FORT MEADE, Md. — Lawyers for Army Private Bradley Manning opened their case Monday in the sentencing phase of his trial by attacking commanders’ decisions to send the young intelligence analyst to Iraq and let him keep his top-secret security clearance despite his emotional outbursts and concerns about his mental health.
Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for disclosing reams of classified information through the antisecrecy website WikiLeaks.
Manning had a history of violent outbursts and psychological evaluations during his military training before and after he deployed in 2009. During his stateside training as an intelligence analyst, he had to give a classroom presentation about the dangers of disclosing classified information after he provided secret details about his schooling in online communications with relatives.
His brigade commander, Colonel David Miller, testified that the Second Brigade of the Tenth Mountain Division deployed in the fall of 2009 with 10 to 15 percent fewer intelligence analysts than the number authorized by the military. But Miller denied feeling any pressure to take soldiers who should not have deployed.
However, Major Clifford Clausen, who headed the brigade’s intelligence branch, said there was pressure to take every soldier.