The Norman Transcript

Headlines

November 9, 2012

Army private offers lesser plea in WikiLeaks case

FORT MEADE, Md. — A U.S. Army private charged with sending mountains of classified documents to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks has offered to plead guilty to reduced charges in a move that military justice experts on Thursday called surprising and potentially pointless.

The unilateral offer, if accepted by the military judge, would still leave the government free to prosecute Pfc. Bradley Manning on the original 22 counts, including aiding the enemy. That means even with the plea offer, he could still face life in prison.

Prosecutors could choose not to put Manning on trial for those more serious charges, but “I find it hard to imagine that happening in this case,” said Eugene Fidell, a former Coast Guard judge advocate who teaches military law at Yale. “The government has had a very long time to conduct extensive investigations and presumably has its evidence ready to roll.”

The judge, Army Col. Denise Lind, didn’t say when she would rule on the offer that defense attorney David Coombs revealed Wednesday during a pretrial hearing. Manning would acknowledge he sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of classified Iraq and Afghanistan war reports and State Department diplomatic cables, but wouldn’t plead guilty to aiding the enemy or to violations of federal espionage and computer laws.

It is the first indication that the 24-year-old intelligence analyst will publicly acknowledge he leaked the records. The government regards the leak as a national security breach. But anti-secrecy advocates, including Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, say Manning is a hero. He has been in custody since his arrest in Iraq in May 2010. He is currently in pretrial confinement at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Coombs also said Wednesday that Manning has chosen to be tried by a military judge, not a jury. His six-week trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 4.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Water carry 5 Water Walk opens discussion about difficulties in obtaining safe H2O

    With large white plastic buckets upon their heads, two gallons of water sloshed to the brim and over the side, but the students trudged on down the South Oval. The farthest feat was to the Seed Sower, and as the sun glared down, heat ...

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council OKs $48.8M contract for wastewater plant upgrades

    The Norman City Council awarded a $48.8 million project for wastewater treatment plant upgrades Tuesday. The council accepted a $50.3 million low-interest loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund....

    April 23, 2014

  • Transportation officials find more cracks in Lexington-Purcell bridge, but repairs on track

    State transportation officials announced Tuesday that additional repairs are needed in at least 96 places on the Lexington-Purcell bridge before it can be opened....

    April 23, 2014

  • Stacy Ford named 2014 Norman schools Teacher of the Year during banquet

    Stacy Ford, Kennedy Elementary librarian, was named 2014 Norman Public Schools Teacher of the Year at the district’s annual Celebration of Excellence banquet Tuesday evening at the National Center for Employee Development....

    April 23, 2014

  • Oklahoma officials account for $9.4M in disaster spending

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Nearly a year after deadly tornadoes hit central Oklahoma, officials announced that they have spent close to $9.4 million in private donations on relief efforts....

    April 24, 2014

  • Earth Day activities continue this week

    Oklahoma is no stranger to extreme weather, but many say those extremes are even greater than before. Norman resident and biologist Kathy Rand is convinced those climate irregularities are a result of climate change caused by pollution, ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims

    Oklahoma court rejects death-row inmates’ claims OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected claims by two death row inmates that they’re entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them....

    April 24, 2014

  • Man arraigned after wife’s death

    A judge on Wednesday denied bond for a 37-year-old Norman man formally charged with stabbing his wife to death with a kitchen knife early Saturday morning in their southeast Norman apartment. Abid Sandhu, 37, was arraigned before Special ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Moore schools receive $500K

    As Mickey Davis addressed the auditorium, the picture of a bright-eyed, happy 8-year-old on the podium in front of her could not be ignored. Davis’ son, Kyle Davis, was one of seven who lost their lives in the May 2013 tornadoes at Plaza ...

    April 24, 2014

  • School to present ‘Hamlet’

    To be or not to be? That is the question Norman North High School students are answering during their production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” this week....

    April 24, 2014