Pfc. Bradley Manning told a military judge during a sentencing hearing Wednesday that he is sorry he hurt the United States, and vowed to be a better person.
Manning, who leaked hundreds of thousands of sensitive military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, asked for leniency.
“I’m sorry that I hurt people. I’m sorry that I hurt the United States,” said Manning. “I’m apologizing for the unintended consequences of my actions."
"I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people.”
The former Army intelligence analyst, who served at a forward operating base in Iraq, had not previously expressed any real regret for his actions.
During his trial, he had tried to justify the leak as necessary to spark a debate about the nation’s preoccupation with “killing and capturing people.”