Outside The Wire

MANNING WATCH: The defense presents its case

Photo via The Associated Press

Ten witnesses testified in defense of Pfc. Bradley Manning between July 8-11, as his defense attorneys argued that though he is guilty of releasing a mountain of sensitive documents, he did not risk American lives in the process.

In week six of Manning’s court-martial on charges that the hundreds of thousands of documents he gave to WikiLeaks resulted in danger to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the defense opened  and rested their case at the Fort Meade, Md. trial.

The defense called law Harvard professor Yochai Benkler to dispel the most serious of Manning’s 21 charges, aiding the enemy. Benkler testified that until 2010, the general public and even the Defense Department regarded WikiLeaks as a legitimate news organization, and so Manning might not have assumed that terrorist groups would have access to the information online.

The prosecution is charged with proving that Manning knew at the time that his leaked information could be used by al-Qaida to harm American troops.

The trial is set to reconvene Monday, July 15.

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