FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) – Here is Army Pfc. Bradley Manning’s statement Wednesday during the sentencing phase of his court-martial for leaking classified information through WikiLeaks:
“First, your honor, I want to start off with an apology. I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States.
At the time of my decisions, as you know, I was dealing with a lot of issues, issues that are ongoing and continuing to affect me. Although a considerable difficulty in my life, these issues are not an excuse for my actions.
I understood what I was doing, and decisions I made. However, I did not fully appreciate the broader effects of my actions.
Those factors are clear to me now, through both self-refection during my confinement in various forms, and through the merits and sentencing testimony that I have seen here.
I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people.
The last few years have been a learning experience. I look back at my decisions and wonder how on earth could I, a junior analyst, possibly believe I could change the world for the better (unintelligible) on decisions of those with the proper authority.
In retrospect, I should have worked more aggressively inside the system, as we discussed during the provenance statement. I had options, and I should have used these options.
Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change things. I can only go forward. I want to go forward. Before I can do that, I understand that I must pay a price for my decisions and actions.
Once I pay that price, I hope to one day live in a manner that I haven’t been able to in the past. I want to be a better person, to go to college, to get a degree and to have a meaningful relationship with my sister, with my sister’s family and my family.
I want to be a positive influence in their lives, just as my Aunt Debra has been to me. I have flaws and issues that I have to deal with, but I know that I can and will be a better person.
I hope that you can give me the opportunity to prove, not through words, but through conduct, that I am a good person and that I can return to a productive place in society. Thank you, your honor.”
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