State Dept. was ‘horrified’ by WikiLeaks releases

FORT MEADE, Maryland (AP) — Prosecutors in the case of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning are focusing on the damage done by his release through WikiLeaks of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables.

The first witness Thursday at Manning’s sentencing hearing was former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Dibble. She says agency officials reacted with “horror and disbelief” when WikiLeaks began publishing the leaked cables in the fall of 2010.

The former Army intelligence analyst faces up to 136 years in prison for sending the cables and more than 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports to the anti-secrecy website.

The government opened its sentencing case Wednesday with testimony that WikiLeaks’ publication of the leaked battlefield reports fractured U.S. military relationships with foreign governments and silenced some friendly Afghan villagers.

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