Accused soldier seen as hero or traitor

By DAVID DISHNEAU | December 13, 2011 | 3:45 PM EST

FILE - This undated file photo obtained by The Associated Press shows Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private suspected of being the source of some of the unauthorized classified information disclosed on the WikiLeaks website. Manning's admission that he gave classified information to WikiLeaks came with a rationale that has made him a hero to peace and anti-secrecy activists worldwide: “I want people to see the truth.” But Manning also is seen by many as a traitor. Both portraits will be presented during a military hearing Friday to determine whether Manning will be court-martialed on charges that could bring life imprisonment. (AP Photo, File)

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — The man who leaked the Pentagon Papers says Bradley Manning is a hero if he leaked classified material to WikiLeaks. But one congressman has called for Manning's execution for alleged treason.

Contrasting images of the 23-year-old Army private will be showcased starting Friday at a hearing to determine if the military will court-martial him.

The case will be heard at Fort Meade, a military post between Baltimore and Washington.

Convictions could bring life imprisonment.

In online chats the soldier purportedly initiated last year with a man who turned him into the U.S. government, the man the military has identified as Manning wondered whether people will see him as him as an activist or a leaker.