Coombs countered later that such a "confession" did exist--chats Manning had with hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo, chats between a person the government believes to be WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, emails between Manning and others where he talked about charged releases. And in those communications it is clear that he was releasing the information to spark discussion or reform, not to get the information to a terrorist group.
The judge again asked the government if it made any difference if the organization Manning had provided information to had been the Washington Post, The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. She said one moment. Then, after consulting the lead prosecutor, Maj. Ashden Fein, Overgaard said, "No, it would not potentially make a difference."
In January, the judge asked during a pretrial hearing, "If we substituted New York Times for WikiLeaks, would you still charge Bradley Manning in the way that you have?" Without hesitation, the government answered yes
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