Manning by arguing that “Osama Bin Laden asked for that information and received it.” The prosecution also argued that Manning wanted to be famous for his actions.The defense pushed back against Fein’s argument the next day. They argued Manning wasdriven by his conscience and wanted to inform the American public about what was happeningin Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world in their name. Manning’s defense lawyer, DavidCoombs,argued that the former intelligence analyst was a “young, naive, good-intentionedsoldier who had human life, in his humanist beliefs, [central] to his decision.” Now that the verdict phase of the trial is over, the sentencing phase begins. Throughout August,the defense and prosecution will call more witnesses and make more arguments regarding thesentencing of Manning.The saga of Bradley Manning began in 2010, when he was arrested. His arrest came after heleaked thousands of diplomatic cables to the website WikiLeaks and shortly after thewhistleblowing website published a video entitled “Collateral Murder,” which showed how U.S.helicopter killed unarmed civilians and a Reuters journalist in Iraq during the occupation.Manning was treated harshly by military guards while imprisoned at the Quantico military basein Virginia. He was thrown in solitary confinement for 11 months and put on suicide watch,though supporters of Manning say that was a justification used for inhumane treatment of Manning. He was stripped naked at night and forced to stand there while other officers inspectedhim.Manning’s leak to WikiLeaks exposed the sordid dealings of U.S. foreign policy. The documentsgiven to WikiLeaks revealed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and how the U.S. conductsdiplomacy with other nations. He has consistently said that his actions were meant to shine lighton U.S. policy.“If the general public... had access to the information... this could spark a domestic debate as tothe role of the military and foreign policy in general,” Manning said in February, explaining whyhe gave the documents to WikiLeaks.
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