WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. Army judge on Thursday accepted the guilty plea of Private First Class Bradley Manning, the central figure in a controversy involving whistle-blower website WikiLeaks and classified U.S. government files.
Manning admitted to sending hundreds of thousands of Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, State Department diplomatic cables and other files to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad. He said he did so to expose the U. S. military's "bloodlust" in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was the first time Manning directly admitted leaking the material to WikiLeaks, according to a report by CBS.
Manning said that he didn't think the information would harm the United States, and that he decided to release it because he was disturbed by the conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the seeming disregard by U.S. troops for the lives of ordinary people.
An Army judge accepted the pleas to 10 charges at a hearing on Thursday in Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning could face up to 20 years in prison, and prosecutors said they plan to move forward with an additional 12 charges against him, including aiding the enemy, which could carry a life sentence.