US soldier's WikiLeaks trial chills whistleblowers
The US soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified information in US history, goes on trial in a case that raises questions about secrecy. Private First Class Bradley Manning (25), who is charged with providing more than 700 000 documents to WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy website, goes on trial on Monday. He said the move was intended to spark renewed debate on US military action.
Prosecutors have said they expect to call more than 100 witnesses. Civil liberties groups said the court martial has been shrouded in secrecy and has had a chilling effect on whistleblowers.
Manning faces 21 counts, including the most serious one of aiding the enemy, as well as prosecution under the Espionage Act of 1917. Manning, an intelligence analyst, was arrested in May 2010 while serving in Iraq.
He was charged with downloading intelligence documents, diplomatic cables and combat videos and forwarding them to WikiLeaks, which began releasing the information that year. Manning testified in February that he had released the files to spark a domestic debate on the military and on foreign policy in general.... Read the full, comprehensive news article and discuss at Mail & Guardian