Bradley Manning: I’m sorry that the information I sent to Wikileaks hurt US interests

Intelligence analyst breaks silence during sentencing hearing at his court martial

Washington

After months of silence, convicted WikiLeaker Bradley Manning took the stand during his sentencing hearing yesterday, apologising for the turmoil his actions had caused and for the damage they had inflicted on the interests of the United States.

“I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that it hurt the United States,” the 25-year-old army private and former intelligence analyst told his court martial at Fort Meade, Maryland. Initially he had contended that he wanted to expose wrongdoing and provoke public debate. Yesterday however, he was soft spoken and apparently remorseful, insisting he did not at the time appreciate the broader effects of what he did, or “how I, a junior analyst, could bring about some of the changes I was seeking”.

The 700,000 documents – mainly from the Pentagon and State Department – that Manning downloaded in January 2010 while based in Iraq and sent to WikiLeaks, represent the biggest ever leak of  classified government information in US history. Last month he was convicted of breaching the US Espionage Act and various other offences and could face up to 90 years in jail.

His words yesterday, his first of substance since the trial began, came as an unsworn statement, meaning that he cannot be cross-examined by military prosecutors, although they will be able to deliver a formal rebuttal later in the hearing. A sentence will not be handed down until next week at the earliest.

Manning’s testimony came after defence lawyers had sought to show that his superior officers had ignored signs that his mental health was deteriorating, despite repeated instances of erratic behaviour. According to defence witnesses, he would lapse into “catatonic” behaviour, or react furiously to the most minor complaint about his conduct. On another occasion he sent a supervisor a photo of himself dressed as a woman.

Before Manning took the stand, an army psychologist testified yesterday that he felt isolated because he was wrestling with his gender identity. The stress Manning had felt from his job as a low-level intelligence analyst was made worse by being in the “hyper masculine environment” of a combat zone, said Captain Michael Worsley, who treated Manning from December 2009 to May 2010 during his deployment in Iraq.

Eventually, Captain Worsley  continued, he received an email from Manning showing him dressed as a woman, wearing a blonde wig and lipstick. The photo was attached to a letter titled “My problem,” in which Manning described his confusion over his gender, and his hope that a military career would “get rid of it.”

Worsley told the court martial that the private had “little to no support base,” in his unit, which was already understaffed at the time. “With no coping skills, the pressure would have been incredible.”

During the first phase of the court-martial, prosecutors argued that Manning was an arrogant and soldier who did what he did in the full knowledge that the documents would become known to al-Q’aida militants and thus harm the US. He is expected to receive a lengthy jail term, though not he effective life imprisonment the prosecution is seeking.After months of silence, convicted WikiLeaker Bradley Manning took the stand during his sentencing hearing yesterday, apologising for the turmoil his actions had caused and for the damage they had inflicted on the interests of the United States.

“I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that it hurt the United States,” the 25-year-old army private and former intelligence analyst told his court martial at Fort Meade, Maryland. Initially he had contended that he wanted to expose wrongdoing and provoke public debate. Yesterday however, he was soft spoken and apparently remorseful, insisting he did not at the time appreciate the broader effects of what he did, or “how I, a junior analyst, could bring about some of the changes I was seeking”.

The 700,000 documents – mainly from the Pentagon and State Department – that Manning downloaded in January 2010 while based in Iraq and sent to WikiLeaks, represent the biggest ever leak of  classified government information in US history. Last month he was convicted of breaching the US Espionage Act and various other offences and could face up to 90 years in jail.

His words yesterday, his first of substance since the trial began, came as an unsworn statement, meaning that he cannot be cross-examined by military prosecutors, although they will be able to deliver a formal rebuttal later in the hearing. A sentence will not be handed down until next week at the earliest.

Manning’s testimony came after defence lawyers had sought to show that his superior officers had ignored signs that his mental health was deteriorating, despite repeated instances of erratic behaviour. According to defence witnesses, he would lapse into “catatonic” behaviour, or react furiously to the most minor complaint about his conduct. On another occasion he sent a supervisor a photo of himself dressed as a woman.

Before Manning took the stand, an army psychologist testified yesterday that he felt isolated because he was wrestling with his gender identity. The stress Manning had felt from his job as a low-level intelligence analyst was made worse by being in the “hyper masculine environment” of a combat zone, said Captain Michael Worsley, who treated Manning from December 2009 to May 2010 during his deployment in Iraq.

Eventually, Captain Worsley  continued, he received an email from Manning showing him dressed as a woman, wearing a blonde wig and lipstick. The photo was attached to a letter titled “My problem,” in which Manning described his confusion over his gender, and his hope that a military career would “get rid of it.”

Worsley told the court martial that the private had “little to no support base,” in his unit, which was already understaffed at the time. “With no coping skills, the pressure would have been incredible.”

During the first phase of the court-martial, prosecutors argued that Manning was an arrogant and soldier who did what he did in the full knowledge that the documents would become known to al-Q’aida militants and thus harm the US. He is expected to receive a lengthy jail term, though not he effective life imprisonment the prosecution is seeking.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Developer (TSQL, SSRS, SSAS) Fund Manager - London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...

Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, Angular.JS)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Software Developer (JavaScript, TDD, Jasmine, An...

Front-End UI/UX Developer (HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Ang

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...

C#.NET Server Side Developer (C#, XML, WCF, Unit Testing,SQL)

£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition