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Bradley Manning to testify again Friday over 'harsh' conditions in jail

In his first public comments since 2010, Bradley Manning testified that the security measures included forcing him to surrender all of his clothes at night and being locked up 23 hours a day. Military prosecutors will question Manning Friday.

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md., Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, for a pretrial hearing. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy by causing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to be published on the WikiLeaks website.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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U.S. military prosecutors were going face-to-face for the first time Friday with the soldier charged with sending hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks in the biggest security breach in the country's history.

In his first public comments since his arrest in 2010, Bradley Manning testified Thursday in support of a defense motion saying his confinement for nine months at a Marine Corps brig was so harsh that his case should be dismissed.

Manning said the security measures were absurd. They included forcing him to surrender his underwear at night and be locked up 23 hours a day.

Prosecutors in the pretrial hearing aim to show that his jailers believed Manning needed to be kept in maximum custody with extra precautions to prevent him from killing or hurting himself.

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Manning is charged with sending hundreds of thousands of classified Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010.

The military judge on Thursday accepted the terms under which Manning may plead guilty to eight of the 22 charges he faces. Under the offer, Manning would plead guilty to certain charges as violations of military regulations rather than as violations of federal espionage and computer security laws. The offenses would carry maximum prison terms totaling 16 years rather than 72.

The judge hasn't formally accepted the pleas but has indicated she will consider them at a hearing starting Dec. 10.

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