- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A whistleblower and press-freedom advocacy group has posted leaked audio of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s testimony about his motives for leaking secret U.S. government documents and videos to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks — the first time the public has heard his voice since his 2010 arrest.

The Freedom of the Press Foundation, co-founded by Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam war in 1971, posted the audio on its website Tuesday. The group said it was defying the military’s ban on recordings of Pfc. Manning’s pretrial tribunal so that Americans could learn why he passed hundreds of thousands of field military intelligence reports and State Department diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.

“We hope this recording will shed light on one of the most secret court trials in recent history, in which the government is putting on trial a concerned government employee whose only stated goal was to bring attention to what he viewed as serious governmental misconduct and criminal activity,” Mr. Ellsberg said in a statement on the group’s website.

He added the foundation did not know how the recording had been made.

Pfc. Manning has pleaded guilty to 11 charges arising from the leak, and already faces more than 20 years imprisonment. He is denying other charges, including aiding the enemy, which, in this case, carries a possible life sentence since prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

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