Pfc. Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old U.S. soldier who leaked classified documents to WikiLeaks, apologized to the U.S. at his court-martial on Wednesday. Manning gave an unsworn statement, which meant that he will not be cross-examined by prosecutors.
“I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that it hurt the United States,” Manning said, adding that, at the time of the leaks, he did not believe that the information would cause harm. Earlier on Wednesday, an Army psychologist testified that Manning’s struggle with gender identity in a hostile workplace caused him to feel a great amount of pressure. “You put him in that kind of hypermasculine environment, if you will, with little support and few coping skills, the pressure would have been difficult to say the least,” Capt. Michael Worsley said. Manning faces up to 90 years in prison.
During the sentencing hearing, which decides the length of time the former intelligence analyst will spend behind bars, Manning had a choice of what type of statement he could have made. He was allowed to either testify as a witness, make an unsworn statement (his own version of the facts of his case that cannot be cross-examined) or a sworn statement, the likeliest to be challenged by the prosecutors.
You can read Manning's full statement at The Guardian.
WikiLeaks issued a statement Wednesday in response to Manning’s statement, which it described as "forced":