FORT MEADE, Md. — Private First Class Bradley Manning’s defense rested its case Wednesday after presenting evidence from 10 witnesses, hoping to prove the loads of material the soldier gave to WikiLeaks did not threaten national security or US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Prosecutors argued the former US Army intelligence analyst let military secrets fall into the hands of Al Qaeda and its former leader Osama bin Laden. Manning faces 21 charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a possible life sentence.
Manning did not take the stand during the trial. However, he testified during a pretrial hearing in February, reading from a 35-page statement in which he said he leaked the material to expose the American military’s ‘‘bloodlust’’ and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A judge, not a jury, is hearing the case at Manning’s request. Prosecutors said they plan to call rebuttal witnesses next week. The judge will hear arguments Monday on the scope of any rebuttal case.