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Bradley Manning’s Trial: Motion for Finding of ‘Not Guilty’ on ‘Aiding Enemy’ Charge Denied (Updates)

Manning defense team and Judge Lind. Image by C. Stoeckley.

7:08 PM EST Court is in recess. Judge Lind noted: “PFC Manning needs to eat.” The trial resumes tomorrow morning with more rebuttal witnesses from the government.

6:55 PM EST The government tried to have the email on Manning contacting the New York Times in April 2010, after the release of the “Collateral Murder” video, admitted into evidence.

The defense objected: “The email to the NYT does not have any bearing on whether or not WikiLeaks is a journalistic organization.” Judge Lind asked the government to see the email in her ‘interlocutory’ capacity and looked it over.

Major Fein of the prosecution said that the email to the NYT was to “rebut the inference that Manning thought WikiLeaks was a legitimate organization.” He said that it would have shown that “Manning tried to go to, and did go to, the NYT.” (Was Fein implying that Manning could go to the NYT over Wikileaks?)

Judge Lind asked why this email from Manning to NYT was in the government’s rebuttal case. Fein responded that the “defense offered the idea that Manning would know what a legitimate press organization was through Prof. Benkler;” that he knew what a legitimate press organization was.

The judge said that she did not “see the connection. I’m going to sustain objection on this one.” So the government was not allowed to reference Manning’s email to NYT.

6:50 PM EST The government had Special Agent Shaver search for tweets on Manning’s personal computer, which he had not done until just days(!) ago.

6:29 PM EST We’re still going through rebuttal witnesses. My interview today on FSRN stations has just been posted here.

4:53 PM EST The judge should have acquitted Bradley Manning of the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge because the charge lacks the ‘intent’ requirement.

4:43 PM EST The government is having Special Agent David Shaver give the judge a lesson on how Wget and computers work as part of their rebuttal case.

3:35 PM EST More on the significance of the judge’s decision today to not acquit Manning of the ‘aiding the enemy’ charge can be found here.

3:30 PM EST CW2 Ehresman addressed how programs were run from CDs. Jason Milliman, who served as a field software engineer at FOB Hammer in Baghdad, returned to the stand as part of prosecutor’s rebuttal case. He was asked questions about .EXE files and how a program, Wget, which Manning used to download diplomatic cables faster, could have been used by Manning.

2:05 PM EST When court resumes, CW2 Joshua Ehresman will return to the stand and the government will begin its rebuttal case.

12:38 PM EST David Coombs, Manning’s defense attorney, argues that the government has not proven that he stole from the USFI Global Address List (GAL). If anything, he took addresses from the “division” GAL. There is no evidence to suggest that the addresses found on his personal computer were part of the USFI GAL.

Wrongfulness has not been proven “from the standpoint of taking it” and “all evidence is to the contrary.” The value of the items taken has not been proven either. Therefore, Manning should be found not guilty of stealing, purloing or converting the GAL.

12:33 PM EST The government argues that Manning deprived the government of the use of the classified information. They also posit that the information could not exist but for the database.

12:31 PM EST The defense reiterates that the government did not charge Manning with “theft of information”, they charged him with theft of databases.

12:30 PM EST David Coombs, Manning’s defense attorney stated, “Words matter and they matter the most when they are on a charge sheet.”

12:24 PM EST The defense argued as to why Manning should be found “not guilty” of charges alleging that he stole, purloined or converted information. Their main argument is that the government charged Manning incorrectly. He is charged with stealing “databases” when he didn’t steal any databases. The defense concedes that the government could have charged Manning with stealing copies of records in databases, but they did not.

11:15 AM EST Further clarification: Military rules for considering the defense motions considered require the judge to view any evidence in a “light most favorable to the prosecution”. This is not the standard the judge will follow when deciding whether Manning is guilty or not of the charges in her ultimate ruling.

The standard, as with most if not all cases, will be that the government has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Manning committed the greater offenses.

10:27 AM EST In her ultimate ruling thus far on whether Manning should be convicted, Judge Lind will consider the weight of all of the facts and if they are enough to convict Manning.

10:26 AM EST  Manning would have had to have been told nothing about al Qaeda or protecting classified information from enemies to be found “not guilty” today.

10:24 AM EST The judge has denied the defense motions for a finding of “not guilty” on the “aiding the enemy” charge and the charges alleging Manning exceeded authorized access on his computer. What is important to note about this ruling is that she was to consider all evidence presented to her in a “light most favorable to the prosecution.”

“Only in the absence of some evidence” that by reasonable inference could “reasonably tend to establish an offense charged” was she to rule that Manning was not guilty.

image by Clark Stoeckley. Used with permission.

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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."