Bradley Manning Hearing: Argument Over Witness List for Speedy Trial Motion (Day 2)
UPDATE – 10:00 PM EST Witnesses likely to be called —
- Monica Carlile – She was a paralegal at the Office of the Staff Justice Advocate in the Military District of Washington and signed an “excludable delay” for Col. Carl Coffman, the Special Court Martial Convening Authority. She’s someone the defense would like to call.
- Dr. Michael Sweda – He served on the board that determined whether Manning was mentally fit for a court martial. He’s someone the defense would like to call.
- Mr. Bert Haggett – The government would like to call him as an expert on classification review and how long it takes to clear documents requested by defense for discovery evidence. He apparently worked on a classification review of the unclassified portion of the Army CID investigation into Manning.
- Col. Carl Coffman – The defense and government agree he should be called. He has signed all the delays in the court martial process and his testimony is key to any outcome in the speedy trial motion hearing.
UPDATE – 9:55 PM EST When asked by the judge about the law enforcement investigation into the disclosures by agencies like the FBI, Major Ashden Fein said, “Frankly, the investigation is not necessarily concluded.” But the court martial has to move forward.
UPDATE – 7:05 PM EST Public statements by former Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and President Barack Obama were admitted into the court record as “substantive evidence” for mitigation, not the merits portion of the trial. The judge said the statements were “circumstantial evidence of minimized damage” as a result of WikiLeaks disclosures.
Other statements by Gates, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were not admitted but there were other ways she said the statements could be introduced and used during sentencing.
UPDATE – 6:55 PM EST The judge took issue with the defense for submitting a witness list with summaries that did not, in her opinion, clearly indicate what they would testify about on the stand. She also wondered why the defense had not called two of the witnesses—a paralegal and a doctor. This was not because of the government doing something malicious toward the defense. It just appears the defense had not made any attempt to contact the two witnesses before argument today in court.
UPDATE – 6:53 PM EST A part of the agreement is, instead of calling all the witnesses at once, the government will have one day for its witnesses (October 30) and the defense will have a day or two for its witnesses during the speedy trial motion hearing.
UPDATE – 6:50 PM EST The defense and government argued over witnesses this afternoon and early evening. The judge did not like the “litany of witnesses” the defense wanted to call. To get around calling 57 or so witnesses—all OCAs, the government and defense arrived at an agreement. The government would file an affidavit answering some of the questions the defense wants the OCAs to answer. This way there will not be 30-50 witnesses during the speedy trial motion hearing.
The court martial for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of releasing classified information to WikiLeaks, resumes today. On the second day of the motion hearing, the defense and government are arguing over witnesses for an upcoming hearing on the defense’s “lack of speedy trial” motion, which is scheduled for October 29 through November 2.
As highlighted earlier, these are the different witnesses the defense would like to call (they are all original classification authorities (OCAs) from “United States Central Command (CENTCOM); Joint Task Force – Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO); Department of State (DOS); Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI); “Other Government Agency for Specifications 3 and 15 of Charge II”; Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); and United States Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).” Or, witnesses from “Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Services (DSS); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX); DIA, DISA, CENTCOM, SOUTHCOM, CYBERCOM; DOJ; Other Government Agency; and each of the previously identified 63 Agencies.”
The procedure is likely to be similar to what happened when witnesses for the defense’s “unlawful pretrial punishment” motion were approved and denied. The defense and government likely agree on someone witnesses and so there will be no argument on those individuals. However, there are likely some contentious issues over a number of witnesses; for example, whether they are relevant. The government will dispute whether the defense should be able to call these people and the judge, just like she denied the defense’s request to have UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez testify, will likely deny some of them.
Court martial proceedings begin at 1 pm EST. For updates from proceedings yesterday, go here.
The media pool is not in the media center because press covering the Guantanamo trial proceedings are there. Therefore, there will be less updates here than during prior hearings. Updates will appear at the top. Follow @kgosztola for updates during any long breaks or court recesses.
I have been traveling to Fort Meade to cover these proceedings since December 2011, when Manning had his Article 32 hearing. You can view previous coverage of the court martial process and the Article 32 hearing here. I also co-authored a book with The Nation‘s Greg Mitchell on Manning that covers the court martial up through March of this year. The book is available here.