Judge admits two WikiLeaks tweets, rejects Most Wanted Leak list: trial report, day 12

By Nathan Fuller. June 28, 2013.

Judge Denise Lind, sketched by Clark Stoeckley

Judge Denise Lind, sketched by Clark Stoeckley

To open Bradley Manning’s 12th day of trial at Ft. Meade, military judge Col. Denise Lind ruled that two WikiLeaks tweets from 2010 are admissible for Identification, and that a 2009 Most Wanted Leak list is not. 

Judge Lind ruled that the two tweets, one of which stated that WikiLeaks was in possession of an encrypted video and the other requested “.mil email addresses,” were properly authenticated, despite defense arguments that because the tweets were retrieved from Google Cache and not WikiLeaks’ Twitter account directly, they couldn’t be verified. 

She said that these tweets were both relevant to the “aiding the enemy” charge, the claim (spec. 1 of charge 2) that Manning “wantonly caused [U.S. defense intelligence] to be published on the internet,” and the charge that Manning downloaded a Global Address List in Iraq. The government has provided no evidence that Manning saw either of these tweets, but Judge Lind ruled that they were relevant as circumstantial evidence, due to their timing and public availability, and the fact that Manning was known to have searched Intelink (the military’s Google) for ‘WikiLeaks.’

Judge Lind denied a third item, a 2009 WikiLeaks Most Wanted Leak list, ruling that while it would be relevant to show Manning’s knowledge of WikiLeaks and its intentions, it hasn’t been properly authenticated and therefore is not admitted for identification. The document was obtained via Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, which largely uses third-party donors to crawl the web, and the government didn’t present a witness with first-hand knowledge of how it was retrieved. 

Manning’s commander in Iraq

Col. David Miller, Bradley Manning’s unit commander in Iraq, testified about the effect that Manning’s disclosures had on the unit morale. He said he was “stunned” to learn of an information compromise, because the “last thing I anticipated was an internal security breach from one of our own.” He said unit morale “took a hit,” and that a “funeral-like atmosphere fell over that crowd.” 

On cross-examination, Col. Miller testified that there were no restrictions on surfing the SIPRNet, the military’s Secret-level internet, where he perused the State Department’s Net-Centric Diplomacy Database. He also said that soldiers were allowed to download files to their computers and to digital media, such as CDs, and there were no restrictions on the ‘manner’ in which a soldier could download. This refutes the claim that by using the download-automating Wget program, Manning exceeded his authorized computer access.


We’re scheduled to hear one more live witness, someone from the State Dept. whom prosecutors will attempt to qualify as an expert on counterintelligence and espionage. The government is expected to read three stipulations of expected testimony, though one full one and part of another will be read in closed sessions, and two stipulations of fact.

I’ll update this post later today.

Update 2:45pm ET

Change of plans: the parties are working on more stipulations, so we’re done for today and will resume on Monday at 9:30am ET. They’ll aim to finish the remaining government witnesses Monday, but will continue Tuesday if needed. Either way, the court will be closed Wednesday–Friday, July 3-5.

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