.
Remarkably, Manning said he first tried to take his information to the Washington Post, the New York Times and Politico, before contacting WikiLeaks.
Read more: here