Bradley Manning's Surprising Statement to the Court Details Why He Made His Historic Wikileak
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The statement below was read by Pfc. Bradley Manning at a providence inquiry for his formal plea of guilty to one specification as charged and nine specifications for lesser included offenses. He pled not guilty to 12 other specifications. This rush transcript was taken by journalist Alexa O’Brien at Thursday’s pretrial hearing and first appeared on Salon.com.
Judge Lind: Pfc. Manning you may read your statement.
Pfc. Bradley Manning: Yes, your Honor. I wrote this statement in the confinement facility. The following facts are provided in support of the providence inquiry for my court martial, United States v. Pfc. Bradley E. Manning.
I am a 25-year-old Private First Class in the United States Army currently assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, HHC, U.S. Army Garrison (USAG), Joint Base Myer, Henderson Hall, Fort Meyer, Va.
My [missed word] assignment I was assigned to HHC, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y. My primary military occupational specialty or MOS is 35 Foxtrot intelligence analyst. I entered active duty status on 2 October 2007. I enlisted with the hope of obtaining both real-world experience and earning benefits under the GI Bill for college opportunities.
Facts regarding my position as an intelligence analyst.
In order to enlist in the Army I took the Standard Armed Services Aptitude Battery or [ASVAB?]. My score on this battery was high enough for me to qualify for any enlisted MOS positon. My recruiter informed me that I should select an MOS that complimented my interests outside the military. In response, I told him that I was interested in geopolitical matters and information technology. He suggested that I consider becoming an intelligence analyst.
After researching the intelligence analyst position, I agreed that this would be a good fit for me. In particular, I enjoyed the fact that an analyst could use information derived from a variety of sources to create work products that informed the command of its available choices for determining the best course of action, or COAs. Although the MOS required working knowledge of computers, it primarily required me to consider how raw information can be combined with other available intelligence sources in order to create products that assisted the command in its situational awareness, or SA.
I accessed that my natural interest in geopolitical affairs and my computer skills would make me an excellent intelligence analyst. After enlisting I reported to the Fort Meade military entrance processing station on 1 October 2007. I then traveled to and reported at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., on 2 October 2007 to begin basic combat training, or BCT.
Once at Fort Leonard Wood I quickly realized that I was neither physically nor mentally prepared for the requirements of basic training. My BCT experience lasted six months instead of the normal 10 weeks. Due to medical issues, I was placed on a hold status. A physical examination indicated that I sustained injuries to my right soldier and left foot.
Due to those injuries, I was unable to continue “basic.” During medical hold, I was informed that I may be out-processed from the Army; however, I resisted being chaptered out because I felt that I could overcome my medical issues and continue to serve. On 2[8 or 20?] January 2008, I returned to basic combat training. This time I was better prepared and I completed training on 2 April 2008.
I then reported for the MOS specific Advanced Individual Training, or AIT, on 7 April 2008. AIT was an enjoyable experience for me. Unlike basic training, where I felt different from the other soldiers, I fit in did well. I preferred the mental challenges of reviewing a large amount of information from various sources and trying to create useful or actionable products. I especially enjoyed the practice of analysis through the use of computer applications and methods that I was familiar with.