The U.S. Army scheduled a Feb. 23 arraignment for Pfc. Bradley E. Manning. His charges include aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act.
The former intelligence analyst is accused of giving hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, including field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies and video of a U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad. The footage has been described by many as a war crime.
The video, released by WikiLeaks with the title “Collateral Murder,” shows the attack that left 12 people dead, including a Reuters journalist and his driver. The U.S. helicopter crew can be heard laughing and referring to Iraqis as “dead bastards.”
If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison. Aiding the enemy is a capital offense, but Army prosecutors have said they won’t seek the death penalty.
Manning’s attorneys described him as a troubled young man who was isolated from other soldiers and should not have been given access to the classified documents.