FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — An Army soldier has admitted his role in the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history. He says he did it because he wanted the world to know how the American military was fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with little regard for human life.
Pfc. Bradley Manning entered guilty pleas Thursday to 10 charges of possessing and distributing classified materials. He could face 20 years in prison on those charges alone and prosecutors plan to pursue more serious charges.
The Oklahoma native read a 35-page statement explaining why he leaked battlefield reports, State Department diplomatic cables and other classified records while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
He says he hoped releasing the files to the secret-sharing website WikiLeaks would spark a debate about U.S. military and foreign policy.