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Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 11 (Live Updates)

Bradley Manning defense team at the trial. By Clark Stoeckley.

6:55PM EST  Secrecy update: the Press was handed a copy of the stipulated expected testimony that wasn’t read in court. But we can’t take a copy. It is supposedly going up online in 24 hours.

6:50PM EST  Bradley Manning is charged with the release of 96 confidential diplomatic cables and 21 secret diplomatic cables.

6:08PM EST  It may now be possible to begin to see what cables were released that most infuriated State Department diplomats when WikiLeaks published them.

6:04PM EST  Over 100 cable record numbers read into record in military court. These are cables Bradley Manning is charged with releasing.

5:58PM EST  These are two uncharged cables Amb. Stephen Seche reviewed: one from State  and one from Doha .

5:53PM EST  Testimonies read into the record from State Dept officials: PDAS John Feeley, DAS James Moore, Amb. David Pearce, PDAS H. Dean Pittman, Amb. Stephen Seche, Amb. Don Yamamoto, Amb Marie Yavanovitch, Amb. Joseph Yun and  Nicholas Murphy.

5:50PM EST  Stipulated testimonies being entered into record contain lists of US embassy cables Bradley Manning is charged with releasing.

3:19 PM EST Bradley Manning needed more time to look over stipulated testimonies.

3:17 PM EST We are on an hour recess after Special Agent Mark Mander returned to the stand to talk about accessing WikiLeaks tweets. The judge wanted him to answer more questions. This all went to still trying to get them authenticated.

1:28 PM EST Bradley Manning spent the last two hours making sure he approved of 11 stipulated testimonies. Court will be back from recess in a few minutes and those testimonies will be read into the record.

1:20 PM EST Special Agent Mark Mander testified on the process which he pulled tweets from WikiLeaks, which prosecutors want to use as evidence. The defense is trying to make it near impossible for prosecutors to authenticate them so they, perhaps, are not used against Manning. Here’s more on the backstory related to this ongoing issue that has come up in open court multiple times in the trial.

Original Post

The trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning continued today with a ruling from the judge on whether certain pieces of information were admissible as fact in the trial. There were also eleven stipulated testimonies scheduled to be read into the record.

Judge Army Col. Denise Lind took judicial notice, which means she accepted as adjudicative fact that certain pieces of evidence were what the defense and prosecutors claimed they happened to be and that the pieces of evidence were relevant to charges Manning faces.

Military prosecutors ultimately had no objection to admitting a verbatim transcript of the “Collateral Murder” video. There was no objection to taking notice that WikiLeaks published 9/11 pager messages. There was also no objection to the Freedom of Information Act request that Reuters submitted for a copy of the video and the US Central Command (CENTCOM) response.

That left a memo from Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan of US CENTCOM, which the defense suggests could be used to rebut stipulated testimony of CW5 Jon LaRue, an Apache pilot who reviewed the “Collateral Murder” video.

The judge determined he had been acting in an “official capacity” when he made statements on the video and that it did go to the theory the defense has that what he said was “inconsistent with CW5 LaRue.”

The defense specifically wanted to challenge this portion of the testimony, which asserts that tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) were revealed:

…The Apache video shows the high-action display. The high action display shows the use of a laser for ranging, altitude and air speed. The laser also shows angles of engagement. The ranges and attack approaches are TTPs. Based on my experience and training, TIPs are sensitive Army aviation information. Adversarial forces who know TIPs could be able to anticipate United States operations and the adversarial forces will be able to plan more effective attacks as a result. The high action display also shows the heading tape, which reveals the sensor and the sensor’s acquisition of tm?gets and other information. This display of the sensor in action could be used to determine the limitations of the sensor’s capabilities. Based on my experience and training, the sensor’s capabilities are sensitive Army aviation infotmation. The sensor also reveals the position of the helicopter during an operation, which could be used to detetmine more aspects of TTPs. TTPs are a puzzle, and revealing any piece could make solving the puzzle easier for an adversary…

Judge Army Col. Denise Lind read a part of the memo that was relevant in court yesterday:

Under this category, operational information may be unclassified if the information describes a past event in general terms, provides no indicators of potential future operations, does not provide specific locations, unit data, TTPs, or does not embarrass coalition members.

The government challenged the defense’s effort to have this memo admitted as evidence arguing it was opinion and nothing definitive on the video. But, Lind noted that LaRue had testified that “TTPs are a puzzle and revealing any piece can make the puzzle easier for an adversary.” She seemed to think Donegan’s testimony would be relevant, at least if he was brought in as a witness, so the defense could attempt to rebut LaRue’s testimony.

For the government, the judge accepted that the WikiLeaks releases of the “Collateral Murder” video, Iraq and Afghanistan military incident reports, detainee assessment briefs from JTF-GTMO, and the Army Counterintelligence Center report on the “threat” posed by WikiLeaks was all relevant. It could “show the path of information from the accused to WikiLeaks with the opportunity to access it by the enemy.”

She took judicial notice of the monthly and yearly salaries of officers that might have handled some of the databases because it was relevant to the fact at issue “to prove the value of information,” which prosecutors allege was purloined, stolen or knowingly converted for an unauthorized purpose.

An Army regulation was accepted as fact because it goes toward whether Manning used an information system “for manner other than its intended use.”

The internet domain used in Iceland (.is) and Icelandic officials such as parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir were admitted as evidence because Manning did internet searches for these officials. But she did not admit a list of “chat terms” the prosecutors wanted the judge to reference because it was not properly authenticated.

Thus far, twenty-six witnesses have testified. There have been thirty-nine stipulated testimonies entered into the record in the trial. What that means is the defense and prosecution agree this is what the witness would have said if he testified in court. Manning has to approve of all stipulations and read them before they can be read in open court.

For more thorough and detailed coverage and reporting from the Manning trial, visit Firedoglake’s official page here. And for transcripts from the proceedings, visit the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s page with transcripts here.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

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