- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pfc. Bradley Manning, 25, pleaded guilty to misusing classified material on Thursday, but he declined to plead on the more serious charge — aiding the enemy, according to a report by The Associated Press.

His court martial trial is set for June 3. It promises to be dramatic; at root, is the largest leak of government documents and secrets in the history of the United States.

“I believe that if the general public … had access to the information,” said Mr. Manning, during testimony reported by Reuters, “this could spark a domestic debate as to the role of the military and foreign policy in general.”

Mr. Manning gave the information to WikiLeaks for distribution and posting.

He’s been jailed at Quantico Marine Base in Virginia for more than three years and could face life behind bars, if convicted on the charge of aiding the enemy, Reuters said. Already, he faces up to 20 years for the 10 lesser charges on misuse of classified information that he pleaded guilty to Thursday.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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