The U.S. Army private accused of providing diplomatic cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website has plead guilty to misusing classified material, the Associated Press reports. But he denied the most serious charge in the case, aiding the enemy.
The charges Manning admitted to before a military judge at Ft. Meade carry a possible prison term of up to 20 years. Manning, 25, entered the pleas prior to his court martial in Fort Meade, Md., which is set to begin on June 3, in a case that centers on the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history.
Manning, 25, said he had a "clear conscience," The Telegraph reported. "I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan was a target that needed to be engaged and neutralized but people struggling to live in the pressure cooker of asymmetric warfare."
The young soldier revealed for the first time how he approached both The New York Times and The Washington Post with the archive of U.S. secrets but was brushed off by both newspapers and turned instead to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Manning described how he decided to begin leaking while serving as a junior intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009-10, where he came across detailed war logs that he believed were among "the most significant documents of our time".
Via AP and The Telegraph.