Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 13 (Live Updates)
2:45 PM EST The military court is in a closed session until 4:30 PM EST. During the period, the prosecutors are going to try to get Daniel Lewis of the DIA qualified as an “expert” on counterintelligence and the valuation of information. Also, they will elicit testimony from him on the value of information and the testimony will go to the charges against him that he stole, purloined or converted information. The charges specify the information was “a thing of value” over $1000.
Prosecutors have to prove this and, after the closed session, an unclassified summary will be put on the record in open court.
2:35 PM EST The cross-examination of Daniel Lewis by the defense was focused on one key point: Lewis does not consider himself an expert in valuing information. He does not know what the value of US government information would be. And, essentially, from his testimony, it was possible to infer that the only people who know the value of US government information are foreign adversaries – like foreign intelligence services or terrorist groups.
He testified it is the “foreign intelligence service that values the infromaton. They are the ones that decide its value to them.” And Maj. Thomas Hurley of the defense had him confirm that he meant the “bad guys.” They determine value.
2:30 PM EST The defense objected to the prosecution having details about espionage cases Lewis had investigated put on the record. The judge allowed it because the prosecution only had two they asked him about and it went toward his experience in valuing information.
2:20 PM EST Prosecutors offered Daniel Lewis, senior officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency, as an “expert in counterintelligence and specifically in valuing government information by foreign intelligence services.” He was asked about two cases of espionage, which he investigated. One specific case was George Trofimoff, a US military intelligence officer who spied on behalf of the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.
He provided 50,000 pages of secret-classified and below documents to the government and was paid $250,000. [He was convicted in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison.]
1:20PM EST Part of the government’s allegations of “aiding the enemy” against Bradley Manning are that he gave them a “propaganda victory”.
1:00 PM EST Entirely redacted testimony was put on the record from Witness #3 this morning. All of this witness’s testimony is classified.
12:55 PM EST Earlier this morning: Brian Butler of Internet Archive (Archive.org) was subpoenaed by the prosecution to appear in court this morning but could not appear, he said, until July 8. The prosecutors are trying to get the crowd-sourced 2009 “Most Wanted” list posted on WikiLeaks admitted as evidence and thought they could have him testify so it could be authenticated and approved by the judge.
David Coombs, Manning’s attorney, said he might be able to get the information he needed during lunch to go ahead and withdraw the defense’s authentication objection. He said he found out from talking to Butler that Internet archive had actually been contracted to capture the WikiLeaks website by Stanford University because Stanford viewed it as a “freedom of information” type website of historic importance.
The trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning continued today with military prosecutors coming ever closer to wrapping their case. The proceedings began with stipulations of fact and testimony being entered into the record that would advance the argument that Manning’s disclosures “aided the enemy” and he “wantonly” caused “to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the United States government, having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy.”
Stipulation of testimony is testimony that both the prosecution and defense agree upon. It is what the witness would have said in open court had he been present to testify. Stipulations of fact are “matters of evidence” that have more weight than stipulated testimony.
Youssef Aboul-Enein, a US Navy officer in the Medical Service Corps and instructor on militant Islamist ideology for the Joint Intelligence Task for Combating Terrorism (JITCT), had testimony read into the record. He is also the author of Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat, published by Naval Institute Press.
In the testimony, he stated jihad is a “religious war against infidels” and how they seek Sharia Law. He described how Al Qaeda “seeks to attack countries constituting the west.” It is composed of “senior leadership and spokesmen as well as senior leadership and spokespersons” of franchises.
The attacks were listed: attack on World Trade Center in 1993, the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the bombing of USS cole in 2000, the attacks on September 11, 2001 and international bombings throughout 2000s. They also attacked “US forces and coalition partners in Iraq and Afghanistan” with direct fire engagements and improvised explosive device attacks.
Testimony detailed how Osama bin Ladne was indicted in federal court in 1998 for conspiracy to murder, maim and bomb innocent civilians. The US developed methods to respond to “stealthy tactics” but the terrorists’ tactics evolved. This is a cycle that has continued to occur. Al Qaeda now encourages a “leaderless environment” that “makes Al Qaeda harder to attack. They encourage “self-radicalization.”
AQAP has focused on using media to “achieve its goals, gain notoriety and inspire” others to action. The media creation has been for “propaganda and recruiting and traveling.”
The testimony included details on how terrorist organizations had used the internet since the 1990s. It has grown to become a “preferred method of communication because Al Qaeda” does not have a centralized structure. It also can be used to do “research for potential targets, recruits and potential facilitators.”
Al Qaeda’s media arm, Asahab, put more emphasis on using the Internet. They encouraged followers to use all “publicly available websites” including “websites that contain US government information” and may be useful. They encouraged this information to be “used for propaganda to undermine the United states and its allies, especially diplomatic information.
The stipulated fact were on Adam Gadahn, the spokesperson for Al Qaeda and an American, and on Osama bin Laden.
For Gadahn, a two-part video was referenced. Part of this video was shown during the Article 32 hearing in December 2011, before the charges Manning faced had been referred to a court martial.
The video features material released by WikiLeaks. It shows a part of the “Collateral Murder” video and State Department information.
The propaganda video with Gadahn urged followers to use the internet to do “damage to the enemy.” It noted that State Department cables made “critical foreign dependencies” clear and those watching should not undertake any actions before taking advantage of the wide range of information on the Internet.
Part two said Arab countries were “collaborators” with “ruler America” and “giving Obama open door to wage war on the mujahideen.” A narrator said documents revealed “most riches of Islamic world spent on corruption and waging war on Islamic world why millions of muslims live in abject poverty.”
In Winter 2010, there was an issue of AQAP’s magazine, Inspire, that listed one of the activities that could be done to help the “mujahideen” was to “archive large amounts of information” and “anything useful from WikiLeaks” would be “useful for archiving.”
What was in the stipulation of fact on bin Laden was mostly redacted. The information that was put on the record had already come out in a previous session and can be read about in detail here.