Gay soldier Bradley Manning's lawyers say Don't Ask, Don't Tell helps explain why he gave secrets to WikiLeaks
The attorneys for Pfc. Bradley Manning are pointing to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as an explanation for his alleged sharing of confidential information.
The 24 year old Army intelligence specialist (today is his birthday) was in court today facing charges he shared confidential documents with WikiLeaks. The United States government claims the soldier turned over Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, State Department cables and a classified military video of a 2007 American helicopter attack in Iraq.
As reported by the AP, Manning's lawyers brought up DADT as a factor in his alleged crime. Before September of this year, American military personnel were not allowed to serve openly.
Defense attorney Maj. Matthew Kemkes asked an Army criminal investigator if she interviewed people who thought Manning was gay. The lawyer also asked if any evidence was discovered that the defendant had a gender-identity disorder. Living as a gay soldier in an anti-LGBT environment contributed to his emotional and mental problems, and should have barred him from accessing confidential information.
The investigator answered that she and her team "already knew before we arrived that Pfc. Manning was a homosexual."
Governemnt attorneys objected to the line of questions. Kemkes countered if the state was going to argue Manning intended to leak documents, "what is going on in my client's mind is very important."
Friday and Saturday were the first times Manning has been seen in public since his arrest. The Oklahoma native served 19 months of detention before the Fort Meade, Maryland trial began.