Sentencing Phase of Bradley Manning’s Trial, Day 3 (Live Updates)
5:25 PM EST Witness Susan Swart earlier stated that because so many people had access to SIPRnet, they decided to not issue everyone log-ins and passwords.
Peter Van Buren tweeted: “So basically they were too busy to properly secure a system they voluntarily set up in an inherently unsecure way.” @WeMeantWell
5:05 PM EST The Freedom of the Press Foundation has uploaded yesterday’s 8/1 transcripts for the afternoon session. You can browse that or any other day’s transcripts and court exhibits on FDL’s Manning Trial Documents page.
4:05 PM EST Most of the evidence is being presented in closed session. The press doesn’t get to hear the defense challenge the prosecution’s claims on certain issues.
4:00 PM EST My latest report on the Bradley Manning hearings: “State Department Witness at Bradley Manning’s Trial Compares Diplomats to Journalists.”
3:20 PM EST Michael Kozak, who helped lead the State Dept’s WikiLeaks Persons at Risk working group, has testified as a government witness.
Kozak: The gravest damage caused by WikiLeaks “created a chilling effect” for democracy and human rights activists.
He said that individuals only became “persons at risk” after WikiLeaks published the cables if they faced risk of death, violence or incarceration.
My skepticism towards State Department witnesses who testify at the sentencing hearings is directly influenced by how secretive they are.
3:08 PM EST The number of persons put at risk by Manning’s disclosure of diplomatic cables is classified. Doesn’t that benefit the government’s position in this case?
1:30 PM EST Upcoming testimony: Michael Kozak will be testifying about his work with the Persons at Risk working group that was established to “mitigate risks” to individuals from the release of the diplomatic cables.
On Monday, Ambassador Patrick F. Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management, will reference the WikiLeaks working group and what the State Department had done.
1:00 PM EST Defense: the speculative ‘could cause damage’ testimony during Bradley Manning’s sentencing is improper. Read more in my latest report.
12:30 PM EST Defense lawyer David Coombs: “Many so-called ills of the world” are being “laid at my client’s feet.” In reality, there are a lot of factors influencing that, not just Manning’s actions.
12:10 PM EST The trial transcripts from yesterday morning, day 2 of the sentencing phase in the Manning court martial, are here.
11:50 AM EST Wrapped up argument in Manning sentencing over whether prosecutors could present mostly speculative “could cause damage” testimony.
Judge asked prosecutors if there would be any evidence of “retriggering” harm or damage because of Snowden leaks.
The Government maintains that there will be continuing effects from Manning’s disclosures and that the defense should not be able to prevent expert testimony from the government’s witnesses.
Maj. Fein told the judge that some experts will “testify about their opinions on the continuing future impact of this information.”
10:40 AM EST We’re about to have an oral argument over the defense motion objecting to aggravation evidence the government has been trying to present.
State Department refuses to be open about the specific impact of Bradley Manning’s disclosures.
10:35 AM EST The government tried to elicit evidence from Swart, former chief information officer for the State Department.
Swart: The State Dept had to vet DoD officers wanting access to the cables after WikiLeaks beccause “you couldn’t just believe it’s a trusted individual.”
Throughout the sentencing—in the presence of State Dept witnesses—the cables are still described as “purported,” as if they somehow may not really be cables.
10:30 AM EST There will be oral argument in moments over a defense motion for “appropriate relief,” which is a result of objections to testimony in proceedings involving “chain of events testimony,” “could cause damage testimony,” and “monetary damage and expense of resources testimony.”
The defense argues that the evidence does not meet the requirements of the following military rule [1001(b)4] for sentencing:
The trial counsel may present evidence as to any aggravating circumstances directly relating to or resulting from the offenses of which the accused has been found guilty. Evidence in aggravation includes, but is not limited to, evidence of financial, social, psychological, and medical impact on or cost to any person or entity who was the victim of an offense committed by the accused and evidence of significant adverse impact on the mission, discipline, or efficiency of the command directly and immediately resulting from the accused’s offense. In addition, evidence in aggravation may include evidence that the accused intentionally selected any victim or any property as the object of the offense because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability or sexual orientation of any person. Except in capital cases a written or oral deposition taken in accordance with RCM 702 is admissible in aggravation.
You can reference the Manual for Courts Martial here.