5:15 PM EST “Bradley Manning pleads with judge to allow him to ‘return to a productive place in society.” See my report on Manning’s statement, plus some commentary on what he said about creating change in the world, here.
While several reporters left immediately after his statement, I chose not to go file a “breaking news” report and stayed to hear Bradley Manning’s aunt’s testimony.
4:55 PM EST Court is in recess.
4:00 PM EST ”Testimony from Psychologists in Trial Doesn’t Make Bradley Manning Less of a Whistleblower”; -latest supplemental report up now.
3:55 PM EST Casey Major, Bradley Manning’s sister, took the stand to testify as a defense witness about her brother’s life growing up. She said that his mother continued to drink alcohol and smoke into the third trimester when she was pregnant with him. Casey would take care of Bradley, while their mother and father were busy being drunks.
Manning was born with symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome, particularly facial features—thin vermilion border, groove from nose to lip minimal.
2:20 PM EST The GI bill benefits were very important to Manning. Captain Moulton said that Manning is “quite intelligent” and his desire was to get a college education.
Moulton: One of the “chronic stressors” for Manning was “alcoholic parents”; his mother was “severely alcoholic” and non-functional.
I’ll put into context the analysis of the psychologists soon in an upcoming report, but I have to say that these were not offered to undermine Manning’s intent to blow the whistle.
2:10 PM EST via Nathan Fuller: Moulton said Manning thought that releasing these documents could end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and lead the public to the conclusion that no wars are worth it. @nathanLfuller
1:45 PM EST Navy Captain Dr. David Moulton, an expert forensic psychologist detailed to the case to review Manning, took the stand as a defense witness.
Doctor Moulton placed gender identity disorder as the primary disorder that Manning was dealing with. Abnormal personality traits were the secondary. The Sanity board diagnosed Bradley Manning with gender identity disorder.
Doctor Moulton found traits of “narcissistic personality,” “borderline personality,” and “abnormal personality” in Manning.
12:35 PM EST Court going back into session.
12:10 PM EST The Government referenced Bradley Manning’s chats with Adrian Lamo during its cross-examination of Captain (Dr.) Michael Worsley, psychologist. The government asked Dr. Worsley about Bradley Manning describing his “fellow soldiers” as “ignorant rednecks” in the chats with Lamo.
Dr. Worsley: “I can’t say I haven’t called my folks that I worked with in the Marine Corps rednecks.” (Laughter erupted.)
The government’s cross-examination questions to Dr. Worsley focused on its view that Manning’s behavior indicated narcissism or an inability to show empathy with others. Dr. Worsley made a point that someone could seem narcissistic simply because they feel inadequate, not because they’re necessarily narcissistic.
The government prosecutor was persistent in asking about Bradley Manning denying his role in his problems in sessions with Dr. Worsley.
Government officials (and some media) think all leakers must be narcissists. (Note: never mind that the drive to inform the general citizenry of things it should know for its own general benefit is actually showing empathy with and connection to others, and not necessarily a manifestation of a purely “Me first and only!” mindset.) That may partly explain why this line of questioning was pursued here today by the prosecution.
11:25 AM EST The Judge issued a ruling that much of militant Islam expert Youssef Aboul-Enein’s testimony on Al Qaeda was admissible evidence.
11:10 AM EST Captain (Dr.) Michael Worsley, a clinical psychiatrist expert and doctor that Bradley Manning had sessions with in Iraq, testified as a defense witness.
After Manning punched Spc. Jihrleah Showman, he had a 1:30am session with Dr. Worsley where he opened up about his gender identity issues. On May 8, 2010, Dr. Worsley diagnosed Bradley Manning with gender identity disorder (GID).
Dr. Worsley conducted sessions where he diagnosed Bradley Manning as still having anxiety disorder and a personality disorder. Worsley stated: Being in the military and having gender identity issues “doesn’t go hand-in-hand.” If anything, it would serve to further isolate Manning.
Coombs: Can GID cause someone to feel alone? Dr. Worsley: Absolutely.
Coombs: Can it cause an individual to struggle to fit within society, to fit in a work environment? Dr. Worsley: Absolutely.
Gender is a core issue of identity for a person. “Absolutely,” Dr. Worsley stated, “It’s how we define our world, what role we serve in it.” “Maybe at some point in the future gender won’t matter as much. At this point though, it’s very much a part of who we are and how we function.”
Coombs: Would the fact that Manning had to deal with this issue while being deployed have an impact on him?
Dr. Worsley: Under the best of circumstances, it would have been extremely difficult. Deployed in that environment (his Army base in Iraq), and working, -again, based on what I saw and what I understood about his experience in an openly hostile environment… just based on who he was without the gender identity aspect, that would have made it extremely difficult. It is hard for me to put myself in that place.
Defense: Could Manning have openly sought treatment within the military? Dr. Worsley: At that point, and I don’t believe now based on how UCMJ is, there would never have been a time that he would’ve been able to be openly female; and so seeking treatment for that, ..- again, treatment would be helping to ‘adjust’ that. But treatment is not helping someone become comfortable with that … It would be especially diffucult to do so in the Army.
He added: “The military [wasn't] exactly friendly toward the gay community or anybody that held views as such.” Reflecting on gays in the military, Worsley said, “I don’t know that it’s [a friendlier environment] now, but it seems to be getting [better] there.”
At that point (in 2010), being homosexual was a UCMJ violation. Worsley stated that Manning could’ve been court-martialed and put out of the military.
Dr. Worsley, the psychiatrist that Manning was meeting with, said that for Manning to share his gender identity issues with him was an “extremely difficult thing” to have done. He said, ”Put into a hyper-masculine environment, and with little support and few coping skills, the pressure would have been difficult to say the least. It would have been incredible.”
“Based on how the UCMJ is, there would’ve never been a time that he would’ve been able to be openly female” and be able to seek treatment.
Regarding gender issues in the military, Dr. Worsley observed, ”If you share any secret, it’s shared. You shine a light and it’s done. It’s out there.”
10:45 AM EST Nine documents have been released so far this morning from the US Army FOIA Electronic Reading Room, including the defense’s closing arguments slides and a redacted transcript (submitted like yesterday’s release of the 7/2 session in a barely legible gray) from the closed session on July first.
The Freedom of the Press Foundation has also uploaded yesterday’s 8/13 A.M. transcript with testimony from Gaab, CW2 Joshua Ehresman, CW2 Kyle Balonek and Paul Adkins.
9:46 AM EST For months during pretrial, the defense pushed for damage assessment reports to be turned over that they could use in the trial. The assessments included a State Department draft damage assessment report, an Information Review Task Force damage assessment report (done by a group formed by the Pentagon) and an Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (ONCIX) damage assessment report. But, yesterday, the defense announced in court that they would not be using the reports as part of their sentencing case.
Pfc. Bradley Manning is expected to give a statement in military court at Fort Meade as part of the defense’s sentencing case in his trial. Two family members and a forensic psychology expert will be testifying as well.
It is unknown whether Manning will be giving an unsworn statement or if he will be taking the stand as a witness, who could be cross-examined by the government. Most likely, he will give a statement similar to the statement he gave when he pled guilty to some offenses on February 28.
Manning’s aunt, Debra Van Alstyne, and his sister will take the stand. And, although details about his sister have appeared in the book by Denver Nicks, Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History, she does not appear to have been named in the book, which means today her name will become known to the public.
Cpt. David Moulton will give testimony on the “mental condition” of Manning. He reviewed family background records, medical records from his time in the Army and at Fort Drum, medical records from his deployment in Iraq up to his arrest, chats with Zachary Antolak (Lauren McNamara), chats with hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo, his providence statement, and Moulton’s own interviews of Pfc. Manning.
The government filed a motion for the court to force the defense to turn over a report on whether Manning was fit to stand trial, which a sanity board had produced in April 2011. Typically, the defense would not be required to share the contents of the report with prosecutors. The judge ruled, however, the defense had to turn it over because they were going to have Moulton testify.
Yesterday, the defense brought out testimony yesterday from Lillian Smith of the US Army Information Technology Agency, who was directed to act as a subject matter expert for the case, that Manning’s unit had created an “undisciplined environment when it came to being in compliance with information assurance practices.” In other words, there were many aspects of the facility that were left vulnerable to security violations, particularly because there was music, movies and games on the government network.
Smith testified there had been at least fifteen red flags that should have indicated Manning could pose a potential risk to security because of his “erratic behavior.” As early as his Army Individual Training for work as an intelligence analyst, the military could have filed something called derogatory information to begin a trail to show commanding officers whether he should have kept his security clearance or not. She contended he should have had his security clearance revoked way before he punched his supervisor, Spc. Jihrleah Showman, in April and was moved out of the intelligence facility to a position in the supply room.
Also, Paul Adkins, who was the non-commissioned officer in charge of soldiers in the intelligence facility where Manning worked, gave testimony yesterday that indicated he had deployed Manning because the unit was understaffed and needed intelligence analysts. Manning’s mental health continued to deteriorate while he was in Iraq, but Manning was never redeployed back to the United States. He was kept on as an analyst because he was an analyst tasked with working on the Shia threat and was still able to put together good intelligence work products. Adkins thought he was critical to the mission so he never revoked his security clearance and was subsequently reprimanded by the military and downgraded from his rank as a master sergeant for not sharing critical information on Manning with his chain of command.
There are 30-40 reporters here in the media center. This number is lower than the number of press that were here to report on the verdict two weeks ago, however, it is still a good amount of media with multiple major establishment media organizations here.
Sentencing began two weeks ago. After today, the defense is likely to rest. Military prosecutors will then put on a rebuttal case. That could start as early as tomorrow or as late as next week, depending on any issues that need to be worked out.
The judge will deliberate after and could have a ruling on how long Manning will be sentenced to prison as early as next week or as late as two weeks from today.