U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, on trial and facing court-martial for his role in releasing sensitive military and intelligence documents to WikiLeaks, is hardly a naive soldier who simply stumbled into his legal quagmire, prosecuting attorneys says Thursday.
Rather, he purposely set out to join the military and use his comprehensive computer skills to send U.S. secrets into the public domain and to assist terrorist groups, Army Maj. Ashden Fein said in closing arguments at Pfc. Manning's trial at Fort Meade in Maryland, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"WikiLeaks was merely the platform that Pfc. Manning used to make sure all the information was available to the world, including the enemies of the United States," Maj. Fein said. "Pfc. Manning deliberately disclosed compromised information to the world."
Maj. Fein said Pfc. Manning expressly contacted WikiLeaks for his platform to expose 700,000-plus combat videos and terrorist detainee assessments, the L.A. Times said.
"He was not a naive soldier," Maj. Fein said, but rather spent hours chatting online with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and then untold time "wiping" clean his computer to "hide his tracks," the L.A. Times reported.
At issue in Pfc. Manning's trial is whether he acted as a whistleblower or a traitor.
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