By Alexa O'Brian, Guardian UK: The Ethical Consistency of Bradley Manning's Apology!

Alexa O'Brian is the authority on all things Manning. Several times a day, reporters in the media center on depend on Alexa for context as events unfold. She has chronicled the prosecution of Manning since day 1. If you haven't visited her site yet you should. On Friday afternoon after the court recessed in the trial of Bradley Manning, Defense Attorney David Coombs addressed supporters for 20 minutes. When asked about the apology, Coombs said to read Alexa O'Brian or "AOB as I affectionately call her, I think she's tracking, so look at what Alexa's saying she has a pretty good pulse."Here is the article he was referring to. SMG/RSN. PFC Bradley Manning, the American soldier responsible for transmitting hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and US army reports to WikiLeaks, took the stand Wednesday during the sentencing phase of his trial to apologize to the presiding military judge, Col Denise Lind. His three-minute unsworn statement was delivered before defense rested its case. In July, Manning was convicted of 20 offenses. He currently faces a maximum punishment of 90 years. Manning said Wednesday: "I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I am sorry that it hurt the United States." Because much of the 19-month trial has been conducted without a public record of court documents until the 1,103rd day of the legal proceeding, many might be surprised to learn that Manning's statement on Wednesday is consistent with others he has made in court. Many readers are familiar with excerpts from a 20-page statement Manning read at a February hearing, where he pled to nine "lesser included offenses" of the Espionage Act and one failure to obey a lawful regulation for wrongly storing classified material. In that statement, Manning explained his motive for releasing charged information, including a video of a July 2007 US airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq, which killed two Reuters journalists, at least 12 civilians, and injured two children. In his statement, Manning described the conduct of the Apache pilots as dehumanizing and "similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass". Audio of him delivering his statement was later leaked and published by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. In addition to the 20-page statement at the February Providence Inquiry, however, were lengthy colloquies he had with the judge about the nature of his admitted conduct. It is important to note that Manning's unsworn statement on Wednesday did not say that he "harmed" the US. While much of the sentencing hearing has been conducted in closed session away from public scrutiny. In open sessions, prosecution witnesses have testified that no actual damage occurred and no deaths resulted from Manning's leaks. During the sentencing phase, prosecutors have presented evidence of government mitigation efforts and "expert" opinion testimony by federal employees and contractors that the leaks impacted diplomatic reporting, relationships with foreign governments, and could possibly be used in the future propaganda efforts by al-Qaida.   

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