Posted at 02:34 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Bradley Manning defers plea as supporters warn ‘time is running out’

As U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning chose not to enter a plea in the WikiLeaks case Thursday, social media lit up in support of the soldier. “Time is running out,” one supporter wrote.

Bradley Manning (Patrick Semansky - AP)
Manning, 24, faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, for the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Manning’s attorneys say their client was troubled and shouldn’t have had access to the classified material. He allegedly gave more than 700,000 documents and video clips to WikiLeaks.

Last month, Josh Gerstein of Politico reported that the Army was tracking social media during Manning’s hearing. A document obtained by Gerstein showed that the Army was using a service called VOCUS to “track traditional and social media coverage of Manning’s hearing.” But that knowledge did little to dissuade vocal support on Twitter:

By  |  02:34 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Tags:  National, Bradley Manning, Wikileaks

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