Colonel Lind, the judge, asked a prosecutor a hypothetical question: If Private Manning had given the documents to The New York Times rather than to WikiLeaks, would he face the same charges?
“Yes, ma’am,” said the prosecutor, Capt. Angel Overgaard.
The New York Times and other mainstream publications published hundreds of the documents Private Manning is accused of leaking. The Justice Department is carrying out an investigation of WikiLeaks to determine whether Mr. Assange or his associates can be charged with a crime. Media advocates say such a prosecution would be a dangerous precedent for news organizations like The Times that frequently obtain and publish information the government considers classified.