Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he illegally acquired a cache of U.S. state secrets and later provided it to WikiLeaks, but not guilty to the most serious charge against him — that he “aided the enemy.”

Through his lawyer, David Coombs, Manning pleaded guilty to 10 lesser charges, including the leaking to unauthorized persons of the “collateral murder” video of an Apache helicopter attack in Iraq, some U.S. diplomatic cables, portions of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, files on detainees in Guantanamo and two intelligence memos.

Manning, who agreed to serve a 20-year prison term on the lesser charges, pleaded not guilty to 12 counts that constitute the major alleged offenses against the U.S. government. Those include knowingly giving state secrets to al-Qaida. He also denied that in passing information to WikiLeaks he had “reason to believe such information could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Los Angeles Times:

“I felt we were risking so much for people who seemed unwilling to cooperate with us due to the mistrust and hatred on both sides,” Manning said, reading a 35-page, hand-written statement describing his angst over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I began to become depressed with the situation we had become mired in year after year,” he added.

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