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Manning defense focuses on mental health, leadership

Monday - 8/12/2013, 8:50pm  ET

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) -- Lawyers for Bradley Manning are attacking the decisions of his commanders to send the Army intelligence analyst to Iraq and to let him keep his top-secret security clearance -- despite his emotional outbursts and their concerns about his mental health.

Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for disclosing reams of classified information through the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. His lawyers are presenting evidence in the penalty phase of his court-martial in Maryland, hoping to get him a lighter sentence.

Manning had a history of violent outbursts and psychological evaluations during his military training, before and after he deployed.

In Iraq, he had several outbursts -- including one episode that prompted commanders to remove the bolt from his rifle, making it unusable.

Manning's brigade commander testified today that the brigade deployed to Iraq with 10 to 15 percent fewer intelligence analysts than had been authorized by the military. But he denied feeling any pressure to take soldiers who should not have deployed.

The head of the brigade's intelligence branch, however, testified that there was pressure to take every soldier.

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222-c-14-(David Dishneau (DISH'-noh), AP correspondent)-"before his deployment"-AP correspondent David Dishneau reports defense attorneys for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning presented evidence of Manning's instability that should have raised concerns among commanders. (12 Aug 2013)

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221-c-19-(David Dishneau (DISH'-noh), AP correspondent)-"this secret information"-AP correspondent David Dishneau reports attorneys for Army Pfc. Bradley Manning have opened their case in the sentencing phase of his trial by attacking commanders' decision to send Manning to Iraq and allow him to keep his top-secret security clearance despite his emotional outbursts and concerns about his mental health. (12 Aug 2013)

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