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The Trial of Bradley Manning, Day 4

The Programs Manning Used Weren’t Prohibited

by NATHAN FULLER

The second week of Bradley Manning’s court martial began with forensics experts returning, testimony from someone who shared Bradley’s computer, and updates on stipulations of expected testimony, but that all came after more questions about media access.

Stenographers deserve trial access

Judge Denise Lind received a motion from a third-party to allow for the Freedom of the Press Foundation’s crowd-funded stenographers to be credentialed for the media center at Ft. Meade, to provide an unofficial transcript of the proceedings. Judge Lind wouldn’t rule on the motion since it didn’t come from the defense or government, but defense lawyer David Coombs stood briefly to support it. He said the motion assists Bradley’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial and the First Amendment right to a free press.

Forensic expert: Wget not explicitly prohibited

David Shaver, head of forensic investigations for the Army Criminal Investigations Unit, has been called a few times and will likely be called back frequently to discuss the investigation of Bradley’s computer. He testified today about his review of Bradley’s searches on Intelink, the military’s secure version of Google.

Shaver testified about Bradley’s searches for ‘WikiLeaks,’ which started on December 1, 2009, and for ‘Julian Assange’ and ‘Iceland.’ A few times, his searches for WikiLeaks brought him to the Army’s 2008 Counterintelligence Special Report, but Shaver could only confirm that he successfully reached that report once.

He also talked about the program Wget, which automates downloading from the internet. Shaver said the program wasn’t specifically authorized with a Certificate of Net Worthiness (CON), but that it wasn’t prohibited either, and not having a CON didn’t mean it wasn’t allowed.

Fellow analyst: mIRC chat, other programs not prohibited

Chad Madaras was in the 2nd Brigrade 10th Mountain division along with Bradley Manning, so they were together in Ft. Drum before deploying and then together in FOB Hammer in Iraq. In Baghdad, they worked in the same unit and used the same computer but on opposite shifts: Bradley worked at night, Chad during the day.

Their shared computer was frequently slow and required ‘reimaging’ – wiping the computer fully and starting over new – multiple times. Therefore, analysts were expected to save files to CDs or to a shared drive to prevent losing any data.

Madaras testified that everyone else in their Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) used mIRC, a chat program Bradley said he used. Madaras also confirmed that music, movies, and video games were on the shared drive that all analysts could access. They weren’t explicitly allowed, but they weren’t banned either. This lends itself to the question of whether Bradley “exceeded authorized access” – the government contends he added programs that he wasn’t allowed to have.

He also confirmed that it wasn’t prohibited to explore the SIPRNet, the Secret-level, military-wide internet, for other regions of the world beyond mission scope. Bradley perused the State Department diplomatic database, and while others may not have done so, it hasn’t been established that this was a violation.

Stipulations continue 

We also heard the stipulations of expected testimony of Steve Buchanan, an NSA contractor who confirmed some basic facts about Intelink, which Shaver delved into further.

The defense and government took a two-hour lunch break to continue working on more stipulations. The military’s subject matter expert tells us that twelve stipulations have been agreed to, eight more are under negotiation, and several more may be on the way.

Tweets on trial 

After nearly a three-and-a-half hour lunch break, Army CID Special Agent Mark Mander testified about his contribution in the investigation of Bradley Manning, which he called “probably one of the largest and most complicated investigations we’ve ever had.”

Mander said he used Archive.org to find a 2009 version of WikiLeaks.org that allegedly shows a ‘Most Wanted Leaks’ list of desired documents, and used Google Cache to retrieve WikiLeaks’ 2010 tweets asking for ‘.mil addresses’ and for ‘super computer time’ upon receipt of an encrypted video. The prosecution wants to authenticate these documents as relevant to Bradley’s mindset at the time of the 2010 disclosures.

But the defense established that Mander has no personal knowledge of how Archive.org or Google Cache works, whether either had been hacked, whether tweets can be deleted, or whether Bradley had viewed those pages and tweets at that time.

The defense also presented an alternate version of the ‘Most Wanted Leaks’ page, which was similar but which introduced the list as the concealed documents most sought after by journalists, lawyers, police, and human rights investigators. Judge Lind accepted both versions as evidentiary exhibits.

Sheila Glenn: Army Counterintel couldn’t confirm that enemies used WikiLeaks

Ft. Meade’s Sheila Glenn works on Army cyber counterintelligence, and she testified about the 2008 Army Counterintelligence Special Report, which she reviewed and which speculated whether foreign intelligence services or terrorist groups used or could use WikiLeaks.org to gather U.S. defense information.

She mostly confirmed important elements of the report. She read aloud,

some argue, Wikileaks.org is knowingly encouraging criminal activities such as the theft of data, documents, proprietary information, and intellectual property, possible violation of national security laws regarding sedition and espionage, and possible violation of civil laws. Within the United States and foreign countries the alleged ―whistleblowers‖ are, in effect, wittingly violating laws and conditions of employment and thus may not qualify as ―whistleblowers protected from disciplinary action or retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in countries that have such laws.

She confirmed,

Wikileaks.org supports the US Supreme Court ruling regarding the unauthorized release of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg, which stated that ―only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government.

A primary point of contention regarded ‘intelligence gaps,’ a subsection of the report under which it’s asked,

Will the Wikileaks.org Web site be used by FISS, foreign military services, foreign insurgents, or terrorist groups to collect sensitive or classified US Army information posted to the Wikileaks.org Web site?

Glenn testified that intelligence gaps could fall within a range of certainty, from points of knowledge that the Army wanted to confirm, to subjects about which it knows very little. At the time, she said, Army Counterintelligence could not confirm that foreign intelligence services, adversaries, or terrorist groups did collect information from WikiLeaks.org.

Nathan Fuller, a writer for the Bradley Manning Support Network, where this dispatch also appeared. He can be reached at Nathan@bradleymanning.org