Defense in WikiLeaks case getting its chance

By DAVID DISHNEAU and PAULINE JELINEK | December 21, 2011 | 2:32 AM EST

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — A year and a half after he allegedly orchestrated the biggest national security leak in U.S. history, Pfc. Bradley Manning's lawyers are finally presenting evidence in his defense.

Defense lawyers have revealed little about their strategy since the former Army intelligence analyst was arrested. They have gotten government witnesses to say Manning was a troubled young man who shouldn't have had access to classified material. They portrayed military computer security as lax at Manning's Baghdad workplace and suggested other soldiers could have used his computers.

The government wants Manning court-martialed for aiding the enemy and 21 other charges. Closing arguments could come as early as Wednesday. A military officer then will weigh whether to recommend a court-martial, which could result in life in prison. That decision could take several weeks.