Prosecutors say the documents that were passed along to the WikiLeaks website by former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning were of interest to the enemy -- and even to Osama bin Laden.
In opening statements at Manning's court-martial today, they began their task of convicting him on charges including aiding the enemy.
Manning has said he didn't think the leak of the documents would harm the United States -- but prosecutors say they'll prove that he knew the dangers involved.
A defense lawyer said Manning meant well -- and that he believed the release of the thousands of classified documents would reveal a disregard for human life on the part of the U.S. military. He says Manning leaked information that he believed could make the world a better place.
As the court martial got under way, about 20 Manning supporters demonstrated in the rain outside the visitor gate at Fort Meade. They carried signs reading "free Bradley Manning" and "protect the truth."