The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Breaking News

July 26, 2013

Manning arguments wrap up; judge to deliberate

(Continued)

FORT MEADE, Md. —

Stoeckley attended the court-martial often as a sketch artist, arriving each day in a white box truck with bold words painted on the sides: "WikiLeaks TOP SECRET Mobile Information Collection Unit."

A tweet Thursday night from an account Stoeckley used said: "I don't know how they sleep at night but I do know where." It was removed Friday and Stoeckley told The Associated Press on Twitter he couldn't comment.

Inside the courtroom, a few spectators smiled — as did Manning — when Coombs mocked a former Army supervisor who testified last week that Manning told her the American flag meant nothing to him and that she suspected before they deployed to Iraq that Manning was a spy. Coombs noted she had not written up a report on Manning's alleged disloyalty, though had written ones on him taking too many smoke breaks and drinking too much coffee.

Manning also faces federal espionage, theft and computer fraud charges. The Crescent, Okla., native has acknowledged giving WikiLeaks some 700,000 battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and videos. But he says he didn't believe the information would harm troops in Afghanistan and Iraq or threaten national security.

"The amount of the documents in this case, actually is the best evidence that he was discreet in what he chose because if he was indiscriminate, if he was systematically harvesting, we wouldn't be talking about a few hundred thousand documents — we'd be talking about millions of documents," Coombs said.

Giving the material to WikiLeaks was no different than giving it to a newspaper, Coombs said.

"That's giving information to a legitimate news organization in order to hold the government accountable," Coombs said.

The government disagreed and said Manning would also be charged if he had leaked the classified material to the media.

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