Collateral Murder’s contents, Reuters’ FOIA request, and other evidentiary debates: trial report, day 9
Today the government and defense asked the court to take judicial notice of several items, including evidence that could rebut the claim that the Collateral Murder video exposed sensitive tactics. Tomorrow we’ll resume with the government’s witnesses. See all previous courtroom reports here.
By Nathan Fuller, Bradley Manning Support Network. June 25, 2013.
Bradley Manning’s ninth day of court-martial proceedings at Ft. Meade, MD, was brief, with less than two hours of oral arguments over defense and prosecution motions for judicial notice.
The defense asked the court to take judicial notice of several items, starting with Rear Admiral Donegan’s letter to the Secretary of the Army claiming that the Apache (Collateral Murder) video didn’t include Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs). This directly rebuts earlier testimony, from former Apache pilot John LaRue, who said the unclassified video did contain TTPs. Prosecutors objected, contending that Rear Adm. Donegan’s letter constituted his opinion, not fact, and that the purpose of the letter was to discuss the classification status of the video. The defense responded that regardless of the purpose of the letter in full, that portion directly contradicts testimony from government witnesses, and thus should be taken into consideration.
The government stated and then later withdrew its objections to the defense’s proffering of a transcript of the Apache video, Reuters’s FOIA request for the video and subsequent investigation, and U.S. Central Command’s response to the FOIA request.
Prosecutors asked the court to take notice of WikiLeaks’ major releases: the Iraq and Afghan war logs, the diplomatic cables, an Army counterintelligence report, the Apache video, and Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs. The defense countered that what WikiLeaks did with the documents was irrelevant to what Bradley Manning did with them. In Specification 1 of Charge 2, Bradley is accused of “wrongfully and wantonly caus[ing] to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the United States government,” so the government contends that whether the documents were published is relevant to that element. The defense said its argument was similar to that for the “aiding the enemy” charge, for which it argued that “receipt” by the enemy was not relevant to whether the transmission had occurred. Here, lawyers said, whether WikiLeaks published the files doesn’t prove that Bradley transmitted the information or prove anything about the way it was transmitted.
Next, the government asked Judge Lind to take notice of the salaries of the military service members who created Guantanamo detainee assessment briefs and the Global Address List. They said these salaries were relevant to prove that Bradley had stolen government property that was worth more than $1,000. Defense lawyers objected, saying that the government had failed to show exactly how much time had been spent into creating those files, and that yearly salaries was insufficient to determine their work products’ monetary value.
Prosecutors moved for the court to take notice of paragraphs of Army Regulation (AR) 25-1, even though Bradley is charged with violating AR 25-2. The 25-1 paragraphs discuss government ownership of property and why it should be kept secret and to issues of authorized access, so prosecutors want Judge Lind to take them into account when ruling on 25-2 violations. The defense objected that the paragraphs weren’t relevant to the charges.
Judge Lind will rule on these items likely sometime this week, as well as on the admissibility of the WikiLeaks tweets and ‘Most Wanted Leak’ list that the government produced with Google Cache and the Internet Archive. Tomorrow, we’ll proceed with the government’s witnesses.