Post-testimony legal wrangling begins in Manning case
July 15th, 2013
09:52 PM ET

Post-testimony legal wrangling begins in Manning case

By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy

FORT MEADE, Maryland (CNN) - After years of pretrial delays and legal battles, testimony in the court-martial trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning is all but over but the delays and battles continue.

Last Monday, before presenting witnesses in the case, Manning's defense attorneys filed motions asking the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, to find him not guilty of four of the charges against him.

Among those four charges they want the judge to consider is the most serious charge against Manning, aiding the enemy. If he's found guilty of that charge, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Manning's attorneys maintain that the prosecutors in the case failed to show "that Pfc. Manning had 'actual knowledge' that by giving information to WikiLeaks, he was giving information to an enemy of the United States," according to the defense motion.

According to David Coombs, Manning's lead attorney, the prosecution contends "if you give information to any news organization that is going to publish it on the Internet, you are giving it to the enemy."

The defense presented evidence earlier in the case that they said showed there are intelligence gaps regarding whether terrorist groups such as al Qaeda go to WikiLeaks for information about the U.S. military.

"What better proof that Pfc. Manning didn't know if the enemy goes to WikiLeaks than the U.S. Army doesn't know if the enemy goes to WikiLeaks," Coombs said.

"Pfc. Manning had the ability to send the information directly to the enemy if he had wanted to, but he didn't. He wanted to spark debate," Coombs told the judge.

Prosecutors maintain that Manning based on his training and work as an intelligence analyst "should have known" that putting information on the internet was providing information to the enemy.

Most of the first couple of hours of Monday's court hearing were spent debating another defense motion regarding accusations that Manning loaded a computer program called WGet on his work computer in Iraq.

The government maintains that the program was not authorized and allowed him to quickly download huge caches of files that eventually ended up on WikiLeaks.

The defense pointed out that several witnesses testified that WGet was not specifically banned and that several other kinds of programs, such as music programs, were not authorized but were allowed by the chain of command.
Lind said she would rule on both issues after court resumes at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. But that won't be the end of everything.

The judge ruled late Monday that the prosecutors would be allowed to present four rebuttal witness in response to some defense testimony.

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Filed under: Bradley Manning • WikiLeaks
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  24. Alan Kurtz

    CNN's Larry Shaughnessy writes, "Prosecutors maintain that Manning based on his training and work as an intelligence analyst 'should have known' that putting information on the internet was providing information to the enemy."

    Not so. At the July 15 court-martial session that Shaughnessy is reporting, Captain Angel Overgaard spoke for the prosecution. "The government is not contending that the accused should have known," said Overgaard. "The government is contending that the accused did know."

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  25. California

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  26. George patton

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    July 16, 2013 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • rodney

      He should spend the next 20 years in prison. He was trusted with American secrets and gave them away for what. If he wanted to spark debate he should have release them to a senator or congressman like they did in the past.

      July 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • USMC1371

        He should be shot

        July 16, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

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