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"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.

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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.

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