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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea