Ashden Fein delivered the closing argument for the government and began by stating Pfc. Bradley Manning was a US Army intelligence analyst the Army trained and trusted to use intelligence systems. He “used that training to defy our trust to indiscriminately and systematically harm us.” He “abused our trust” and mined as much as information from SIPRnet while using the WikiLeaks “most wanted list” as a “guiding light.” And, he added, Manning “continued to harvest the information knowing it would be released and accessible to enemies.”
He proceeded to remind Investigative Officer Paul Almanza of his job, that he is to inquire into the truth of the charges, the disposition of the charges and must do so fairly and impartially. (Of course, he need not remind Almanza of this fact because the government need not worry about a reservist with a military justice background going up against them too much.)
Fein proceeded to mention the “evidence is overwhelming.” Three hundred thousand pages of evidence have been submitted, including a minute-by-minute record of Manning’s searches, dates and times of burned CDs, when the information on those CDs were transferred to Manning’s personal MacBook, and chat logs between Manning and an account associated with Julian Assange that include discussion of classified material and uploads to WikiLeaks.
The charges against Manning were summarized: introducing unauthorized software on his computer, illegally harvesting classified information and unlawfully transferring classified information. According to Fein, Manning “wantonly caused the information to be leaked on the Internet.” And ultimately this is how he “aided the enemy.” [This “enemy” was not further defined until the end of the closing argument.]
Background on Manning, forensic evidence and how the evidence provided justification for each of the charges was how Fein organized the rest of the argument. He said Manning was a “trained all-source analyst,” trained to process “multiple sources of intelligence from all disciplines.” He was trained to predict what would be useful in making decisions at tactical levels. And he was trained to practice and evaluate threats against the United States.
Manning had to have a top security clearance and a “high GT” to access the information he is accused of releasing. He signed seven NDAs or associated related documents. Violating these agreements, Fein said, carried a penalty of criminal punishment. And, he took multiple classes on operation security, information security and knew full well “unauthorized disclosure” could be “expected to cause damage to national security.”
Fein cited a PowerPoint presentation Manning had to give under corrective training at one point in his military career. On June 13, 2008, he presented this PowerPoint, which talked about the importance of protecting public and military assets, along with location information, individual information, official information, methods, equipment, capabilities and vulnerabilities of the military. He knew intelligence analysts are to protect the information from rivals, enemies, NGOs or “anyone else” and to avoid public conversations, posting information or talking to journalists, which could risk releasing classified information.
Manning deployed in Iraq in October 2009 to FOB Hammer. He was on the Shia team and worked during the night shift. His job was to focus on the Iraqi elections and daily IED counter measures.
It was at this point that Fein began to present the key pieces of forensic evidence the government has to prosecute Manning. On November 28, 2009, according to Intel Link (a kind of Google-like search engine for analysts), Manning looked for “retention of interrogation videos.” Fein stated, there is “no legitimate purpose for searching through the CIA retention of interrogation videos.” And WikiLeaks “most wanted” list had “called for information” on CIA interrogations.
On December 2009, he began to search for WikiLeaks. The chat logs released to Wired, Fein claimed, contain “multiple admissions to charged misconduct.” He began to burn the information on to CDs as early as February 15, 2010.
Fein characterized the Apache helicopter video and described it as depicting “an air weapons team providing” aerial support and the way such a team engages “suspected actors.”
On March 22, 2010, he looked at Iraq “rules of engagement” documents, and on April 5, 2010, WikiLeaks released the video. On May 22, 2010, he admitted in an email to Eric Schmiedl that he leaked the video. He also admitted later in chats with Lamo. He “compromised Apache video” and “provided editorial comment.”
Additionally, the video was closely held on SIPRnet and Manning believed it to be secret by placing a “secret” sticker on a CD containing the video. So, even though it was technically unclassified, Manning knew what he was doing was wrong.
In terms of the CDNE Iraq and Afghanistan databases (what the world now refers to as the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs), Fein explained these are operation reports on the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war. They were used for intelligence preparation of the battlefield and for us to do “predictive analysis.” Manning knew the reports contained unit names, call names, coalition tactics and reactions to IEDs, techniques for reacting to indirect fire and Medevac procedures.
These logs were found on an SD card. He even provided instructions to WikiLeaks that they “might need to sit on the information and protect the source.” The documents were “properly classified.”
Both databases – nearly 500,000 reports – were later released by WikiLeaks. They were “properly classified.”
Fein said Manning accessed Intellipedia and began to “steal and convert” the JTF GTMO detainee assessment reports for personal use on December 8, 2009. He said Manning attempted to download the entire website on March 5, 2010, but could not complete that operation. He began transferring files to a CD on March 8 and returned to his bedroom to transfer the documents to Assange and WikiLeaks, according to the government. He used WGET, a command line utility that can be used to download many files from a web server at once. This is why he is charged with “adding unauthorized software to an information system.”
Manning is also charged with transferring a Granai air strike video showing what is known as the Farah incident to WikiLeaks. He apparently accessed hundreds of documents and a video. That video, based on forensic evidence presented by a CCIU agent, was uploaded to WikiLeaks.org in four parts; however, it is unclear if Manning sent a video of the air strike or a video of a flyover of the area where the strike happened. Jason Katz received a “copy” of the video and tried to crack the password. It required a CENTCOM password. WikiLeaks tweeted it had possession in late November.
On the State Department cables, the Netcentric Diplomacy database, Fein said Manning used “working hours” over a period of ten days to “harvest” this information to WikiLeaks. The “cost” to maintain this information is “2 million dollars.” He put sources and human activists at risk of incarceration and death and revealed diplomacy methods. And he introduced WGET to his computer again.
Manning began downloading on May 3 and was prepared to send over cables from March, April and May but a file he put them in was corrupted.
Reykjavik 13 was a single cable that Manning transferred when he returned from “R&R” on Feb 14, 2010. He started searching Intel Link for Iceland, because, “Julian Assange was using that as a base of operations.”
Finally, on December 1, 2009, he searched Intel Link for the first time for WikiLeaks and found an Army Intelligence report on WikiLeaks. He handed it over to WikiLeaks and the document was published by WikiLeaks on March 15, 2010.
And, Manning also is alleged to have used an information system in an authorized manner to download and transfer a global list of email addresses of individuals in the military. On May 7, 2010, after he “assaulted” Jihrleah Showman, a fellow soldier he was serving with in the Brigade S2, he was transferred to the supply room. He lost his access to SIPRnet. He tried to use a computer in the supply room to send a global address list to WikiLeaks.
Manning did a “six month-long enterprise of indiscriminately harvesting information,” Capt. Ashden Fein stated in the prosecution’s closing argument that Manning had actual knowledge that what he gave to WikiLeaks would end up in the hands of the enemy and that enemy was Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and similar enemies.
An Al Qaeda propaganda video was shown. The video, with subtitles, featured a figurehead of the organization discussing the released information, like the State Department cables. The figurehead said the cables revealed “foreign dependencies.” He said something about relying on Allah for actions against the United States and then said before taking actions jihadists should rely on the “wide range of resources on the Internet” now.
Fein asserted that AQAP is “urging followers to collect and archive WikiLeaks information.” Manning “knowingly gave intelligence through WikiLeaks to the enemy.” He “wantonly caused the release of this information.” It was “not just good for declared enemies” but also accessible to “all other enemies with Internet access.”
He concluded Manning released over 700,000 documents that were on SIPRnet “during a time of war and while deployed.” He was “never authorized to make classification decisions to affect the national security of the United States.” He was given “unfettered access” to the information and “multiple enemies received” this information.