Manning sentencing witness: Leaked cables chilled U.S. human rights efforts

FORT MEADE — A State Department official says the 250,000 diplomatic cables that Pfc. Bradley Manning disclosed through WikiLeaks had a chilling effect on the department’s ability to advance human rights.

Acting Assistant Secretary Michael Kozak testified Friday at the soldier’s sentencing hearing at Fort Meade, near Baltimore. Manning faces up to 136 years in prison for leaking classified information to the anti-secrecy group while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.

Kozak says the cables identified people who had worked with the United States, putting them at risk of death, violence or incarceration. He says the department helped some of those people relocate.

But he says the greatest damage is that some foreign human-rights workers are now reluctant to talk to the department for fear their conversations will be revealed.

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