The long-awaited military court case against Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, the accused source for the WikiLeaks website’s trove of U.S. military and diplomatic secrets, will go forward with Lt. Col. Paul Almanza as the presiding officer. The defense requested that Almanza, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel and Justice Department prosecutor, step aside because of alleged bias. Almanza rejected the request and refused to suspend the hearing pending an appeal.
Manning, a one-time intelligence analyst stationed in Baghdad, is accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive items including Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, State Department cables and a classified military video of a 2007 American helicopter attack in Iraq that killed 11 men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver.
The Obama administration says the released information has threatened valuable military and diplomatic sources and strained America’s relations with other governments.