Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, in the sentencing phase of his court martial, apologized for leaking classified items to WikiLeaks. Manning's lawyers put much of the blame on Army officers who failed to address his emotional troubles.
In one of the rare times when he has spoken during his court martial, US Army Pfc. Bradley Manning apologized Wednesday for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents when he was an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
"I'm sorry that my actions hurt people,” he told the court. “I'm sorry that it hurt the United States.”
"I should have worked more aggressively within the system,” Pfc. Manning said. “Unfortunately, I can't go back and change things. I understand I must pay a price for my decisions.”
Manning’s comments, which came during the end of the sentencing phase of his military trial at Ft. Meade, Md., are part of an effort to lessen a sentence that could see him imprisoned for the rest of his life.
The essence of Manning’s defense now is that the young intelligence analyst was so obviously mentally and emotionally troubled that the Army never should have put him in a position of authority in the first place.
His lawyers are attempting to convince presiding judge Col. Denise Lind that Manning’s supervisors and senior officers missed important warning signs that should have led them to divert him from assignments in which he could access and then leak more than 700,000 pieces of classified information, including diplomatic cables and battlefield reports, to the controversial whistleblower organization WikiLeaks.