In the preliminary military hearings for Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of leaking thousands of classified military and diplomatic files to whistleblower Wikileaks, the defense raised issues of Manning’s identity as a gay soldier before the repeal of DADT. They said his struggles as a gay soldier in an environment hostile to homosexuality led to emotional and psychological problems that should have prohibited his access to the classified material. The defense also argued that the files Manning did leak posed no risk to the country or American soldiers.
Prosecutors argued Manning gave away important secrets that posed serious risk to Americans and others abroad, and they rejected the arguments surrounding Manning’s orientation. Testimony continued all weekend and is ongoing today, and a presiding officer will make a recommendation as to whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. A military commander will make the final decision, and if convicted of his charges Manning could face life in prison.