August 29, 2012

Day two: Bradley Manning Article 39a motion hearing

On day two of Bradley Manning’s motion hearing, the Government finally handed over the remaining Quantico emails for the judge’s review — emails it had failed to provide to the defense for at least six months, and which detail the nature of and complicity of Bradley’s pretrial abuse.

By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. August 29, 2012.

In a much shorter second day of this week’s motion hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, with at least one fewer reporter, the Government and defense argued over pre-admissible evidence, Bradley’s alleged posting of a YouTube video and PowerPoint demonstration earlier in his service, and judicial notice of public statements made by government officials. The content of that video and those statements, however, were not made public today — with no afternoon session, Judge Lind instead said they’ll be discussed further tomorrow.

We were notified that after yesterday’s arguments, the Government had turned over the remaining 700 or so Quantico emails relating to Bradley’s abusive treatment to the court for in-camera review. Judge Lind will decide if these are material to the defense and therefore should be given to defense lawyer David Coombs.

Then the court moved through a few issues over an extended morning session. The Government will be allowed to pre-admit as evidence, after proving their relevance, several documents relating to Bradley’s Army-issued computer in Baghdad, including user account and log information.

Government and defense lawyers argued over a YouTube video Manning is said to have posted online while in the Army, and a PowerPoint demonstration he created. Prosecutors are expected to use this video and presentation to “prove” that Bradley was aware of Al Qaeda’s ability to access the website–along with everyone on Earth with Internet access of course.

Finally, Coombs motioned for the court to take notice of several government officials’ public statements and documents relating to WikiLeaks and alleged harm it has caused. These include remarks by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Lapan, Rep. John Conyers, State Secretary Hillary Clinton, and others. Some are based on congressional testimony, and others are from news articles online. Questioning one of these statements, Government prosecutor Cpt. Morrow said, “I don’t know what source it’s from, but it’s Internet.”

Tomorrow, the defense and prosecution will argue in further depth whether these statements should be admitted into the judicial record. We also expect a more definitive court martial schedule.

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