After Manning's guilty pleas, Army judge Col. Denise Lind asked the defendant questions to establish that he understood what he was pleading guilty to.
In addition, she reminded him that his lawyer had filed a motion to have the case dismissed on the grounds that he was denied his right to a speedy trial -- a motion that Lind denied Tuesday. By entering guilty pleas, Manning loses his right to have an appellate court consider that ruling, if he chooses to appeal.
A military lawyer who follows the case told CNN the tactic is known as a "naked plea," or a guilty plea in the absence of a plea deal. The lawyer said that by using that strategy, the defense apparently hopes the government will feel victorious about the guilty pleas Manning has entered and won't go through the effort of a trial.
But prosecutors reiterated that they will pursue the rest of the case against Manning.
The judge accepted the guilty pleas, but noted Manning could withdraw them at any time prior to sentencing. He could receive up to 20 years on those charges.
Manning said deciding to make the material public was "beyond my pay grade."
Manning has asked for Lind, instead of the military equivalent of a jury, to decide his guilt or innocence on the 12 charges to which he pleaded not guilty. The most serious remaining charge, aiding the enemy, carries the potential for a life sentence.
The U.S. military initially detained Manning in May 2010, shortly after WikiLeaks published the State Department cables. Manning was turned in by Adrian Lamo, a former hacker, whom Manning allegedly told about leaking the classified records.
In December 2011, Manning's Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing to determine whether enough evidence existed to merit a court-martial, began. He was formally charged in February 2012.
After a military judge denied Manning's lawyers' motions to dismiss charges in April 2012, the process proceeded, with Manning's court-martial scheduled to begin on June 3.