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Galindez writes: "All three witnesses today compared leaked documents to open source information. Davis and Ganiel were clearly more effective than Hall. The major question unanswered today is how the decision of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will affect this case."

Col. Morris Davis (Retired) (photo: Andy Worthington)
Col. Morris Davis (Retired) (photo: Andy Worthington)

Bradley Manning's Defense: Day Two

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

09 July 13


oday, Col. Morris Davis (Ret.) reviewed the five Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) that Bradley Manning was charged with releasing. He then compared the documents with records that were available to the public. President Obama convened a joint task force to evaluate the threat of the detainees still in Guantanamo shortly after he took office. Col. Davis compared the DABs to a public report released by the task force and concluded that there was nothing in the DABs that couldn't be found in the report. He also repeated his comparison of the DABs to baseball cards, containing nothing more than biographical data.

The defense moved to enter into evidence the documents Col. Davis used for his review of the detainee assessment briefs so the judge could compare the DABs word for word with what is in open source material. The Army needed to review the three binders with highlighted material they said they hadn't seen before they could decide to formally object to their admission in court.

The Army prosecutor said they would object to the information in the public domain if it were not officially released by the government. He added that only government information that was "lawfully available" would contribute and be relevant to the defense over whether information disclosed did relate to "national defense information." But the judge asked the government to look at another of her instructions: to consider whether disclosure would be potentially damaging or useful to the United States.

During this exchange, the Army mentioned that there is a sealed court ruling made today that is relevant to the closely held issue. The case is US v Kim, which dealt with classified information on North Korea being leaked to Fox News reporter James Rosen. The prosecution told the court they were in the process of trying to gain access to the ruling for use in this case.

The judge accepted the documents into evidence and Davis was excused from the witness stand.

Col. Davis resigned from his role as Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo in October of 2007. Davis tried to make any testimony obtained during waterboarding inadmissible and was overruled. When he resigned, he said: "The guy who said waterboarding is A-okay I was not going to take orders from. I quit."

Cassius Hall

The second witness was the current Classification Security Officer for INSCOM, the US Army Intelligence & Security Command. He was assigned to the defense to be their security expert. He spent 22 years in the military working in the same job classification as Bradley Manning. Hall retired from the military as a Master Sergeant.

Hall reviewed the SIGACTS that PFC Manning was charged with releasing. SIGACTS are interactive maps that display locations on the ground where a unit is deployed or through which it will be traveling. Hall then compared the data to open source information. The defense moved to admit the documents that Hall used to compare the data, and met the same objection that was made with Col. Davis's binders. The court then went into recess so the Army could review the material, and they were out close to an hour.

On cross examination, Hall testified that around five percent of the information in the SIGACTS was available open source. Overall, Hall did not appear to be a great witness for the defense, but we were not privy to the documents that the judge will review.

Charles Ganiel

Ganiel reviewed the 125 diplomatic cables that Manning is charged with releasing to Wikileaks. Ganiel found open source information related to all but two of the cables. Ganiel said he determined that most of the information in the cables was already public knowledge.

All three witnesses today compared leaked documents to open source information. Davis and Ganiel were clearly more effective than Hall. The major question unanswered today is how the decision of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals will affect this case.

What to Expect on Day Three

Professor Yochai Benkler will probably be the first witness tomorrow. Benkler is a strong proponent of Wikileaks, characterizing it as a prime example of non-traditional media, filling a public watchdog role left vacant by traditional news outlets. In a draft paper written for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review in February 2011, he used governmental vilification and prosecution of Wikileaks as a case study demonstrating the need for more robust legal protection for independent media. your social media marketing partner
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