Alleged Wiki-leaker day 4: TWink1492!!
December 19th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Alleged Wiki-leaker day 4: TWink1492!!

By Larry Shaughnessy covering the hearing in Ft. Meade, MD

4:40p update
Testimony Monday afternoon at Ft Mead, MD established links between PFC Bradley Manning and the stolen State Department cables released on WikiLeaks and the site’s founder Julian Assange.

The testimony came from two cyber crime investigators who examined the computers Manning used in Iraq and some computer material found at his aunt’s home in Potomac, MD, where he stayed when not deployed.

Spec. Agent David Shaver testified about a memory card seized during a search last December of Manning’s aunt’s home in Potomac.  Manning, who was estranged from his father, listed the aunt’s home as his home in Army records and stayed there around the time he began his army career.

Shaver found five files on the card. Four of the files had been deleted by the user, but the files were recovered during the investigation.  One of the reasons it was possible for investigators to find files on computers, hard drives and the memory card is that Manning frequently used the exact same password for various devices, TWink1492!!

One file on the SD card contained 91,000 DoD reports of day-to-day actions in Afghanistan, from major battles to meetings between troops and tribal leaders.  A second file on that card contained more than 400,000 similar reports from Iraq.

The same SD card contained a text file that had not been deleted.  It read in part: “Items of historical significance for two wars.  Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Activities (SIGACTS) between 0000 01 Jan 2004 and 2359 31 Dec 2009."

“You might need to sit on the information for 90 to 180 days to figure out how to best send and distribute such a large amount of data to a large audience," the file said.  "It is possibly one of the most significant documents or our time, removing the fog of war and revealing the nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.”

Last year, Wikileaks released nearly 500,000 documents in two batches that match the description of the documents on the SD Card.

The card, which a CID agent testified over the weekend, was among Manning’s personal effects sent from Iraq to her home after his arrest.

During questioning by one of Manning’s attorneys, Capt. Paul Bouchard, Shaver admitted he had no knowledge of what happened to the SD card between Manning’s arrest in May and the search of the aunt’s house in December.

The other expert witness was Mark Johnson, a Mantech International Contractor who worked for Spec. Agent Shaver at the Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit.

He examined Manning’s personal Apple laptop computer, which was seized, from his living quarters in Iraq.

Among the files found on the computer was records of an internet chat with Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker, who told the government that Manning was making claims about leaking secrets.

One of the chat logs contained references to video of a deadly 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Iraq.

That video was leaked in edited form by WikiLeaks.

Later Johnson testified that he also found records of an email exchange between Manning and someone name Eric Schmiedl.

Manning wrote:

“Are you familiar with WikiLeaks?”

“Yes I am” Schmiedl responded.

Manning then wrote, “I was the source of the 12 JUL 07 video from the Apache Weapons Team which killed two journalists and injured two kids.”

Johnson also testified that he examined a hard drive that was recovered from Manning’s living quarters in Iraq.

On it he found a file that read: ““You can currently contact our investigations editor directly in Iceland.”

The message included a phone number and ended, “24 hours service; ask for Julian Assange.”

The only other witness to testify on Monday was Manning’s roommate in Iraq.

Spec Eric Baker, an MP with Manning’s company, testified that he and Manning were not close and rarely spoke. But Baker said Manning told him he “he probably planned on getting out of the military.”

Baker also said Manning was a frequent user of his personal laptop in their quarters. “He used the computer quite often, between chow times. When I’d wake up in the middle of the night, he’d be on the computer,” Baker said.

The hearing recessed late Monday afternoon and is scheduled to resume in the morning.

At least 9 more witnesses are due to testify.

3:22p update
During testimony a cyber crimes expert who examined a computer memory card found at Bradley Manning's aunt's home said it contained a file with information on how to contact WikiLeaks.

“You can currently contact our investigations editor directly in Iceland, 24 hours service," the file, which included a phone number read. "Ask for Julian Assange.”

In testimony over the weekend an Army investigator testified that the memory card belonged to Manning, according Manning's aunt.

See also Charley Keyes reporting on Manning supporters scuffling with base security.

11:36a update

A cybercrime investigator continued his testimony of his examination computers that PFC Bradley Manning had access to in Iraq.

Spec. Agent David Shaver, with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command (CID) said he examined Manning’s secondary computer where he worked as an intelligence analyst.   Shaver found more 100,000 full State Department cables on the secondary computer as well as software that would allow a user to copy data to a writable CD.

But during question by Manning’s attorney, Shaver admitted that could not say that it was Manning who accessed the cable.  He also found no evidence that this information was sent to anyone.  Shaver was not asked if he compared any of the cables on Manning’s secondary computer with the diplomatic cables released on WikiLeaks.

After Shaver’s testimony, Manning’s roommate from Iraq took the stand.  Spec Eric Baker, who was with the military police in Manning’s company, testified that he and Manning were not close and rarely spoke. But Baker said Manning told him he “he probably planned on getting out of the military.”

Baker also said Manning was a frequent user of his personal laptop in their quarters. “He used the computer quite often, between chow times. When I’d wake up in the middle of the night, he’d be on the computer,” Baker said.

Shortly after another cybercrimes began testimony, court recessed for a conference among the lawyers and the presiding officer and then took lunch.

10:55a update

Testimony resumed Monday in the Article 32 hearing of PFC Bradley Manning as the defense cross examined an Army computer expert about files found on a computer linked to Manning. (highlights from the weekend coverage here)

Spec. Agent David Shaver, with the Army's Criminal Investigation Command (CID) said that a search of military computers Manning used in Iraq revealed he had downloaded the same secret documents and videos that were released online by the website WikiLeaks.

Shaver was asked if he compared any of the 10,000 diplomatic cables found on a secure computer to the 250,000 diplomatic files on WikiLeaks.  He said those he compared did not match, but he did not say how many of the files he compared.

He also said the 10,000 were in a computer file that was corrupted, and it would have been difficult if not impossible to open those files without sophisticated computer tools.

Shortly after that testimony, the court went into closed session so Shaver could testify about classified matters.

The news media and general public are forbidden from witnessing classified testimony.

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Filed under: Bradley Manning • WikiLeaks
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