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Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning is a US soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified military material to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. Assigned to an army unit based near Baghdad, Manning had access to databases used by the military to transmit classified information. He was charged with 22 offences by the US government, including those of communicating national defence information to an unauthorised source and aiding the enemy. A military judge on July 30 2013 acquitted Manning of the most serious charge against him, aiding the enemy, but convicted him of most of the other charges including espionage, theft and computer fraud.

NewsWorld
WIKILEAKS

Bradley Manning leaked sensitive information, court martial told

Prosecutors reject claim that the disclosures, including troop movements and the names of criminal suspects, did not compromise security

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 8:22am

A video of a US Apache helicopter attack leaked by US Army soldier Bradley Manning revealed sensitive information that could help enemies plan deadlier assaults, according to a Pentagon official’s statement read on Wednesday at the soldier’s court martial.

The cockpit video showed digital display information about the helicopter’s airspeed and angles of engagement, according to Chief Warrant Officer 5 Jon LaRue’s statement that was admitted as evidence.

“Enemies can anticipate US operations and plan more effective attacks as a result,” LaRue said in his statement.

LaRue is an Apache helicopter expert. His statement was about a 2007 attack in Baghdad that killed a Reuters news photographer and his driver.

Prosecutors want to convict Manning of 21 charges, including aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence. They say he divulged information that found its way to Osama bin Laden.

Manning, 25, has said he didn’t believe that the more than 700,000 battlefield reports, diplomatic cables and video clips he leaked while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad would hurt national security.

Also on Wednesday, a defence attorney won an objection after prosecutors said they could not produce a computer security agreement the soldier signed after arriving in Iraq in 2009.

Manning allegedly violated the agreement in three of the charges he faces: two military charges for adding unauthorised software to his work computer and one federal computer fraud charge for exceeding his authorised access.

Prosecutors wanted to enter a sample form of the agreement into evidence but Manning’s attorney David Coombs objected and the judge didn’t allow it.

Prosecution witness Captain Thomas Cherepko was the unit’s information assurance manager. He says all of the computer “acceptable use agreements” were routinely destroyed when the unit returned home. But he said the one Manning signed disappeared and couldn’t be found shortly he was arrested.

Defence lawyers also attacked the government’s assertion that Manning started sending classified information to WikiLeaks within weeks of starting work as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009.

Army computer crimes investigator Mark Johnson testified on cross-examination he found no evidence on Manning’s personal computer of WikiLeaks’ “Most Wanted Leaks of 2009”. The government alleges Manning used the list as a guide to obtain documents and videos for the anti-secrecy website.

Johnson also testified on cross-examination that he found no evidence that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asked Manning for anything specific in a series of online chats and e-mail exchanges.

Manning’s court-martial is moving along faster than expected. Colonel Michelle Roberts, a spokeswoman for the Military District of Washington, said the court martial was a week or two ahead of the government’s projected schedule. The trial began last week. It was originally projected to run through August or September.

She said the pace is partly due to agreements between prosecution and defence attorneys to accept written statements from witnesses instead of having them testify in court.

The trial will resume on Monday.

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