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Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 2 (Live Updates)

9:00 PM EST Quick note to wrap up this live updates post for the day – the judge decided the court will be in recess after Wednesday. The trial will resume on Monday. Witnesses who have been called to testify has gone more quickly than expected, but the next set of witnesses did not make travel arrangements to be at the trial until next week. So, rather than have those witnesses come sooner to Fort Meade, the judge is ensuring the trial will be as long as planned.

Right now, the trial will end on or about August 23.

4:10 PM EST Troy Moul, Manning’s information training instructor, was asked by the defense during cross-examination if WikiLeaks had been mentioned during the information training Manning received. Moul had “never heard of the term WikiLeaks” until he was “informed the accused had been arrested.” WikiLeaks was not mentioned ever by name or as a place a US enemy might go to get information.

4:00 PM EST Focusing on how the government continues to promote this idea that Manning’s disclosures helped America’s enemies: an instructor who taught an information training class Manning had to go through to get his security clearance, Troy Moul, testified. A lesson highlighted “Islamic Extremism.” It noted that martyrdom means “life on earth is for suffering.” Extremists do not want any secular government. Another slide read Al Qaeda is a “loose structure” with “little secrecy about leadership.” It is a “network with many other like-minded groups.” An image of Bin Laden appeared.

Another side was on “Extremist Recruiting” and how Islamic extremists were ” exploiting the Iraqi conflict to recruit new anti US Jihadists.” The prosecutor had Moul read one slide that talked about how a number of terrorist websites had popped up over the last ten years and many sites have message boards to help their network.

2:25 PM EST This morning multiple reporters in the press pool challenged the fact that the military is not making public a schedule indicating what witnesses will be testifying each day. Part of the issue is some reporters don’t want to be here every day until August 23, when the trial is expected to end. They want to know something significant will happen.

Objections seem to have worked. This afternoon, the military legal matter expert indicated we would now be given the list of witnesses to testify over the next three days. This could help media plan ahead (to not be here covering the Bradley Manning trial if they did not want to be here).

Brian Madrid, Staff Sgt. Robert Thomas, Sgt. Alejandro Marin, Sgt. 1st. Class Jose Anica, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Balonek, Ms. Jihrleah Showman and Chief Warrant Officer 3 Hondo Hack are all going to be testifying.

Presume these are all individuals from Manning’s battalion, division or unit. Balonek invoked his Article 31 privilege to not testify during the Article 32 hearing in December 2011. Showman was Manning’s supervisor in the intelligence facility at FOB Hammer in Baghdad, Iraq.

It is important for us to have transparency and know what witnesses are going to testify but reporters should not want it so they can justify doing less coverage of the trial.

1:45 PM EST Coming back from a 2-hour lunch break. Special Agent David Shaver will return to the stand to give more testimony. 

1:30 PM EST During the defense’s cross-examination of Adrian Lamo, the prosecution objected to Coombs asking about what Manning had told Lamo in the chat logs. The prosecutors said it was hearsay. Coombs cited military rules to prove he was allowed to ask about this. The judge reluctantly allowed Coombs to proceed, but, when he got to the question where he asked what Manning had said about “helping WikiLeaks,” the judge objected and would not let Lamo answer.

Maj. Ashden Fein, seeing how the judge didn’t stop Coombs from asking questions, decided to ask Lamo if he had said he talked with Julian Assange during the chats. Lamo said yes.

1:00 PM EST Adrian Lamo, hacker and government informant who turned Bradley Manning into the federal authorities, testified. The government mostly had him provide evidence on when he turned over his Lenovo ThinkPad and HP mini laptop to an agent who made an image of it for examination and inspection of evidence against Manning. The government also asked about the chat logs and when he first began chatting with Manning. Lamo said “on or about May 20, 2010.”

The defense cross-examined Lamo too. Coombs appeared particularly interested in asking Lamo about what Manning had told him during the chats so he could continue to rebut the charge that Manning’s disclosures “aided the enemy.”

He asked if Manning had said he: had been questioning his gender for years but started to come to terms with it during the deployment; confessed he was emotionally fractured; needed moral and emotional support; was trying to end up not killing himself; thought release of diplomatic cables would show there was a diplomatic scandal at every US embassy; thought there were no longer good guys and bad guys but a “plethora of states in acting” in their “self-interest”; thought we were all “human and we’re all killing ourselves and no one seemed to care”; thought apathy was “far worse than active participation” and he thought the reaction to the apache video gave him immense hope.

At one point, Coombs said Manning told him he was trying to investigate to find out the truth. And Lamo responded that this was “something I could appreciate, yes.”

12:30 PM EST Take note of the fact that, as prosecutors are making statements in military court about how important it is to the US to protect “national defense information” from disclosure, the US government is posting Israel’s “national defense information” in announcing jobs for contractors. Israel disapproves and the US government’s response appears to be, “The United States routinely published the details of its construction plans on a federal business opportunities website so that contractors could estimate the costs of jobs.” They are not so sensitive to countries’ concerns about the release of “national defense information” when it is another country’s “national defense information” (or even a close ally’s).

11:55 AM EST Hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo was called by the prosecution to testify and permanently excused. It would seem he will not be testifying further in the trial. I’ll share some exchanges from the testimony, but I will pre-empt that by suggesting people read the report I posted on his Article 32 testimony—here and here—and then also listen to the interview Glenn Greenwald did with him back in 2010 after chat logs were published by Wired—here.

11:50 AM EST This morning, both Special Agent David Shaver and Special Agent Mark Johnson of the Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit testified. Though they are digital forensics experts who examined evidence in the case, they did not go into too much detail. The prosecution had them take the stand to establish they were experts. The defense cut off both cross-examinations to say they would stipulate to the fact they were experts. This was a relief as the cross-examination could have been an even greater litany of mundane background information and definitions of computer terms to prove they were knowledgeable individuals.

Original Post

Court attendees were asked to turn their “Truth” t-shirts inside out today.

The second day of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s trial is about to get underway. Three witnesses testifying will be Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit agents involved in forensic examinations of evidence, David Shaver and Mark Johnson, and hacker and government informant who turned Manning into federal authorities, Adrian Lamo.

All three of those witnesses testified during the Article 32 hearing, the hearing the military held in December 2011 to decide whether to refer the twenty-two charges he faced to a court martial.

The military legal matter expert took multiple questions this morning from reporters. One of the questions related to something that happened yesterday, where Manning supporters were told to turn their black “Truth” T-shirts inside out.

What the legal matter expert said is that the base had brought in military police from other bases to help with security. One of the officers had apparently taken initiative and thought, since there are strong feelings on both sides, it would be a good idea to have supporters turn the shirts inside-out. This would decrease the possibility that a supporter and opponent of Bradley Manning sat next to each other and got into arguments.

He went on to add that the military police “can’t read someone’s mind.” They do a “threat assessment.” They knew on Saturday there would be 1600 people who would come. There were demonstrations. They read the comments on the Internet (on stories covering Bradley Manning) and see comments and determine whether they need to follow through on any of them for security.

What happened yesterday “wasn’t a very targeted decision.” He said it would not happen again.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."

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