2011-12-21 Summary: PFC Bradley Manning Pre-Trial Hearing Day 5

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing began at 9:00 AM Friday, December 16. It must be noted this is not a trial but a hearing to decide whether there are reasonable grounds to charge Manning and continue with a court-martial hearing. That being said, there will be no "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict at the end of these hearings. Journalists allowed to sit in on the hearings were warned of "regular blackouts" while the court went in to private session.

There are a total of 34 counts against PFC Manning, the most serious of which is UCMJ Article 104, "Aiding the Enemy."

Defense: Mr David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes, Captain Paul Bouchard
Prosecution: Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow, Captain Angel Overgaard
Investigative Officer: Lieutenant Colonel Paul Almanza

Day 5:

Today was the prosecution's final day to call witnesses.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Jirhleah Showman

Jirhleah Showman was a fellow intelligence analyst of PFC Manning's, but has been out of the Army since July 2011. She testified over the telephone.

Showman testified about FSE Milliman having to fix PFC Maning's computer at least twice a week. When asked about her and PFC Manning's training, she said they learned "how to be an all-source analyst, how to handle, disseminate, and destroy classified information and what impact improper dissemination of classified information would have on the country."

Showman said that PFC Manning was removed from the Brigade on May 9 after assaulting her. She said he punched her in the face unprovoked and displayed other uncontrollable behaviors. Showman stated she had gone to their supervisor MSG Adkins on multiple occasions to tell him PFC Manning was not fit for deployment or a security clearance, and needed counseling and discipline.

A second event was described by Showman in which PFC Manning had flipped a table and caused a computer to break. Showman said that PFC Manning had also told her he regularly felt paranoid. A third incident was also described where PFC Manning was screaming and salivating after being approached for waking up late. According to Showman, PFC Manning said he could not handle messing up.

The 2007 Apache helicopter video ("Collateral Murder") was located on Showman's computer. She testified that she had viewed it for no specific reason, along with other videos. Showman says that she and 3 or 4 other soldiers viewed the video, which is how PFC Manning would have seen it. The other soldiers who watched it would ask why the van in the video was fired upon, but there was no discussion about "Rules of Engagement."

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow

SSG Peter Bigelow worked with PFC Manning in the supply room, where he was transferred after being removed from the SCIF. He testified via telephone from a NATO base in Italy.

PFC Manning is believed to have used SSG Bigelow's laptop, as well as another computer located in the supply room. It was suggested in court that PFC Manning used SSG Bigelow's laptop to search for information on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. When questioned about this, SSG Bigelow said he had never heard of Julian Assange.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Special Agent David Shaver

SA David Shaver returns again to testify after being present on both the 3rd and 4th days of the hearing.

He readdressed searching Jason Katz' computer for a video of the Granai Airstrike. SA Shaver testified that the video found on Katz' computer was not of the Airstrike. Katz seemed to be in the process of trying to decrypt the video file.

SA Shaver also testified that the chat logs from Adrian Lamo's and PFC Manning's computers were the same except for a few network connectivity issues that appeared.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Special Agent Antonio Edwards

SA Antonio Edwards is an investigator for the CCIU and works for the Army CID.

He first became involved in this case when he was contacted via email by Mr. Chet Uber, who said he was aware of an individual in contact with an US Army intelligence analyst who was sending information to WikiLeaks. SA Edwards was then put in contact with Lamo.

SA Edwards said Lamo acted as a confidential informant for the Army CID, but that he was not given any other money than "reasonable expense reimbursement."

Image(Adrian Lamo being escorted into the courthouse for PFC Bradley Manning's hearing. Photo: AP/Patrick Semansky)

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Adrian Lamo

Before taking the stand, SA Edwards described Adrian Lamo's role as a government informant. He was in this position from July 2010 until "three to four months ago."

Lamo described being contacted on AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) by someone with the handle 'bradass87.' He also said he received emails from someone at the 10th Mountain Division, which was PFC Manning's unit. Lamo testified that he confirmed these were from PFC Manning after receiving a friend request from him on Facebook. Lamo says he was given a username and password to the Army portal, but never used it because he thought it would be a crime.

Lamo testified to providing a 500GB hard drive, a net book, and two thumb drives to a special agent, though he was unable to state who he gave it to exactly.

The prosecution asked if Lamo had Asperger's syndrome, which Lamo responded to affirmatively. He said he's been successfully treated with medication and his current state is the same as that when he reported PFC Manning. Lamo's history of hacking and his status as a convicted felon was also described.

The defense questioned Lamo about many specifics of the chat logs between him and PFC Manning. When asked if PFC Manning had been looking for guidance in his situation, Lamo responded that it seemed he was looking to brag about what he'd done.

Prosecution Witness Testimony: Troy Bettencourt

Troy Bettencourt had previously testified Saturday. He agreed with the defense's case that the Army failed in its handling of PFC Manning.

PFC Bradley Manning's Reaction to the Hearing

Bill Hennessey, the man who has been doing the courtroom illustrations for this hearing, had this to say about PFC Manning:

"He is very controlled and pays close attention to the proceedings. The only time I have really seen him react was on the first day of proceedings when they said the penalty for this case was potentially the death penalty. I think it really struck him. He really sunk in his chair."

The hearing resumes tomorrow at 9AM with the defense calling witnesses.

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