Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing or, as it is more generally called, pre-trial hearing resumes today with the government continuing to present the evidence it thinks it has to support the prosecution of Bradley Manning for allegedly leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
Members of the prosecution include Captain Ashden Fein, Captain Joe Morrow and Captain Angel Overgaard. Members of the defense include Mr. David Coombs, Major Matthew Kemkes and Captain Paul Bouchard.
A quick recap of what happened on Day 2:
—Writeable CDs/DVDs were supposed to be regulated, secret information was supposed to only be taken out on discs for “official purposes” but that was “trusted.” They were to all be labeled. But, in fact, Coombs cited photos where he saw CDs strewn about the SCIF, where Manning worked, without any labels and, clearly, Manning was able to take discs out without the military asking what he had put on the CDs.
Master Sgt. Paul Adkins, highest ranking officer in Manning’s unit, received an email April 2010 from Bradley Manning where he complained of suffering from gender identity disorder. The email also included a picture of Manning dressed up as a woman.
During Captain Steven Lim’s cross-examination, it was shared that Adkins wrote several memorandums on emotional problems Manning suffered, which were not shared before Manning’s arrest. They were shared after his detainment. Lim counseled Adkins in writing on June 7, 2010, because he believed Adkins had kept important information from him on Manning’s health issues.
Special Agent Troy Bettencourt discussed WikiLeaks and importantly he suggested WikiLeaks “solicits submissions” of classified information and described how WikiLeaks had a “most wanted” list of files it wanted people to submit to the website
Defense heavily focused on establishing Manning had behavioral health issues and emotional problems. They also want to show military did not practice good information security. These are the arguments being presented by defense currently. At no point have there been any arguments to defend Manning as a military whistleblower.
Adrian Lamo was a “confidential informant” for Computer Crimes Investiative Unit (CCIU) agent Mark Mander and tipped Mander off to what Manning did by providing a copy of the chat logs. Lamo told a gentleman he was working with on “some part of a project” and then an “individual formerly of the army both contacted law enforcment.” (Possible Kevin Poulsen of Wired is individual mentioned.)
Lamo also tipped off agents to Jason Katz, who was working under the Department of Energy at Brook Haven Laboratory. He was employed from February 2009 until he was fired in March 2010, The reason he was fired was for engaging in inappropriate computer used. An investigation obtained forensic images of his workstation and personal laptop. CID and the FBI obtained a federal magistrate search warrant to seize and search devices. Found was a file B.zip and within it was another file BE22PAX.wmv, a video file that was encrypted and password protected and believed to be a copy of the Gharani air strike video which shows an atrocity committed by the US military in Afghanistan.
The proceedings for Sunday, December 18, are to begin at 9:00 AM EST. It is unknown how long the proceedings will run today.
I am in the Media Operations Center (MOC) at Ft. Meade. I am unable to post live updates while court is in session but check back here for updates throughout the morning and afternoon. I will be posting during breaks and when classified information is being reviewed (because press and the public are not allowed to follow these portions of the hearing). Also, follow me at @kgosztola for quick updates.
9:40 PM — Proceedings resume tomorrow at 9 am. The defense will finish cross-examining Shaver. This will go 40 minutes to 1 hour. Then, there will be a closed portion of the hearing to present classified information. After that is finished, the hearing will resume.
9:30 PM — Final Note: David Shaver, Army CCIU Agent Testifies on When Manning Downloaded Classified Information to His Personal Computers
I’ll get into more detail eventually but basically Shaver, after doing forensics on the computer, showed when Manning downloaded “Collateral Murder,” accessed the JTF GTMO database and pulled detainee assessment reports and put 10,000 US State Embassy cables on his computer.
What was particularly interesting was what Shaver said about a release that has not happened yet. I’m referencing the Granai air strike video
Asked about whether he had documents dealing with the Granai airstrike that shows the Farah incident in Afghanistan, he said they recovered JPEGs and videos pertaining to the incident. They found a zip file. Somebody using the Bradley.Manning username downloaded “a large amount of files dealing with the Farah incident downloaded.” The JPEGs, along with PDF files, were from presentations and screenshot pictures from aircrafts that appeared to show hospital burn victims
5:18 PM Cpt. Thomas Chirepko, a Brigade Automations Officer, who did information assurance for the unit, stated during his testimony: “No technical restriction from burning a CD with classified information on it.” [in SCIF]
5:16 PM Cpt. Thomas Chirepko took the witness stand. When being cross-examined by Coombs, Chirepko detailed how he had helped to manage systems for Manning’s unit at FOB Hammer. Chirepko arrived in November 2009. He was an information assurance manager. He didn’t know if he was to conduct security assessments of the network. Coombs likely asked the question thinking he would say he did have to conduct such assessments and that was part of his responsibilities.
Chirepko didn’t know if he had to make sure computers were certified or accredited. He was asked if he ever submitted a Defense Information Certification and Accreditation Process (DICAP) package, a collection of documents submitted to Netcom to verify that systems, the network and the software meet DoD requirements for security. Chirepko never did and he said he doesn’t know to do such a thing.
On March 2011, Coombs noted Chirepko received a letter of admonishment. That letter was for his failure to ensure the brigade was properly certified and accreditated.
It was about this time, as Coombs continued to press, that the prosecution objected and said defense hadn’t laid proper foundation to ask this line of questioning. This was because Coombs had moved to asking about information assurance rules in the TSCIFs. The IO overruled and Coombs continued. He mentioned a Department of Army Inspector General Inspection and went into a series of questions on whether Chirepko viewed SCIF inspections as part of his job. Chirepko hesitated. He didn’t know if it was his job and then he said he wasn’t 100% sure the SCIF was inspected.
The T-Drive or storage drive on SIPRnet in the SCIF then was brought up and how music that was not authorized was on the drive. Whenever he saw music that was unauthorized, he would take it off. That music would get placed back there inevitably. Nobody was punished for putting music on the T-Drive. Chirepko denied making recommendations for punishment but said he “did bring up the presence of media to my supervisor and to my knowledge the XO was notified as well.”
Chirepko informed higher ranking officers that movies and games were present on the drives and unauthorized. He didn’t remember what the officers said in response to this information. He was not aware of any actions being taken. The practice of adding media didn’t stop. There was no US Code of Military Justice disciplining as a result of unauthorized media on the drive.
5:15 PM Coombs suggested witness FSE Milliman’s sworn statement from Jan 2011 was different than testimony he was giving in court. Milliman had described in sworn statement “only set amount of time to learn a set amount of skills” in specific military course. But, in court, Milliman denied he had ever said that about this course, which beginning intelligence analysts take.
3:42 PM — Closed portion of the proceedings now happening to determine whether classified information can be presented in a closed portion. The process involves about 45 minutes of back-and-forth on the information the prosecution wants to present in a closed session. The defense can object to the relevance of the information or holding a closed portion to go over the classified information. The logistics are, according to a legal matter expert speaking to press pool, a “big muscle movement.” They must take classified information physically from a safe. Only defense counsel and trial counsel, hearing officers, a few members of the teams and individuals from relevant government agencies are allowed presents. Audio/video feeds are severed.
2:20 PM — Jason Allen Milliman, a field software engineer just testified. He was the first witness to be uncooperative. When asked about whether DCGS-A machines could crash if not defragged properly, he at first wouldn’t give answer. Then he said, “They’d crash if they were run over by a truck but that didn’t happen,” showing didn’t think question important.
IO ordered Milliman to “please just answer questions as they are asked.”
1:35 PM — We were on recess now returning.
I wrote up this report during the break. It is on two key officers refusing to testify as witnesses, a major development.
11:11 AM — Conversation intelligence officer had with Manning on “Collateral Murder” video is described. Captain Casey Fulton was asked by the prosecution: “Are you aware of video commonly referred to as “Collateral Murder” video?” She said a fellow analyst of Manning’s (whom Manning at one point in his deployment got into an incident with) had it on her computer. She was playing before April 1 and had it on her work station on the SIPRnet system. When the video was released, “She wasn’t even sure actually,” that it had been and did not learn of the release “until Manning was arrested and taken.”
She had a conversation with Manning in April. The video, Fulton said didn’t “make military look very good” and she wanted to talk to soldiers about how that affects us in a deployed environment. They had a group conversation about the event. Manning came up after and said he thought it was “the same video” on the shared drive. She thought it wasn’t and was shorter in duration. She had only seen the video once though and needed to watch them side-by side.
Then, he sent an email with a link that had the two video clips: one was the Apache video on the drive and the other link was to the video WikiLeaks had posted.
“Was the video that was released through WikiLeaks on your shared drive?” the prosecution asked. “I don’t know,” said Fulton. But, the email pointed to was the video released and video on the drive.
11:00 AM Recess for 10 minutes after prosecution called Captain Casey Fulton to the stand. She was cross-examined for a little over an hour. Fulton worked with Manning in the SCIF as a superior intelligence officer. She would often give him requests for information, which he would go find. She described what he was capable of doing and how he was good at compiling data for putting onto maps. Coombs had her talk about this specifically and she said he confirmed he did “good work.” He did a lot of work for her from November 2009 to March 2010. The projects were completed in a timely fashion and he was “good with computers.” Unlike other analysts, he would engage in topics of discussion related to intelligence gathering tasks he was given and she enjoyed this.
8:47 AM One aspect of testimony presented yesterday that I glossed over and didn’t mention was the fact that agents searched Manning’s aunt’s home at least twice. Special Agent Mark Mander was on the stand as a witness and shared details.
Debra Van Alstyne, his aunt, was visited by Mander and four other agents in June 2010. In the aunt’s house, they collected computers, looked for digital media/potential packages that he might have mailed. They verified there was a computer in the bedroom that was powered on and connected that had a purpose which Mander claimed the aunt said was unknown.
Aunt was visited again a second time as they were concerned Manning sent a package from the Kuwait confinement facility with items they needed to search for the investigation. What happened was they asked a military magistrate to search his belongings but the military magistrate disagreed that the agents needed authorization for a search. They believed that if he was in custody agents would have the ability to search because he was a “confinee.” They went back to find out it was true but only with regards to safety and security, which means prisoners can be searched for contraband but when it comes to investigative matters you need authorization. About time they figured this out, Manning was transferred and standard operating procedure is to mail personal items to the home of record, which was his aunt’s house. And, the box sent from Kuwait was eventually found by the agents unopened.
She was interviewed by the agents, members of CCIU and the State Department on what she knew both in person and over the phone. They discussed a wide range of topics, basically how Manning grew up, his family, where his mother was from, his father, how he had grown up, time before joining army, circumstances leading to joining and also contacts she had while he was in Iraq. Specifically, prior to his arrest, Manning contacted her and asked about the 2007 Apache video and how that video was being received in the United States and then a second time he contacted her and asked her to make a posting to a Facebook page that referenced the video.
8:26 AM Yesterday, it was mentioned that investigators “feared” Manning had links to a foreign intelligence agency.
8:13 AM Witnesses for the prosecution will continue to be called today.