"Emotional distress" key to Manning defense

Nineteen months after he was arrested, Army Private Bradley Manning is the subject of a military hearing outside Washington, D.C.

Sunday was the third day of the proceeding to determine whether the former intelligence analyst should be court-martialed on 22 counts, including aiding the enemy.

CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano reports that Manning's defense attorneys have sought to paint him as a soldier who struggled with his homosexuality at a time when gays could not serve openly in the military, and who asked superiors for help with gender identity issues.

"His defense at this point appears to hinge mostly on his emotional distress, he was apparently under substantial emotional distress at the time he was in the Army and before even," said Denver Nicks, a Manning biographer.

A government witness - one of Manning's commanders in Baghdad - testified that Manning was known to have had angry outbursts, including flipping a table and throwing a chair. The witness said based on his emotional turmoil, Manning should have had his security clearance pulled.

Testimony on Manning's access to secrets
Manning's sexual orientation discussed in court
Bradley Manning leak case hearing resumes

Manning's case and his months of solitary confinement in a military brig have sparked protests, including right outside Fort Meade, Maryland, where more than a hundred people demonstrated to support him.

One supporter said: "It's unclear if he's the person who leaked information to Wikileaks, but if he is, he should be protected and appreciated as a whistleblower."

The Obama administration maintains the leaked information posed a threat to national security and strained relations with other governments. If this preliminary hearing leads to a court martial, Manning, who turned 24 on Saturday, could face life in prison, if convicted.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter