Harvard prof who praises WikiLeaks is star defense witness at Manning's court-martial

A Harvard law professor is taking center stage in the court-martial of an Army private who gave classified information to WikiLeaks.

Yochai Benkler is the star defense witness Wednesday in the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, near Baltimore.

Benkler has praised the anti-secrecy website as a new-media watchdog. He calls the prosecution of Manning part of a broader attack on WikiLeaks aimed at crippling its ability to function.

He says the attack is inconsistent with America's commitment to a free press and free speech.

Manning is charged with aiding the enemy for admittedly sending reams of classified information to WikiLeaks while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Manning says he meant to expose wrongdoing. Prosecutors say he knew the material would be seen by al-Qaida.