Manning pleads guilty to passing military secrets to WikiLeaks
The US army private responsible for the biggest leak of military and diplomatic secrets in US history has pleaded guilty to 10 charges, but defended passing the information to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.
He said the world would be “a better place” if countries did not make secret deals.
Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to passing information to WikiLeaks in 2010, including videos of air strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan in which civilians were killed.
The 25-year-old solider, whose pleas leave him facing up to 20 years in prison, said he believed that if the American people had access to reports on the “day-to-day reality” of what was going on in Iraq and Afghanistan it could “spark a debate about foreign policy”.
Manning said in a 35-page statement read in court on Thursday that he tried to pass the data to first the Washington Post and then to the New York Times in 2010 before uploading the first batch of information to WikiLeaks at a Barnes Noble bookshop.
Manning said that no one associated with WikiLeaks had pressured him into sending any more information.