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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lack of evidence reveals overprosecution of Bradley Manning - trial summary, week 2

Bradley Manning Support Network

Lack of evidence makes overcharging clear

Bradley Manning on the cover of Time magazine
The second week of the court martial validated claims that the government has overcharged Bradley Manning. The prosecution seems to lack evidence to support a number of the charges they had levelled, particularly in relation to the transfer of a video of the Farah incident, and to the use of unauthorized software, and unauthorized access to classified databases.
The military could not produce any of the "acceptable use" paperwork that should have been signed by soldiers, and which would explain computer policies. In fact, the military could not produce any such paperwork for Manning or for any soldier stationed along with him. Further witnesses testified that many of the alleged unauthorized programs were commonly used, and music, movies, and even games were often kept on secure machines.
Witnesses also testified that it is normal for intelligence officers to access databases to conduct research beyond the scope of an assignment and that it was normal to download classified documents to their local machines so that they could import such data into spreadsheets. Contrary to government charges, Bradley did have authorization to be accessing the classified files, and to save those files on his work computers.
The prosecution also failed to link Bradley Manning to the Farah video discussed in the chat logs leaked by Adrial Lamo. The Farah airstrike incident involved the massacre of approximately a hundred civilians including many children. There was no evidence that Manning downloaded this video from CENTCOM servers (one of the charges), whereas there is evidence that Jason Katz, who the prosecution failed to link to Manning, did have access to the video. And there was no evidence linking Bradley Manning to Jason Katz.
Lastly, prosecutors introduced online chats between Bradley Manning and a person identified as "pressfoundation", allegedly Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. An open source government database is referenced however on cross examination it was made clear that "pressassociation" never asked Bradley Manning for any documents, nor did they ask about Manning's access to documents.
Read full reports from day 4day 5 and day 6.
The court also ruled that stenographers funded by the Freedom of the Press Foundation will be guaranteed a media seat throughout the trial. Read transcripts.

There are more Bradley Manning's

This week, Edward Snowden took responsibility for blowing the whistle on PRISM, a secretive government spying operation that monitored American's phones and online communications.
In an interview with Glenn Greenwald he discusses his intent behind releasing the classified documents, and his reasons mimic those of Bradley. In fact, in the interview he says that Bradley Manning is a "classic whistleblower" and he was "inspired by the public good."
With the public becoming more and more convinced of the importance of whistleblowers, Time magazine has featured Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, two whistleblowers, along with Jonathan Swartz an information activist who sadly committed suicide under duress of government prosecutors. Swartz has since become a symbol against government overprosecution.

Taking Pride in Bradley

Dozens marched for Bradley in DC Pride last weekend.
Let us help you represent Bradley at an upcoming Pride event in your community!
Posters, info cards, and stickers avaiable without charge for organizers.
Contact Emma for more information.

Help us continue to cover 100%
of Bradley's legal fees! Donate today.

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