Pentagon - WikiLeaks a journalistic site

2013-07-10 21:57
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Fort Meade - The US military viewed anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks as a news gathering operation before Private First Class Bradley Manning leaked a trove of classified files to it, a Harvard professor testified at Manning's court-martial on Wednesday.

Yochai Benkler, a Harvard University law professor and expert on media law, testified for the defence that a 2008 Defence Department report on WikiLeaks had said that a US enemy could theoretically use the site to gather information.

But the Pentagon report, which had been based on publicly available material, said there was no sign that that had happened, said Benkler, the co-director of the Berkman Centre for Internet and Society.

The Pentagon report came out before Manning, 25, is alleged to have leaked more than 700 000 classified files, combat videos and State Department cables while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

Benkler is the 10th witness called by chief defence lawyer David Coombs since he started his case on Monday. Coombs has not divulged a customary list of witnesses, but Benkler could be the last called by the defence.

The 21 charges against Manning include espionage, computer fraud and, most seriously, aiding the enemy by disclosing material that could be used by the al-Qaeda extremist network.

Manning, a native of Crescent, Oklahoma, could face life in prison without parole if convicted of aiding the enemy.

In other testimony, a specialist at the Centre for Army Lessons Learned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, said in a sworn statement that the centre had not recommended changes, such as in training or tactics, because of the WikiLeaks disclosures.

The centre, which focuses on adapting operations to changing conditions, also had not been requested to do so, said the witness, whose name was not disclosed.

The defence has sought to portray Manning as a naive but well-intentioned soldier who wanted to show Americans the reality of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defence lawyers also have contended that much of the material Manning is charged with leaking had been available from public sources before the WikiLeaks disclosure.

The prosecution rested last week after five weeks of testimony, some in closed session. The trial is scheduled to end by 23 August.

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  chelsea manning  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.