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Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 6 (Live Updates)

Special Agent Mark Johnson testifies. Pic by Clark Stoeckley.

6:47 PM EST Court is in recess until Monday. I’ll have more coverage of today’s proceedings tomorrow morning, especially what happened with the defense’s objection to the sample Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) the prosecutors had admitted as evidence and had Cpt. Thomas Cherepko, a Brigade Automations Officer in Manning’s unit, testify about.

4:46PM EST  Manning’s unit did not secure an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) copy when the access privileges were limited, despite the fact that it could have been needed for court martial.

4:45PM EST  Coombs objected to introduction of sample AUP because it is different from what Manning signed; and three counts against him hinge upon the terms in AUP.

4:38PM EST  Prosecutors are trying to use an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that Manning did not sign to elicit testimony about terms he had to follow.

4:01PM EST  The judge allowed testimony on the rules and regulations from the Acceptable Use Policy for the information system Manning used, but which he’s not charged with violating.

3:06PM EST  Jon LaRue: “Range & attack approaches,” “sensitive aviation info,”  and “sensor capabilities” were the tactics, techniques & procedures (TTP) revealed in the “Collateral Murder” video. LaRue on “Collateral Murder” release: “Adversarial forces who know TTPs could be able to anticipate Army aviation operations”.  LaRue on “Collateral Murder” video: Sensor capabilities are a part of the puzzle. “Solving the puzzle could make it easer for any adversary”. LaRue on “Collateral Murder” video: The actual information isn’t classified. But “coupling video footage along with the data makes the information sensitive “.

3:00PM EST  CW5 Jon LaRue, Apache helicopter pilot: “Collateral Murder” video revealed tactics, techniques & procedures (TTP).

12:37PM EST  Defense clarified in open court that they were challenging the times and dates of the transmissions, not that they necessarily occurred.

12:35PM EST  The judge met with counsel to ask if the defense was challenging evidence of transmissions of information in addition to the Granai air strike video.

11:55 AM EST The government actually just tried to prevent a forensic report put together by Mark Johnson, a Computer Crimes Investigative Unit contractor tasked with investigation, from being admitted as evidence because it did not want the defense to be able to elicit evidence that would continue to undermine its case around the release of the Granai air strike video.

Defense wanted to examine what Johnson had found in relation to submissions to WikiLeaks. Prosecutors called the report “out of court” statements. When the defense tried to have it admitted under the business records exception, the prosecution still objected. Maj. Ashden Fein argued that it was “simply for the court martial, not necessarily” produced during “regularly conducted business.”  It was also “cumulative.”

Judge overruled “cumulative” objection. Fein added, “Although is forensic lab report, it was made solely for purposes of this litigation.”

The judge overruled objection to having it admitted under the business records exception. It was “made as part of regular conduct course of this business activity,” the judge said.

The prosecutors again objected to going over the report and referencing it as “cumulative.” The judge reacted, “Maj. Fein, the government’s been doing that throughout the trial.”

Original Post

The first witness to take the stand this morning in the trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning was Mark Johnson, a computer forensic examiner who works as a contractor for ManTech International.

The prosecution had Johnson testify on chat logs between Manning and a “pressassociation” Jabber account that prosecutors believe was used by WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange.

Johnson said in these chats there were discussions of government information. “Specifically, they were mentioning Iceland, Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo.” They discussed WikiLeaks too.

Evidence of logs showing “several IP addresses” and URLs connecting to ports that are used by Secure Shell, “a protocol used for creating encrypted communications between one or more computers,” were admitted. Johnson said connections the Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU) examined “through Verizon communications” traced back to Bradley Manning’s aunt’s computer as well as PRQ, an Internet service provider in Sweden that Johnson said was “known to be associated with WikiLeaks.”

He found emails in Manning’s gmail account that were stored locally on his Macbook computer that indicated potential discussion of classified information. Johnson was able to decrypt some of them because he was able to crack a secret key because it was the same as the login password on his  Macbook.

Johnson was able to discover “discussions of classified information. “Specifically,” he testified that the discussions related to “Bradley Manning’s role in release of the ‘Collateral Murder’ video.”

There was an email between Manning and Eric Schmiedl, someone from the hacker scene, where information was discussed. During defense cross-examination, Cpt. Joshua Tooman had Johnson state that these emails came from May 19 and May 20. He told Schmiedl, “I approved the edits without reviewing the video”—a reference to the “Collateral Murder” video. They also discussed State Department diplomatic cables.

The prosecution had evidence admitted that showed “fragments of what appear to be references to WikiLeaks showing uploads of file fragments to the WikiLeaks page.” One file was Farah.rar, a possible compressed filed containing documents from the investigation into the Granai air strike that resulted in many civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Image by Clark Stoeckley used with permission

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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."