WASHINGTON – In his closing argument Friday, a lawyer for Pfc. Bradley Manning portrayed the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst as a naive but brave and conscientious objector to the wartime conduct of the United States.
In a sometimes biting rebuttal to Thursday’s closing arguments by a military prosecutor, defense attorney David Coombs said Manning’s decision to leak classified U.S. documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks came only after he began pursuing intelligence reports and found evidence of wanton use of force and unjustified policies.
Manning was “willing to pay a price” for his actions, Coombs said. Manning sought to “spark a worldwide discussion” about what he came to see as U.S. abuses that were going unnoticed and unpunished, the lawyer added.