6:41 PM EST Final wrap-up for the day in court is here: “In closing argument, government casts Bradley Manning as ‘anarchist,’ ‘hacker’ & ‘traitor’.”
5:55 PM EST Court is adjourned. The defense will present its closing argument tomorrow morning when court is back in session.
5:49 PM EST The government states, “The public included the enemy,” and Bradley Manning “knew that as an intelligence analyst.”
Fein repeatedly casting Manning as an “anarchist” in his closing arguments is purely pejorative. (There has been no evidence that he has any anarchist views whatsoever.)
5:44 PM EST Maj. Ashden Fein: Bradley Manning “was not a whistleblower. He was a traitor.”
Government casts Bradley Manning as anarchist and a hacker in their closing argument multiple times. “Bradley Manning had no allegiance to the United States and the flag it stands for.”
4:58 PM EST The government says that the database of diplomatic cables was “closely guarded to enable US to conduct its foreign policy effectively.”
Alexa O’Brien: Dan Lewis from DIA was NOT qualified as an expert on the value of classified information, yet his testimony on valuation is in the government’s closing statement. The government values the GTMO~700 D.A.B’s at 56,000 work hours, worth $525K. @carwinb
4:51 PM EST Three cheers for Charlie Savage for speaking up to the guard snooping on him.
4:46 PM EST The government asserts that Manning “deliberately placed all soldiers in Iraq at personal risk” by “stealing” the global email address list (GAL).
Quoting chats that Manning had with Adrian Lamo, the government suggests that in releasing the diplomatic cables, Manning’s goal was “worldwide anarchy.” He “chose to harvest decades worth of SIPDIS cables to gain his notoriety,” the government states.
Major Fein also said that Manning “thought he was smart enough to know what was happening in the world” when releasing the cables.
4:42 PM EST Prosecutors are still giving their closing argument. It is looking like we may have defense closing argument tomorrow.
Maj. Fein has continued to repeatedly claim that Bradley Manning wanted notoriety from his releases to WikiLeaks.
3:09 PM EST Describing a photo of Bradley Manning, the prosecution states, “This is a picture of a person who thought he was finally becoming famous.”
Nathan Fuller: The government is sounding ridiculous. Fein: “How proud was Manning of his actions? You’ve already seen the picture, your honor.” (Fein proceeds to show photo of a smiling Manning to the judge) @nathanLfuller
Fuller continues: The government is repeating over and over that Manning was obsessed about his own fame, and craved notoriety. At the same time, they’re arguing further that he kept his identity hidden. @nathanLfuller
3:08 PM EST Alexa O’Brien: the US government stipulated Finkel verbatim transcript of the “Collateral Murder” video (in his book Good Soldiers); now Fein says it isn’t– ‘Finkel is unlike WikiLeaks because he had protected sources and methods’. @carwinb
3:02 PM EST No longer allowed at Manning trial: Stenographer cannot transmit to her proofreader anymore– while she transcribes.
2:58 PM EST The government says that Manning thought the “Collateral Murder” video was “cool” and decided to release it to a “bunch of anti-government activists and info anarchists.
The government’s innocuous and sanitized description of the “Collateral Murder” video: -it showed the “actions and experiences of service members conducting a wartime mission.”
Matt Sledge: The Government said the estimated value of Afghan War Logs to the ‘enemy’ was $1.3M; Iraq Logs $1.9M. @mgsledge
2:56 PM EST Armed military police officer leans over my shoulder and informs me not to have browser windows open during court proceedings.
It is great to be scolded for “surfing the internet” while court proceedings are happening, even when Wi-Fi isn’t working.
12:55 PM EST Over the recess, fellow journalists in attendance are sending reporter Alexa O’Brien emails saying that there is now a soldier stationed right behind her with a gun. @carwinb
An armed military police officer leaned over me during the closing argument and said, “Don’t have Twitter open at all.”
I wonder if individuals who signed up for the military ever thought they’d be policing the press (as if they were an ‘enemy’).
I’m looking at the rules I signed. For what it’s worth, the rules don’t say “Keep Twitter windows closed while court is in session”.
Frankly, the press deserve an explanation from public affairs on why they are now, after months of court martial, all of a sudden having armed MPs patrol the press.
12:50 PM EST The press have internet access working in the media center, but it has been very sporadic and unreliable today, making it difficult to report from the trial.
As a reference for past cases, here is a full overview of prior cases where military officers were charged with “aiding the enemy.”
12:32 PM EST Prosecutors claim in their closing arguments that Manning spent hours between November 2009 and early December 2009 “searching for topics related to one mission; – finding and disclosing what WikiLeaks wanted.”
The government has begun to go through each piece of disclosed information. First up was the Gharani video.
An entire section of Maj. Fein’s closing argument is devoted to him citing how Professor Benkler completely manipulated his testimony and expertise on WikiLeaks.
12:04 PM EST The government is now claiming that Bradley Manning “pulled as much information as possible to please Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.”
Fein: Why did Manning select WikiLeaks? Because they could guarantee “near real-time disclosures on the web as fast as possible for the world to access.”
The government cites a report on the Chaos Communication Congress (C3) conference that indicated WikiLeaks ‘posed a threat’. The C3 report showed that WikiLeaks posed threat not only from external disclosures, but also from DoD insiders.
As such, the government claims that “Insiders would be able to easily leak information (to WikiLeaks) without fear of any direct repercussions”
They further claim that “Diverse elements of the US military reported that WikiLeaks was a threat to national security interests of the US government.”
12:02 PM EST The government is using neatly organized information that Manning had on his hard drive (but never released) as evidence of “actual knowledge” that he would “aid the enemy.”
Major Fein: Manning had “actual knowledge that enemies of US used the internet and WikiLeaks to gather information to be used against this country.”
Major Fein: The government must hold Manning “accountable for exact training he gave others on this subject matter” (Manning produced presentation on infosec).
Fein continued: Manning was a “trained analyst who understood how to assess the enemy and how the enemy assesses US forces deployed.”
11:58 AM EST Major Ashden Fein of the government is delivering the closing argument.
Fein: Bradley Manning was armed with stark knowledge of what would happen if classified information materials were compromised. He claims that Manning “knew the importance of protecting classified information and that a violation of those agreements could result” in “precise” criminal prosecution.
11:52 AM EST The prosecution expects their closing argument to go on for two more hours. They have already been going for close to an hour.
Courtesy of Alexa O’Brien: Fein started out today’s closing argument stating that “Manning’s position was a special trust– within weeks, he abused and destroyed this trust– wholesale– indiscriminately.” “He had Humanist dog tags, but the only human being he cared about was himself…”
10:40 AM EST Up next: the US government will deliver its closing argument in Bradley Manning’s trial.
10:25 AM EST Judge Lind found, in her ruling on the stealing offenses, that this is a “case of first impression.” There had to be “some evidence” of misuse of records to withstand the motion for acquittal of the stealing offenses.
The judge didn’t accept the defense argument of the government charging theft of five databases and not the information in them. The information was included in the definition of records and databases.
10:21 AM EST Military judge denies the defense motion to acquit Bradley Manning of stealing, purloining or knowingly converting information.
The Judge granted the government’s motion to amend the stealing offenses, but has denied the defense motion for mistrial because the charges were being amended.
The Judge rules that the government may not use the cost of maintaining data management, infrastructure or software to prove Manning ‘stole property’ worth over $1000. So evidence related to the cost of data management, infrastructure & software will be disregarded when putting together the verdict.
9:40 AM EST There are 54 members of the media here to cover. The military public affairs have decided to treat us all like we are suspects. A TSA-style checkpoint now exists at the media operations center. It had not been this way previously.
Military public affairs had us all sign “new ground rules.” We had lined up outside the media operations center and waited. I was in line for close to an hour before finally getting inside.
A military police officer with purple rubber gloves began to go through my backpack. I tried to pull as much out of the bag that I could to speed the process. He had wands but that was not used. He asked me if I had any electronic devices and I said no. That was apparently sufficient.
I went to my seat and prepared for court to be gaveled into session. As I waited, for a period, there were military police officers patrolling the aisles checking for anything suspicious.
9:30 AM EST Closing arguments are taking place in the Bradley Manning trial. But, before they begin, the military judge will rule on whether to acquit Manning of the stealing charges.
See my earlier post from this morning, “‘Aiding the Enemy': the Unprecedented Prosecution of Bradley Manning” for more.
Court illustrations by Clark Stoeckley. Used with permission.