FORT MEADE, Md. —
Coombs also showed three snippets of video from a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack Manning leaked, showing troops firing on a small crowd of men on a Baghdad sidewalk, killing several civilians, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. Coombs said the loss of civilian lives shocked and horrified the young soldier.
"You have to look at that from the point of view of a guy who cared about human life," Coombs said.
Coombs has said Manning was troubled by what he saw in the war — and at the same time was struggling as a gay man in the era of "don't ask don't tell." Those struggles made him want to do something to make a difference and he hoped revealing what was going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and U.S. diplomacy would inspire debate and reform in American foreign and military policy.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday in a telephone press conference that if the aiding the enemy charge is allowed to stand, it will be "the end of national security journalism in the United States."
He accused the Obama administration of a "war on whistleblowers" and a "war on journalism."
The verdict and any sentence will be reviewed, and could be reduced, by the commander of the Military District of Washington, currently Maj. Gen. Jeffery S. Buchanan.