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Bradley Manning Pleads Guilty To Lesser Charges In Wikileaks Case

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Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, center, steps out of a security vehicle as he is escorted into a courthouse in Fort Meade, Md.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning addressed the court during his pre-trial hearing Thursday in Fort Meade, Md. to try and explain why he passed classified government documents to Wikileaks. Manning spoke for over an hour describing the timeline and reasons why he disclosed what he claims are some of the most significant documents of our time.

Manning is pleading guilty to 10 of the less serious charges against him. Judge Denise Lind is considering whether to accept his guilty plea, which would reduce his maximum sentence from life in prison without parole to just 20 years. The move Manning is making is known in military law as a "naked plea" — one that is offered without a deal bargain with the prosecution.

As part of that plea, the former intelligence analyst took just over an hour this morning to read from a 35-page statement explaining why he turned over confidential documents and video to Wikileaks. Manning says he hoped his actions would spark a domestic debate on the role of our military and foreign policy in general.

At one point in the morning, Manning explained how he tried and failed to get the Washington Post, New York Times and even Politico to publish the material before handing it into Wikileaks.

Judge Lind is spending the afternoon questioning Manning about his statement.

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