Defence seeks to prove Bradley Manning was NOT motivated by hatred for America when he sent US secrets to WikiLeaks

It is their intention to show he was acting out of a sense of duty in the hope of alerting Americans to what was being done in their names in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

It was the day the soldier accused of the biggest intelligence leak in US history came face-to-face with the computer hacker who first turned him in. Bradley Manning's defence team sought to score early points at his trial by pressuring Adrian Lamo to concede he never got the impression Pte Manning was motivated by hatred for America.

The exchange marked a moment of unexpected drama on just the second day of the court martial under way behind the gates of the Fort Meade Army base. “At any time, did Pfc. Manning ever say he wanted to help the enemy?” David Coombs, a lawyer for the defence, asked. “Not in those words, no,” Mr Lamo said.

Coombs later asked: “At anytime did he say the American flag didn't mean anything to him?”. Mr Lamo replied: “No”.

Demonstrating that Pte Manning acted maliciously when he sent his trove of classified material to the anti-secrecy website founded by Julian Assange will be key to the prosecution case. By contrast, the defence has signalled its intention to show that their client was acting out of a benign, if naïve, sense of duty in the hope of alerting Americans to what was being done in their names in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Another prosecution witness, Mark Johnson, a civilian digital forensic examiner with the US Army's Computer Crimes Investigation Unit, told the court he had found three items of interest on the defendant's laptop, which was seized after his arrest from his base close to Baghdad in May 2010, including a video and contact information for WikiLeaks.

But when another of Pte Manning's lawyers, Major Thomas Hurley, asked the witness under cross-examination if he had found “anything indicating hatred of America” he replied: “No, but we would have noted it. We didn't find it.”

It was said that Lamo compiled his chats with Pte Manning into a file, saved on his computer as “Brad_confession.”

The trial later heard from intelligence trainers who allege they taught Pte Manning in 2008 about the significance and methods of handling sensitive information. It was alleged that the soldier was given “corrective training” - a military training technique used to hone in on particular deficiencies - that same year he posted a video on YouTube that was thought to be classified.

Pte Manning, who is a dual American-British national because his mother is Welsh, has attracted supporters around the globe who laud him as a whistle-blowing hero for peeling some of the shroud from what they see as America's arrogant exercise of foreign policy. Mr Assange, who has been holed up for months in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, condemned the court martial as a 'show trial'.

“This is not justice; never could this be justice,” he said in a statement. “The verdict was ordained long ago. Its function is not to determine questions such as guilt or innocence, or truth or falsehood. It is a public relations exercise, designed to provide the government with an alibi for posterity.”

Pte Manning has agreed that the trial be heard by the presiding judge, Colonel Denise Lind, instead of by a jury of his peers. With more than 100 witnesses expected for the prosecution, possibly including a member of the Navy Seal team that assassinated Osama bin Laden, it is expected to last until the end of August.

Also speaking out for him in London was gay rights organiser Peter Tatchell. “Every solder in every nation has a duty to expose war crimes. That's what Bradley Manning did,” he offered. “In many ways, Manning is a true patriot because he's sought to uphold the US constitution. Thanks to Bradley, the American people now know the truth.”

Meanwhile a raft of Hollywood celebrities including Russell Brand, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Wallace Shawn joined Oliver Stone, Rage Against the Machine Guitarist Tom Morello in a short trailer designed to raise awareness of the Bradley Manning trial that was released online. 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
football
News
Tangerine Dream Edgar Froese
people
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Latest stories from i100
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

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us