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Bradley Manning Takes the Stand: 11 days of Testimony on Abuse at Quantico

WISE Up | 13.12.2012 11:58 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Terror War | World

Accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Bradley Manning, the young American military intelligence analyst with Welsh and Irish roots, gave evidence in person for the first time at Fort Meade, Maryland in a hearing on the Defence's Article 13 unlawful pretrial punishment motion. The court sat for eleven days between 27 November and 11 December to hear the case that Brad was subject to unlawful pretrial punishment at Quantico brig where he was held for nine months before being transferred to less punitive conditions at Fort Leavenworth in April 2011. Brad's mistreatment at Quantico has already been condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez. On the strength of evidence of mistreatment, the Defence is calling for all 22 charges Bradley Manning faces in connection with the biggest anti-war whistleblowing act in history to be dropped or, failing that, for any sentence imposed if he is convicted to be substantially reduced. Judgment has been reserved and the ruling of military judge Denise Lind is unlikely before January.

12 Jan:
This feature (below) now finalised
12 Jan: Verdict from this hearing Judge declines to dismiss all charges; finds some unlawful pretrial punishment but ignores most; only 112 days sentencing credit awarded.

On the newswire - Notes from the courtroom: Verdict | 11 Dec | 10 Dec | 7 Dec | 6 Dec | 5 Dec | 1-2 Dec | 30 Nov | 29 Nov | 27-29 Nov | London vigil: 27 Nov Report | Call-out | Previous feature: April 2011

This feature has been compiled from the sources listed in the posts above. Read the full article for a summary of the hearing and links to articles by independent journalists and supporters of Bradley Manning


courtroom sketch by Clark Stoeckley
courtroom sketch by Clark Stoeckley

This feature has now been completed.

What's this hearing about?

Brad was held the whole nine months at Quantico in solitary confinement on 'Maximum Custody' status (MAX) and on one or other of suicide risk (SR) and prevention of injury (POI). Since being moved to Fort Leavenworth in April 2011, he's been on 'Medium Custody', on neither SR nor POI. The government had to prove it had a 'legitimate government objective' for keeping him under these conditions, while the defence needed to show 'unlawful pretrial punishment', which apparently has a low threshold of proof, for example intentional mistreatment or being held in conditions that were, in effect, punishment.


Bradley Manning has been held in pretrial detention for two and a half years, unprecedented in US military history, and this is the first time that his own account of his treatment in detention has been heard in the courtroom or anywhere. Brad's testimony has been brought out into the public domain from the courtroom primarily by the dedicated independent journalists who have been covering this latest hearing as well as all previous hearings. Despite, or perhaps because of the huge importance of this case, it has largely been ignored by the mainstream media who were keen enough at the time to publish the documents and cables Brad's charged with leaking. The next hearing, dealing with a number of motions, will run from 8-11 January 2013 and the trial is expected to begin in March [update Jan 2013: This has now been put back to June 2013]. This primer by Kevin Gosztola explains the background to the hearing.

DAY ONE - 27 November

Witness: Former Quantico base commander Col. Daniel Choike

The morning was taken up with discussion of the defence's offer for pleading by exceptions and substitution that continued in the following days (for detail see Alexa O'Brien's notes: 29 Nov | 28 Nov | 27 Nov), after which Col. Choike took the stand.

Colonel Daniel Choike

Choike testified that he had told his superiors that he didn't think Quantico, meant for short term detention, was a suitable place to hold Bradley Manning for more than 90 days, but was overruled. It is apparent from Choike's evidence that the major concern of officers at the brig was not Brad's welfare but rather how the situation might be viewed by and presented in the media. When an independent mental health professional was due to visit, Choike asked Security Battalion Commander in charge of Quantico at the time, Col. Robert Oltman, whether the visit could be blocked or put back. Choike's testimony and written evidence reveal that the officers didn't want any interference from those who might not agree with their position of keeping Brad on POI and in maximum custody (MAX), the latter being for prisoners who are dangerous, violent or an escape risk. Choike conceded that Bradley Manning did not match this profile, claiming instead that it was the seriousness of the charges that justified MAX status.

Brad was held for nine months in solitary confinement with no personal effects in his cell and forbidden to exercise for over 23 hours a day, his only exercise taking place with him still in restraints. In response to an article 138 complaint registered by Brad's defence, the brig chose someone from within the Marines, Chief Warrant Officer Abel Galaviz, to investigate even though he had been involved in decisions made about Brad's confinement status so was hardly independent. Two brig psychologists who had found that there was no risk of suicide or violence protested Brad's status for months but Choike stated that he deferred to a high ranking officer in the Dental Corps., Captain Mary Neill. So, in effect, Brad was kept under Prevention of Injury conditions on the say-so of a dentist and against the advice of psychologists and psychiatrists. Choike also claimed that Brad had freely chosen to stand naked for roll call after his underwear had been taken from him. This conflicts with Brad's account that a guard, by asking him twice "Is that how you stand at parade rest?" was implicitly telling him he couldn't cover himself with his blanket. Choike alleged that Brad's "erratic behavior", such as playing peek-a-boo with the guards or holding his arms as though he were lifting weights, led to him being kept in these conditions. Coombs responded that such behaviour actually stemmed from the conditions he was being held in.

DAY TWO - 28 November

Witness: The first witness was Colonel Robert Oltman. In the Quantico hierarchy, he was higher than CWO Averhart and his successor CWO Denise Barnes, but under base commander Daniel Choike who testified on day 1. The second and third witnesses on day 2 were forensic psychiatrist Navy Captain William Hocter and consulting psychiatrist Captain Kevin Moore.

Colonel Robert Oltman, Captain William Hocter and Captain Kevin Moore

Like Choike, Oltman cited Brad's "erratic behaviour" including dancing in his cell as a reason for his treatment. Hocter was later asked about this to which he replied "So what?" - this was normal human behaviour. "He's sitting in a cell all day, he’s got to do something to amuse himself!" Oltman and Hocter had angrily disagreed over Brad's treatment, which both Hocter and Moore said would have aggravated his psychological condition; both also confirmed that POI was typically a short term measure. Although Hocter had recommended POI status for the first month Brad was at Quantico, once he'd had chance to assess him, he made it clear that Brad was not a risk, that he needed to be able to socialise and that restrictions should be lifted. Instead they were tightened. Moore and Hocter said that for the brig to ignore medical recommendations was unprecedented. Hocter testifed that he was surprised at how well Brad had stood up to this treatment, concluding "I think he just decided that he was going to be strong." He also described Brad as having "his own personality... A bit of a free spirit." Oltman testified that he didn't trust Hocter's professional opinion, while Hocter said he was unaware of this mistrust. The defence motion quotes Oltman's position: "He won't be able to hurt himself and he won't be able to get away, and our way of making sure of this is that he will remain on this status indefinitely" to which Hocter had retorted "Sir, I am concerned because if you're going to do that, maybe you want to call it something else, because it's not based on anything from behavioral health."

Bradley’s underwear was taken from him at night after he joked that he could hang himself with the elastic in the waistband of his boxer shorts. Hocter's assessment was that Brad was just being sarcastic but Oltman, questioned on this point, said "You don’t joke about suicide." Oltman clearly didn't apply the same rules to himself, as he'd laughed at a poem written by another officer that had made fun of both the comment and Brad's nudity. Finally, Coombs asked Hoctor for his professional opinion of an authority using a highly restrictive status such as POI for a long period of time in knowledge of adverse effects. Hoctor said that the word he would choose is "callous."

DAY THREE - 29 November

Witnesses: first up Colonel Ricky Malone, a psychiatrist who worked with Hocter. After lunch there was more on the proposed pleadings, and evidence given over the telephone by Ft. Leavenworth’s Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton. Then Bradley Manning took the stand and was examined by his Defence Attorney David Coombs.

Colonel Ricky Malone

Malone testified that he visited Brad on a number of occasions, including follow up visits, after which he discussed Brad's case with Hocter, based on Hocter's observations. He testified about the medication Brad was given, the time it might take to have effect and the likely improvements that would be seen in a patient's condition once it did. Later, in January 2011, he assumed sole responsibility for Brad's psychiatric care when Hocter deployed, and visited Brad weekly for an hour or more each time as well as informally communicating with brig staff. He said that he communicated to the brig command that from a psychiatric viewpoint, he did not consider POI status necessary, but brig commander Denise Barnes said there were other factors they had to consider. Malone said that Barnes would relate instances of Brad's behaviour to him that "they would attribute more risk to... than I would as a clinician." He said that Brad was an extremely intelligent young man and that Malone spent time talking with him during visits

"about things that you might not see any therapeutic value to... but I knew... was giving him some interaction and some intellectual stimulation that... he wasn't getting during the rest of the week."
Malone said he saw no need for the suicide mattress, the suicide smock or for the removal of toilet paper from Brad's cell. He also testified that he didn't see the brig displaying the same risk averse approach with other detainees. Regarding Brad's comment about being able to commit suicide with the elastic in his underwear, Malone gave evidence that he didn't consider this was any indication that Brad intended to take his life. He saw it as Brad intellectualising about his situation, something he did frequently. Malone also testified that Brad was very frustrated with being on MAX POI and frequently expressed that to him. Under examination from Judge Lind, Malone said that although other people might have thought that one piece of information outweighed everything else in determining whether Brad was a suicide risk, his own opinion - once he'd had chance to speak with Brad over a period of time - was that he was not high risk.

Lieutenant Colonel Dawn Hilton

Hilton was asked by Coombs to describe in detail Brad's confinement conditions at Fort Leavenworth. In Quantico he'd been held in a space 6' x 8' in solitary confinement, always in restraints outside his cell with the rest of the brig in lockdown, 20 mins sunshine call a day, held under intense observation, denied the right to exercise in his cell, not allowed to lean back against the wall to rest all day, denied meaningful activity and intellectual stimulation, given meals alone in his cell, stripped of all clothing at night, sleeping on a suicide mattress with a suicide smock with a bright fluorescent light in his eyes...

Hilton described a regime at Leavenworth that is completely different from the torture he was subjected to in Quantico. Brad has a space 10' x 8', has free association with other pretrial inmates for most of the day, eats with them, is not held in restraints, has a window in his cell and a large communal living space with access to gym, library, word processor, recreational activities. He is allowed personal items in his cell, including his clothes and toiletries, radio and television.

Hilton said that she would follow mental health professionals' advice regarding Suicide Risk and would always try to remove prisoners from this status within 48 hours, or get them to a psychiatric ward. She said Brad has never appeared at risk of potentially harming himself, and that he’s been on medium security and neither POI nor suicide risk since his arrival at Fort Leavenworth in April 2011.

Bradley Manning gives evidence

There's not room here to do justice to Brad's testimony. Read the reports from the courtroom for 29 and 30 Nov for the detail (links below) or read Alexa O'Brien's full transcript. Understandably, after two and a half years, there was excitement at the prospect of hearing Brad speak for the first time at any length, and more mainstream media interest than usual. First impressions from two independent reporters were expressed in these tweets:
"Bradley Manning is smiling & energetic while giving testimony. Very intelligent. Really great to hear from him finally" Kevin Gosztola

"Amazing to hear Manning. Solid voice. Matter of fact. A kind smile, which he uses a lot. And earnest" and a few days later: "Manning is not a push over, and Manning is not weak. He is actually extraordinarily smart, well spoken, respectful, and tough." Alexa O'Brien

Bradley Manning examined by Defence attorney David Coombs

Brad described the first weeks of his detention when he was moved from Iraq and held in what he described as an "animal cage" in a tent at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait for three days of 'indoctrination', at one point passing out from the heat and dehydration. For a couple of weeks he was moved to another tent in the camp with other prisoners, but then without explanation was placed back in segregation in the cage, for part of each day at first but later completely segregated from other inmates. He talked of a camp regime where wake up call was late evening and bedtime middle of the day, and once segregated, he had no access to news and no information about what might happen to him. He was extremely isolated, became disorientated, had suicidal thoughts and in his own words "started to fall apart".

When Brad was moved again at the end of July 2010, he had no idea where he was headed, fearing Guantanamo Bay or Djibouti, so he was very relieved to find himself back on the US mainland and happy to be at Quantico, in a solid building with air conditioning. Although he hadn't slept in over 24 hours, he was immediately required to answer questions and fill in psychological forms and subjected to "shark attack" tactics by guards, following which he was put on suicide risk (SR) watch, then after two weeks Prevention of Injury status. He was also a Maximum Custody (MAX) prisoner, which involved further restrictions. SR watch included being checked by guards every five minutes, only 20 minutes of natural light a day, fluorescent light constantly on (Brad would be woken if he slept turned away from this), 20 minutes a day exercise in full restraints and he required the assistance of a guard to stand up in these, segregated from other inmates, no personal effects in his tiny 6' x 8' cell. At one point his glasses were taken from him but this annoyed the guards as he couldn't see well enough to ascertain their rank in order to address them correctly! Coombs taped out the size of the cell and its furniture on the courtroom floor and had Brad stand in it, also to put on the 'suicide smock' that had been too uncomfortable to sleep in, had induced a skin rash and from which Brad had required help to free his arms.

Brad testified that POI status was almost identical to SR. Master Sergeant Craig Blenis was supposed to be Brad's 'counsellor' and he blamed the continuing POI on the psychiatrists. However, the psychiatrist Hocter was telling Brad that he was recommending POI status be removed. Brad's initial reaction was to mistrust Hocter but he eventually found out that it was Blenis recommending that POI should continue. Brad asked Blenis about getting a job in the brig and was told he could do this if his custody status changed which it never did. Without work but supposedly 'on duty' from 5am-5pm every day, Brad wasn't even allowed to lie down on his bed, or lean his back against the wall and he described some of the activities he engaged in to relieve the boredom, including dancing to get around the 'no exercise' rule and spending a lot of time at his mirror which he described as "the most interesting thing" in his cell. Brad was not allowed toilet paper in his cell so would "stand to attention and shout: 'Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!'".

Brad testified that after a protest by supporters outside the brig on 17 January 2011 he was treated curtly and gruffly by guards the following day and subjected to another "shark attack" with guards firing conflicting orders at him during recreation time during which he briefly became emotional and fell down. Later, Brig Officer in Charge CWO James Averhart came into Brad's cell to question him about the incident and yelled at him. When he'd calmed down, Brad raised the issue of his POI status which made Averhart mad again, and he ordered him to be placed on suicide watch. The guards came in and Blenis asked him to remove his clothes. He was only allowed his boxers. His glasses were also taken away, rendering him effectively blind.

Brad also described how he had stopped visits by his father who had told him he would not go to the media but had immediately done so, and by supporter David House because Brad didn't want him to "stir up" the media.

Once he was moved to Fort Leavenworth, Brad was immediately put on Medium Custody status, given back his clothes, had association with other detainees, was allowed to use facilities like the library, gym and common room. He described the change as a "huge upgrade".

DAY FOUR - 30 November

Bradley Manning is cross-examined by government prosecutor Ashden Fein, followed by re-examination by defence counsel David Coombs and questions from Judge Denise Lind.

Cross-examination of Bradley Manning by Prosecutor Fein

Fein began with questions about the cell in which Brad was held at Quantico, asking Brad to confirm that it had three solid walls and bars on the fourth wall, rather than a solid steel door or solid door with small window, apparently to make the point that more of the indirect daylight would have reached the cell but neglecting the crucial points that the arrangement meant he had a bright fluorescent light shining in his eyes all night and was denied any privacy even on the toilet.

Fein asked Brad to confirm that he'd been told not to put his arms inside the suicide smock (that he once got trapped in). In reply, Brad pointed out that he'd not done this intentionally, but had probably done it unconsciously while falling asleep.

Fein then moved on to Brad's suicidal feelings while in Kuwait and two nooses he's alleged to have made. Brad claimed responsibility for one but said he didn't recall the other. He also denied that he'd scavenged for metal objects with which to harm himself. Fein is clearly trying to justify the government keeping Brad on suicide risk and prevention of injury watch, referring back to a phrase Brad used on a form when he arrived at Quantico in relation to suicidal intentions: "Always planning, never acting". Fein tried to convey that this was an ongoing situation, referring to a comment Brad made about being "patient". Brad responded by clearly stating he was referring to being patient about getting improvements to his status at Quantico (ie not patiently waiting for chance to kill himself).

In relation to Brad's request to the Classification & Assignment (C&A) board to discuss his POI status around January 2011, Brad was asked again about writing "always planning, never acting". He recounted to Fein how he had tried to explain to the officers on the board that he wrote that on a whim, and maybe was a little sarcastic, since he knew he was to be placed on suicide watch at Quantico in any case. Fein says that Brad didn't take this opportunity of explaining to the board why he shouldn't be on POI. Brad says he thought he had done this.

There was a lengthy to and fro about the 'chits' (DD5-10 forms that military correctional facilities use for detainees to request all kinds of things from books to issues about their status in detention). Brad confirmed that he used this system to request books such as 'People's History of the United States', 'A Journey in my Political Life', 'Good Soldier'. Later he requested and received the journal 'Scientific America' monthly. One time he used a chit to raise a concern about privileged communication with his attorney. Brad testifed that a guard would sometimes sit in the room with him when he spoke with his attorney on the phone and that he had been concerned about confidentiality; he believed that other calls were recorded. Another time, he wanted to know what had happened to a package from a member of his defence team, Major Hurley but that had been confiscated. Brad testified that he had still not been given it and didn't know where it had gone. The reply to the chit was that he wasn't allowed to have it and that it was being 'reviewed'.

Fein went through in some detail a form used by the army during regular visits to Brad to find out how he was being treated and whether there were any issues at the marine brig. Some things, such as medical and dental care were considered the responsibility of the army and Brad had to make his requests through his army command. Brad testified that the entries on the form did not always reflect concerns he had raised about specific issues during these visits. He said that sometimes he would raise issues verbally, but that the entry logged by his army visitors on the form would be 'no issues'. Fein went through a number of weeks of forms, asking Brad to confirm that he had rated the guards as 'professional' each week. Brad responded that at first he rated them 'very professional' but that the army visitors had stopped writing the 'very' on the form. Later, he changed his replies to 'average', 'all right' or 'OK'. One week Brad asked the army for new t-shirts and underwear because no matter how many times they were washed, they "still smelled like Iraq." After the incident on 18 January during recreation, Brad's answer to "How were you treated by the guards?" changed from "excellent" to "decent". He confirmed that this was in response to the events of that week. In March 2011, Brad had discussed with the army visitor, First Sergeant Williams, how CWO Denise Barnes had put him on extra restrictions, interpreted by Brad as "some kind of suicide restriction" but not called that. In spite of him discussing these concerns with his visitors, the record for that visit in answer to the question "Do you have any needs to be taken care of?" is "no" but Brad's assessment of the guards' treatment that week is noted as "overcautious".

Fein appears to have attempted to build a picture of Brad repeatedly registering his satisfaction with the treatment he received at Quantico, and weekly reporting this satisfaction to the army, and the army dealing with any issues he did raise. Brad's answers, however, make it clear that issues he raised were not always recorded. Under questioning by Fein, he explains that he frequently discussed his ongoing POI status, particularly with Captain Casamatta who was concerned about this. Later on, he said: "I did talk about my confinement conditions to First Sergeant Williams and Captain Casamatta routinely and repeatedly, sir" and confirms again that these conversations were not documented.

Next, Fein brought up 'voluntary statements' Brad completed and signed at Quantico to indicate 'choices' he had allegedly made. Brad testified that these statements were far from voluntary. For example, on 14 Dec, he was ordered by Sergeant Papakie to fill in a 'voluntary statement' form because there wasn't enough time for him to have recreation. A couple of weeks later when it was too snowy to go outside for recreation he was told to complete another and on other occasions he was asked to complete one at the end of the day when one activity or another had not happened, essentially making it look as though he had chosen not to do the activity. Brad testified that he was very uncomfortable with this and had crossed out sections of the sworn statement he took to be a legal document. For example, he crossed out "I am freely and voluntarily" and other phrases on the form on Christmas Day 2010 when the brig wanted to give him sleep medication at 8pm and secure his television. Brad describes the dilemma he felt about these forms: "it seemed like it was not - it was not proper for me to be filling these out, but I didn't want to refuse an immediate direct order, because I didn't how - I didn't know what to do in those circumstances." Fein challenged Brad, saying that he could have written his objections on the form, but Brad said this wasn't allowed, giving an example:

"Sergeant Garnet on one particular occasion. Took the form. Ripped it up. And, gave me another one and said, 'Fill this out the way that I say that you fill it out'."
Brad then explained that after he had discussed it with his attorney, David Coombs advised him not to sign any more of these statements so he didn't, although it was difficult to refuse. Fein had another go at arguing that Brad must have been signing the forms voluntarily, but Brad reiterated that someone was standing over him each time ordering him to complete them.

Brad was asked to clarify what happened when he was stripped of his clothes at night and these had not been returned to him by morning count. He stood at parade rest, covering himself with his blanket. Brad explained again that he was asked a question by the guard in the observation booth, who he couldn't see because he didn't have his glasses, and that he knew that this was an implied order to put his blanket down: "Detainee Manning, is that how you stand at parade rest?". Brad said that he asked for clarification, but the guard just repeated the statement and Brad understood that he was being ordered to put down the blanket and did so. Since Brad stood at parade rest every single morning for count, it is improbable that the guard would have been referring to anything other than the fact that he was holding his blanket to cover himself or that he was naked apart from the blanket. Since Brad didn't have any clothes to put on and was presumably required to stand for count as usual, when the guard asked this question that conveyed criticism, and repeated it when asked for clarification, it seems reasonable to conclude that he was being told he must put down the blanket.

Fein then went through conversations Brad had with his visitors at the brig, aiming to show that Brad was not concerned about his treatment at Quantico (or he would have discussed it with his visitors). Brad explained that he was trying to reassure his visitors, that he particularly did not want to discuss any sensitive issues with his visitors because visits were recorded and that he relied on his attorney to pass on relevant information to his family and friends.

Re-examination of Bradley Manning by David Coombs

Cross-examination over, David Coombs re-examined Brad, asking him first to explain what he meant when he said the guards were professional. Brad explained that,

"as they are working there, they wear a duty belt and a cover, and that whenever they are in that, they are playing a role as a Marine, and as a Marine correctional specialist, and they never seem to leave that role, when they are wearing that..."
and that apart from on 18 January
"they never - they never spoke degradingly, apart from, you know, in the - I mean, you know, there was the military bearing - in particular the Marines Corp style of military bearing, which can be sort of aggressive, but it is still very professional. I mean they never - they never left that."
He called the military facility professional because
"everything runs on time. They go by the - they go by what is written in the books. They go by what is written down. They go by whatever orders are written down. They do exactly what they are told, and they very - they very infrequently deviated from that from what I saw at the facility, sir."

Coombs then asked Brad about the "voluntary" statements and whether CWO Denise Barnes had commented when he had stopped completing them following advice from Coombs. Brad explained that Barnes had told him

"that it's against Navy Regulations to cross out and initial portions that removed the voluntary language - I mean the voluntary language and the - and, I don't have the verbiage in front of me, but - I mean to basically cross out and initial on the language that I was uncomfortable with. And, the fact that I was not allowed to - she also said that I was not - that I had to fill these out, that I was not allowed to just flat out refuse to fill them out, sir."

In relation to the army visits and the form that was completed every time, Coombs drew the court's attention to occasions when it is noted by the checkbox on the form that Brad does not know why he is on POI status or suicide watch and a couple of times "not aware of why" has been written alongside. Brad testified that mostly he would just confirm this but that sometimes they would have a conversation about it. Coombs then asked Brad to go through some of the strategies he'd discussed with counsel to try and bring an end to six months of POI status, from just talking to staff at the brig, to exhausting his possible administrative remedies, to Coombs raising it with the trial counsel. Brad recalled that this involved Coombs emailing Captain Fein (now Major Fein) who replied that he would look into it. Then Brad recounted raising the '5-10' chits and discovering the discrepancy between Blenis' and Hocter's accounts of why he was on POI, followed by another chit he sent to the base commander Averhart. Coombs also sent a memo to Averhart at about the same time. Nothing happened and after that and the Article 138 complaint was filed. Brad said that Coombs had explained the process to him:

"138 - the Article 138 process, and so I had that, but it was just - it was just for general - it was that, we take a commander - it has to be a commander that makes a decision and whether or not - and, I - and we have to believe that I was wronged in them making that decision... and then we would bring that up to the next highest - the next high level to the General, all the way up to General Court Martial Convening Authority, and to the Service Secretary eventually"
and the last recourse:
"We would file a writ of extraordinary relief to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals."
Brad confirmed that the aim of all this was to get off POI and that it was achieved when he was moved to Fort Leavenworth in April 2011.

Coombs asked Brad to explain why he didn't discuss his confinement conditions with family and friends during visits. Brad said that firstly, he didn't want his family to be worried or concerned about him, realising that it is already uncomfortable for them to see him in restraints. He was also concerned that he would get into trouble at the brig if he discussed conditions at the facility with his visitors and that this might be used to stop him having visits on security grounds. In relation to letters, Brad didn't want the brig to scrutinise every word he wrote and question him about it. During cross-examination, Fein had raised a comment made by Brad during a visit: "How do I look? I'm wearing glasses again." Brad confirmed that he is very near sighted and would normally wear contact lenses but these aren't allowed at the brig, so he was commenting on the fact that he was using glasses again and just looking for something conversational to say, to "avoid the big issues". In relation to speaking with David House, Brad said that he was concerned that House's accounts of him looking worse and worse would be used as justification to continue his POI status, and that was why he always emphasised to House how he was stable and improving. He also indicated that he wasn't totally sure of House's and others' intentions towards him and any important statements about his conditions went out through Coombs.

Brad explained some more about trying to get pictures etc. taken down off his facebook page because "I didn't want, you know, a lot of people to go through my personal photos and stuff" and he also didn't want any of his friends being targeted because of their association with him. However, he gave up on this after someone got access to his whole account and copied everything off it. "It was too late at that point."

In relation to fundraising efforts discussed with his visitors (mentioned by Fein during cross-examination), Brad said that his visitors did most of the talking and that while he knew the fundraising must be working because Coombs and his team are getting paid, he isn't himself involved in fundraising and doesn't know much about the process and was mainly concerned that he wasn't "going flat broke".

Coombs asked Brad to explain his position on others communicating with the media. Brad said that

"I wanted a proper court-martial... the court of public opinion was not where I wanted this, you know, to all take place."
He also said that he had instructed Coombs to be as factual, accurate and neutral as possible in his blog posts and didn't want him "making interviews and basically grandstanding".

Questioning by Judge Lind

Judge Lind asked Brad about the many times the box on the army visit form had been checked to indicate that he didn't know why he was on POI status, but that from 7 October to 26 November Brad indicated on the form that he did know why. Brad explained that at this point he understood (incorrectly as it happens, but this is what he believed) that Captain Hocter, his psychiatrist, was recommending that he should stay on POI. By 10 December, Brad had realised there were discrepancies between Blenis' and Hocter's accounts of what was going on and started to get very concerned hence 'no' being checked again. Brad confirmed that he did ask the army for help with this and Captain Casamatta in particular, since he had a good rapport with him. Brad believed that Casamatta had gone directly to Colonel Coffman about it. The army visitors would also speak with the brig staff but Brad didn't know what they discussed. Judge Lind asked if anyone, such as Casamatta, came back to Brad with a reason. Brad said

"he was speaking to the Brig staff about these issues every time, and he was looking into them. And, he kept on looking. And, he kept on looking into it, and he was being cognizant of what was going on. I listened. That was the understanding that I had. In particular with - with Captain Casamatta and First Sergeant Williams. I mean they were quote 'tracking the issue'."
Judge Lind asked Brad some questions about brig routines, during which Brad indicated that when on suicide watch he had used his blanket to cover himself for dignity during morning count.
"They instructed me that it was - that it was okay, because I was on suicide risk in that for a particular time, and that they were aware of that, and that I should - that I should cover up, and that, you know, they didn't want to be demeaning or anything like."
He was using the blanket in the same way when deprived of all clothing in March. He also explained again, in some detail, what had happened on the morning when the guard spoke to him from the observation booth and he had put the blanket back on the bed and stood naked for morning count. The guard had opened the door a crack when speaking to him. This time Brad says after the guard repeats the question, he thinks he may have directly asked whether he was to put down the blanket. In any event, he did put it down and the guard then shut the observation booth door. The count went ahead and no comment was made to Brad about his lack of clothes. After count he was given some clothes.

Brad testified that both on suicide risk and POI he would be given a razor to shave in the morning along with shaving cream and that he was not always observed shaving with these 'Mach 3' and 'Gillette Fusion' two and five bladed razors.

Judge Lind moved on to Brad's conversations with (then) Gunnery Sergeant Blenis, asking why he was quiet with Blenis given that he'd said he was an extroverted and social person and whether concern about this was mentioned. Brad said that Blenis had asked him why he was quiet and he'd explained he didn't have much to talk about. He said that he did speak with Blenis and thought he was having a decent conversation with him; although they didn't have a lot in common, they talked about college basketball sometimes. Brad then confirmed that, once he had directly asked Hocter about his recommendation to the board and Hocter had told him that he was recommending he be taken off POI, Brad then asked Blenis about it and Blenis told him it was the 'docs' or the 'psychs' keeping him on this status.

The last question Lind asked was "when in the process did you - did you - or did you ever come to believe that improvement over time wouldn't change it?" Brad cited two incidents, the first on 18 January, the second on 2 March. The reason there are two is because of the changeover of commander at the brig:

"So, after the January 18th incident which I was placed on suicide risk status after I had talked to Captain Hocter and Captain - Captain Moore on that day.

"I felt the sense that I was not going to get off of this status ever, as long as - or off of POI status in particular, even though I was on SR status that at some point would come off of that, and just go back onto POI status.

"I was convinced that as long as - as Chief Warrant Officer Four Averhart is the commander of the facility that - and I knew that he was - he was going to have a change over soon, so I was - I was convinced that at that point nothing until the change in command - or whatever the Marines Corps calls it - took place that I would continue to be on the POI or SR status, a precaution status.

"So, the second portion was after the March 3rd incident I was - after the underwear comment that I made and the flip flops that I made to Master Sergeant Papakie and to - to Chief Warrant Officer Two Barnes - or that I made to Master Sergeant Papakie and then it was relayed to Chief Warrant Officer Two Barnes. After that - a few days after that I did not think that - that I would - I pretty much lost hope in the fact that the new - this new commander was going to change..."

Re-examination by Fein

Fein asked about Brad's concern during visits for his family and whether he was similarly concerned about PR and media people. Brad said that they had First Amendment rights to say what they liked and that "no matter what, they were going to talk to whoever about whatever" but that he wanted to hear them first hand and meet them personally so he put them on his visitor list. Asked about David House, Brad confirmed that he had been concerned about how what House said would be perceived by Quantico base brig personnel. Coombs' blog posts were meant to counter this and possible inaccuracies by putting out "just the facts".

Asked whether false information had been put out by his visitors, Brad said that there could have been information "that was not necessarily accurate or that was portrayed in a slanted light". He went on to say that "I am more of a scientific person. I like things to be more factual". He qualified this with an acknowledgement that subjectivity is inevitable but said that his aim was "to try to put as many objective facts on the table as possible, and to counter a lot of the wildness, is what I was particularly concerned about."

DAY FIVE - 1 December

Witnesses: Lance Corporal Jonathan Cline and Lance Corporal Joshua Tankersley and Gunnery Sergeant William Fuller. Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Jordan also began his testimony but as this continued into the next day, it's included in Day Six.

Four government witnesses testified on Saturday 1 December - all were guards at Quantico and the first two (Cline and Tankersley) were directly involved in the incident at recreation call on 18 January 2011 with the third (Fuller) removing them from escort duty with Brad afterwards or arriving just after they had been relieved of this duty - testimonies on this point didn't tally. The 18 Jan incident started with a change in guards' behaviour towards Brad on the day following 17 January 2011 protests outside the brig, built up to a 'shark attack' on Brad by the guards during exercise call, and culminated with Brad being put on suicide watch again, apparently for asking Brig Commander Averhart during a conversation after the incident why he was still on POI.

Lance Corporal Jonathan Cline and Lance Corporal Joshua Tankersley

Cline testified that the guards were briefed by their superiors about the protest for Brad outside the brig on 17 January. Both guards claimed extensive lack of memory of the events of 17 and 18 January 2011 but Cline did testify that some guards were annoyed about the protest on 17 Jan as they were worried it would cause problems for them getting home. Both confirmed that they were removed from duties involving escorting Brad outside his cell after the 18 Jan incident.

Both Cline and Tankersley said that Brad, like all other detainees, was only allowed to speak to inmates in the next door cells. Brad has testified that these were both empty - so in effect his conditions amounted to solitary confinement. The guards also said they would not normally engage in much in the way of conversation with detainees. Cline and Tankersley both said that Brad was respectful, compliant, not a flight risk, never harmed others or presented a threat to himself. Tankersley said that Brad's behaviour was absolutely typical of a detainee. He also said that activities like dancing or playing 'peek-a-boo' were normal behaviours. In other words, suicide risk and prevention of injury status was completely unwarranted. He did add, however, that Brad differed from other detainees in the high profile nature of his case and the visits to the brig by high ranking officers.

Tankersley said he thought that Brad was the only prisoner being allowed only 20 minutes of 'sunshine call' a day for such a long period. Limited sunshine call was used to discipline prisoners who got into fights or otherwise messed up - this was treatment usually reserved as punishment for misbehaviour.

Gunnery Sergeant William Fuller

The Classification and Assignment (C&A) board reviewed and renewed Brad's POI status regularly. According to Fuller, the C&A board knew that their decisions were being forwarded to those higher up the chain of command. We know that Gunnery Sergeant Craig Blenis was both Brad's appointed counsellor at the brig and also sat on the C&A board. Fuller testified that at these meetings, recommendations for the vote (to keep Brad on POI/suicide risk) had already been written in by Blenis and that Blenis was in contact with the brig commander over this matter. What should have happened was that all board members should have had a full discussion before reaching a decision - instead, the C&A board decision became a rubber stamping exercise, even more worrying given that the psychiatrists were consistently recommending that Brad be removed from the restrictive MAX POI/SR status, a recommendation that was consistently ignored by the board.

Fuller cited many reasons for keeping Brad in these conditions, including the incident on 18 January, although Fuller had apparently told the guards involved in the incident that Brad had been intimidated by them. Fuller also said that Brad's 'withdrawal' (tidying up visitor list and removing names) was another reason for MAX and POI, as well as the severity of his charges against him, difficult relationships with his family, previous statements about suicide. Fuller didn't approach Brad himself to ascertain whether he was withdrawn or suicidal but relied on Blenis' opinion and recommendations. Fuller said that he'd never known anyone kept on MAX POI for so long - before Brad the longest he'd seen was a week (as opposed to Brad's nine months on MAX and either POI or SR). Under cross-examination, Fuller conceded that some things, such as the severity of the charges against him and his family relations, were outside Brad's control. It also never seemed to have occurred to Fuller that some of the behaviour he was citing to justify Brad being kept on restrictive status could have actually been caused by being held under those same conditions.

DAY SIX - 2 December

Witnesses: Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Jordan (army rep. at Quantico and occasional counsellor) and Master Sergeant Craig Blenis (Brad's regular counsellor at Quantico).

Staff Sergeant Ryan Jordan

As army representative on the marine base at Quantico, Jordan saw Brad and would communicate with him at least every day or two. He commented that he had previously worked with death row prisoners who were given more sunshine and exercise than Brad was afforded at Quantico. Jordan repeatedly went along with the MAX POI status, despite writing positive logs about Brad's behaviour on an everyday basis. He claimed that these logs and evidence that Brad was communicating were just a snapshot and couldn't be taken as the whole picture. However, the one comment Brad had made on entry to Quantico, when pressured to enter something regarding suicidal feelings: "Always planning, never acting", was used throughout his time at Quantico to justify his restrictive status there. Jordan had written that Brad "has potential gender identity disorder and is pending a 706 Sanity Board hearing." Under cross examination, he said that this did influence the decision to keep Brad on POI but did not "weigh heavy". However, he also thought it possible that the brig had made a decision to keep Brad on POI until the Sanity Board had reported back.

Both examination and cross-examination of Jordan referred to the SECNAV instructions that state a Classification and Assignment (C&A) Board is required to be established and is responsible for making recommendations concerning the classification and assignment of detainees. Jordan testified that he didn't think an order to keep Brad on MAX POI would negate the need for a C&A board to meet regularly. The instructions also state that MAX detainees require "special custodial supervision because of the high probability of escape, are potentially dangerous or violent, and whose escape would cause concern of a threat to life, property, or national security." The government reexamination of Jordan focused on escape risk giving rise to national security concerns, although Jordan and others had repeatedly referred to concerns about possible suicide rather than escape.

Master Sergeant Craig Blenis

Blenis was Brad's main counsellor at the brig, was supposedly acting as Brad's 'advocate' and frequently told Brad that he "wished I had 100 Mannings", yet behind Brad's back he continued to recommend that he stay on restrictive MAX POI status during his nine months detention at Quantico, ignoring the recommendations of the psychiatrists and lying to Brad about it. After Brad had been moved to Leavenworth, Blenis testified that a new, less restrictive status of MED POI had been created in Marines corrections - too late to be of any help to Brad who, it should be noted, has been on medium security rather than MAX and neither POI nor suicide risk since moving to Leavenworth.

Blenis spoke of changes over time in Brad's communication with him - he said Brad started to open up in November 2010, but stopped talking again after 7 to 8 weeks, starting again for a couple of weeks, then stopping until Brad was moved to Leavenworth. Blenis said he was concerned about Brad's possible suicidal intentions as psychiatrists were cutting down his medication. Blenis cited Brad's uncommunicative behaviour as evidence that he was unable to build the trust necessary to be confident Brad wouldn't harm himself. However, Brad had already testified that his trust in Blenis was shaken when he discovered that Blenis was blaming continued MAX POI on the psychiatrists, when Blenis himself was recommending it to the board. Blenis didn't trust Brad's psychiatrists, Hocter in particular, and conceded under cross-examination that this was unfair to Brad.

Blenis confirmed that brig commander James Averhart had directed Blenis to recommend continued MAX POI from January 2011 until the Sanity Board had reported back, although this process had been put on hold for at least two months. However, although Blenis agreed he had received this order from his superior, he unconvincingly claimed it did not influence his decision to keep Brad on POI. Blenis had to file weekly reports about Brad that were sent up the chain of command, reaching base commander Colonel Choike and assumed by Blenis to be sent on to three-star General Flynn. Blenis referred to these as the 'Manning Times'. Blenis testified that the special log book brig commander Averhart said should be kept on Brad was not normal practice - he described it as "rare".

A video was shown to the court of a conversation between Blenis and Brad after Averhart had put him back on suicide watch on 18 January following the incident at recreation. Brad is trying to explain what happened during this incident, how the guards behaved and made him anxious and how his main concern every day is getting off POI and behaving in a way that won't be misinterpreted by the guards. Judge Lind later questioned Blenis about the effect long term POI would have had on Brad. Blenis said Brad's mental state wasn't "apparently eroding" and refused to countenance the suggestion that Brad's treatment on POI could be the cause of concerning behaviour.

Blenis refused to accept a parcel for Brad in December 2010 even though he'd already told Brad about it and been informed it was probably a birthday present. His explanation in an email to his CO - the relative wasn't an approved sender and "We just felt like being dicks", which attitude might go a long way to explaining Brad's reticence in latter meetings with Blenis. Blenis also sent an email in March after Brad was stripped of his underwear at night telling his subordinate guards to take Brad's "panties... right before he lays down". Coombs argued this was evidence of intolerance and homophobia. Blenis denied this and testified under oath that he occasionally refers to his own underwear as "panties".

DAY SEVEN - 5 December

Witnesses: Master Sergeant Brian Papakie, the Quantico Brig Operations Officer who at this hearing recounted instances of Brad hurting himself that never happened and Chief Warrant Officer Abel Galaviz, the senior Corrections Officer in Marines Corp. who previously found that the brig's failure to remove Manning from suicide risk watch immediately violated Navy rules.

Master Sergeant Brian Papakie

Papakie's job was to keep the brig running smoothly and to co-ordinate visits by health professionals, chaplains etc. He saw Brad frequently but didn't seem to have built up any rapport with him - he testified that by his open-ended questions he could tell Brad didn't want to talk with him. Papakie, like some of the other government witnesses, noted Brad's lack of everyday complaint, the obvious intention of the examining prosecutor being to show that he didn't have a problem with how he was being treated. This is disingenuous, since as well as exploring and pursuing all possible avenues with his attorney and taking all sorts of steps to try to end the abusive treatment (Brad goes through these one by one with Coombs under re-examination), a detainee held in solitary under MAX POI or suicide watch is in an extremely vulnerable position and Brad would have almost certainly have been made to suffer further punishment had he protested his treatment directly to his guards at every single opportunity.

Although Brad had not scored the required points for being placed on MAX, the brig held him in MAX anyway, overriding the normal procedures. Papakie testified that this was not unusual. However, normally this would trigger a query from Marine Corps HQ and a justification by the brig, but no query was raised in Brad's case.

Regarding the January 2011 incident at recreation call, Papakie testified that he had ordered the guards to be relieved so they could complete paperwork in relation to what had happened, but the guards themselves said Fuller had relieved them and Fuller said they had already been relieved when he arrived. In relation to events in March 2011 when Brad's underwear was removed after he sarcastically pointed out that he could injure himself with the elastic from the waistband, Papakie testified:

"If he was gonna make a point regarding his underwear, we were gonna have to take away his underwear."
Like Blenis before him Papakie claimed he sometimes referred to his own underwear as "panties". He said he had done so "on multiple occasions", that it only "might" refer to female undergarments. He said that his use of the word was not intended to be homophobic but that it was a poor choice. Until this point in Coombs' cross-examination, Papakie had been referring to underwear as "skivvies". Papakie also claimed that Brad stood naked by choice for count on 4 March after his underwear had been removed and that he was told to cover up by a staff sergeant. This contrasts with Brad's testimony.

The defence showed a video of Papakie yelling at Brad that guards weren't above rules and regulations and Brad stripping and handing over his clothes. When examined by the government Papakie had testified that Manning "punched himself hard N head w/ closed fist & left red mark" and had bashed his head against the wall. Under cross-examination, he admitted this wasn't true: Brad had just clapped his hands over his ears when he was yelled at, hadn't hit his head against the wall. Papakie also confirmed that medical help was not sought, as it clearly would have been if Brad had hit and marked himself. Papakie also admitted that the behaviour used to justify Brad's treatment - i.e. that the brig staff claim to have been concerned about - was never reported to his psychiatrists. Papakie also testified that he didn't have any confidence in the psychiatrists' recommendations.

Although Brad was no longer displaying symptoms of the anxiety disorder he'd been treated for, he was kept on POI and in Maximum Custody. Papakie, who worked closely with Brad's 'counsellor' Blenis, said he couldn't think of a meeting with the brig commander when he hadn't expressed concerns that Brad might harm himself. Papakie said Blenis had asked Brad about his comment "always planning, never acting" and said he was surprised that Blenis had denied asking Brad about this.

Papakie was questioned under cross-examination about an email he wrote on 4 March 2011 referring to two detainees on suicide risk and POI being downgraded to Medium Custody. Papakie's explanation for the difference between them and Brad was revealing - the factors he referred to were all things outside of Brad's control: strong family ties, no history of depression, no lengthy court martial and possible life sentence ahead. In other words, Brad didn't have a chance of being taken off MAX POI, even though he was being told that he did. Judge Lind asked why Papakie didn't discuss the difference of opinion about Brad's status with his psychiatrists Hocter and Malone. Papakie said that Brig Commander James Averhart was having those conversations.

Papakie admitted that although Brad had his 20 min sunshine call in full restraints (that he needed help to walk in), in an area fenced off with razor wire and observed by cameras (i.e. not a high risk environment to the guards), no fewer than three staff were with him on each occasion. In answer to a question from Judge Lind about why no prisoners were put in the cells next to Brad so he could speak with them, Papakie said it was to stop other prisoners trying to get information about the alleged offences from Brad. Neither this nor the over-the-top restraints and supervision seem to have been issues at Leavenworth where Brad has been since April 2011.

Chief Warrant Officer Abel Galaviz

Head of Marine Corrections Abel Galaviz undertook an internal investigation of Brad's confinement conditions to establish whether brig commander James Averhart had acted properly in Brad's case. He found that there had been a violation of Navy rules when the brig failed to remove Manning from Suicide Risk as the psychiatrists had recommended. The report can be read here. However, it turns out that Galaviz hadn't been given all the relevant documentation. He wasn't given information about the detail of the C&A board meetings. He didn't see the psychiatric reports recommending Brad be taken off POI. He wasn't told about Averhart's directive that Brad should stay on POI until the 706 Sanity Board had reported.

Several major points came out of Galaviz's testimony at this hearing. In relation to the Classification and Assignment (C&A) board that reviewed Brad's custody status and repeatedly found that he should be kept on MAX prevention of injury or suicide risk, Galaviz noted that there should have been an 'objective' point scale each time but there was not. He also said that part of the counsellor's recommendation might be missing. Crucially, Galaviz said that

"the individual making the recommendations should not also be serving as a board member... he already has his opinion and I think that again it’s his position to make recommendations to others encouraging their support... For him to serve as a board member, I don’t think he is able to vote against his recommendation."
In other words, Brad's 'counsellor' Blenis should never have been sitting on the three-person board when he was also making the recommendation to the board each week. Galaviz added that there could have been "unnecessary command influence" in the process reviewing Brad's status.

Under cross-examination, Galaviz was asked to consider Brad's conditions under MAX POI/SR at Quantico and compare them with those used by way of punishment, for 'disciplinary segregation'. Galaviz said that the only "small differences" were access to books and TV, but that the restriction of 'sunshine time' outside his windowless cell to 20 minutes a day for the first six months was wrong and that he should have had a full hour.

Galaviz made it clear that Brad's underwear could not lawfully be removed from him unless he was on suicide risk.

"Suicide risk is a higher level of supervision and, when you take steps to remove all clothing from an individual, to me that is taking steps to put someone on suicide risk status."
So the brig was out of order removing Brad's underwear every night and forcing him to sleep only in a suicide smock when he was not on suicide risk. Had CWO Denise Barnes wanted to put Brad back on suicide risk, she would have had to get the agreement of a psychiatrist and it seems likely that this would not have been forthcoming.

DAY EIGHT - 6 December

Witness: Brig commander (until 24 Jan) CWO James Averhart. The responsibility for keeping Brad in solitary in maximum custody under prevention of injury or suicide risk lay with him until replaced with CWO Denise Barnes in January 2011.

Chief Warrant Officer James Averhart

Under government examination, Averhart testified that initial confinement status is determined by a point scale but in Brad's case this was overridden by the Duty Brig Superintendent (DBS) because of Brad's background history and his paperwork/actions in Kuwait. Initially, Averhart said Brad scored 10 with a score of 12 triggering MAX custody, but later admitted under cross-examination that Brad's actual score was only 5. He said that Brad was put on suicide risk because of the charges against him and his background history, and prevention of injury because of his "anxiety, depression and upbringing". Averhart explained that during indoctrination, Brad would have been told that his counsellor (Blenis, who repeatedly recommended he stay on MAX POI and lied to Brad about this) would be the main point of communication between him and the brig command.

Averhart testified that conversations between Brad and his visitors were monitored. Averhart said he received a "directive" from "CID or NCIS" [Criminal Investigation Division or Naval Criminal Investigative Service] ordering this, but that he was "not privy to why they was monitoring." Under cross-examination, Averhart acknowledged that Brad's treatment at Quantico was being watched not only by officials such as three-star General Flynn but also those above him. Pressed on whether Flynn considered Brad to be a suicide risk, Averhart equivocated before eventually stating, when asked if it was his testimony that Flynn had never expressed to him that Brad was a potential suicide risk, "That is my testimony." Averhart categorically stated that he did not want Brad's defence team to have access to the weekly reports he'd written that were sent up the chain of command.

Averhart was asked by the prosecutor why he didn't downgrade Brad's suicide risk status immediately once this was recommended by his psychiatrist Hocter. Averhart's justification turned on the word 'shall' in the SECNAV instructions. He said "shall be removed" means "should be removed at a particular time to be determined" (i.e. at a time of Averhart's choosing). Like other Brig officials, Averhart testified that he didn't trust psychiatrist Hocter and didn't think he spent long enough at the brig or with Brad, but admitted that he had not shared these concerns with Hocter. Averhart did however have a dispute with Hocter over his refusal to use a stamp to certify his reports, Hocter apparently saying that when the brig bought him one, he would use it. The brig psychiatrists appear to have been very poorly resourced. Averhart preferred to trust Brad's 'counsellor' Blenis, who he had a "great opinion" of (who also happened to be Averhart's good friend and who - it was suggested by Galaviz the previous day under oath - may have had "unnecessary command influence" over the reviewing process).

On several occasions during his testimony, Averhart referred to other prisoners in the brig being "very patriotic" (with the implication that Brad isn't) and stated that because of the charges against him and length of potential sentence, it would be a risk to put him in the general population of "patriotic" prisoners although he later said, while under cross-examination, "I'm sure that Pfc. Manning is patriotic, as well." He also conceded that he could have used less restrictive "protective" confinement to keep Brad safe from other inmates. Averhart was asked whether Brad would have been treated the same had he faced a court-martial and potentially only a brief sentence, all other factors being equal. Averhart said that in those circumstances, he wouldn’t have put Brad on POI.

If MSGT Craig Blenis is to be believed, even this wouldn't have helped Brad, since he testified that he was getting orders from Averhart to keep Brad on MAX POI but was making his own decision based on alleged poor communication from Brad and concerns about him harming himself (and making recommendations to the C&A board to keep him on MAX POI that they appear to have rubber stamped every week despite the psychiatric reports recommending otherwise). Averhart was responsible for setting up the C&A Board and choosing the three members who sat on it. Under cross examination, he grudgingly accepted that there could be a possibility of conflict of interest for Brad's counsellor who was making recommendations to the board also sitting on it, but claimed he had "no problem with GSGT. Blenis" because of his "professionalism."

Averhart said he'd be surprised if guards stopped Brad from speaking to other detainees over concerns about national security. On Brad's behaviour, Averhart repeatedly said that he had a "low tolerance to frustration" although reports referred to Brad as polite and compliant. Also, contrast this with Hocter's testimony about Brad doing "surprisingly well" under the conditions and his comment "I think he just decided that he was going to be strong."

Like Papakie, Averhart testified that Brad punched himself in the head, which has already been admitted by Papakie under cross-examination (having been shown his own report on the incident) to be untrue. Averhart claimed only a hazy recollection of the January incident when he put Brad on suicide risk watch, but recalled Brad asking Averhart to stop yelling at him.

On the risk of Brad harming himself, Averhart stated that he didn't consider underwear a suicide risk, contradicting all the other brig staff testimony. He also stated that toilet paper presented more of a suicide risk than socks, hence why it was not allowed to be left in Brad's cell. This even though Brad was under pretty much constant observation - he didn't even have privacy to use the toilet unobserved. It should be noted that Averhart was responsible for denying Brad toilet paper in his cell, but not his underwear which was his successor Denise Barnes' call, so it is perhaps unsurprising that he defended his own decision over hers.

Under government examination, Averhart stated that Brad was able to talk to other detainees in a low conversational tone (ie no further than the next cell) and that he remembered one detainee for short time near Brad. However, under cross-examination he acknowledged that there were actually never any detainees in adjacent cells.

Averhart said that in his experience MAX prisoners in Marine Corp. are allowed 20 minutes sunshine time a day. The previous day, Galaviz had testified that this should have been an hour. In regard to the restraints used on Brad when he left his cell, Averhart said these were "for control" and that a MAX prisoner was "potentially violent and dangerous". Averhart said that Brad wasn't kept in restraints (leg irons) during his 20 minutes outside recreation or 'sunshine call' at Quantico, but Master Sergeant Papakie testified the previous day that he was. When this was pointed out to Averhart by the defence, he said that leg restraints "probably should have been taken off."

Averhart denied that he had weekly meetings with then Base commander Colonel Daniel Choike, even after he was shown an email entitled "weekly meeting with Col. Choike". He was also asked about meetings with Colonel Oltman. After Averhart had testified under oath that these meetings weren't specifically about Brad, Coombs showed him an email that clearly stated "Schedule a meeting for Monday, 30 September for Manning..."

In relation to the DD 5-10 chits that detainees could use to communicate with officers in the brig, Averhart said that although he received messages daily, he didn't receive Brad's chit of 7 January 2011 until 20 January and didn't receive the December chit at all. Questioned about Blenis' email in relation to the denied parcel and his comment: "we just felt like being dicks", Averhart said: "Although it was inappropriate and tasteless and shouldn’t have been made, I understand what the Gunny was doing." He was forced to admit that it was "not professional" and that it was problematic given Blenis' status as Manning’s brig counselor and supposed advocate. Directly asked whether he had spoken to or corrected Blenis over this, Averhart said that he had had a simple conversation, with a comment such as "What the f...?" Kevin Gosztola's observation from the press pool was that at this point Averhart began to hem and haw and that

"to anyone listening, it would have been reasonable to believe he was making up that this conversation on the email ever happened."
Other independent reporters made observations about Averhart's testimony too.
Jesselyn Radack: "Averhart is really dense or really evasive. He's retracted his own testimony myriad times."

Alexa O'Brien: "Averhart did not seem to understand defense questions, and reverted mostly to talking points. He seemed defensive with the defense... Averhart seemed to feel most comfortable answering the Judge's questions even when he did not know answers. [He] was protective of himself and his ppl and placed blame on forensic psych and Manning."

Kevin Gosztola (again): "His performance from the witness stand was less than impressive. He bumbled and fumbled through his testimony obfuscating whenever the defense asked direct questions. There were points in the proceedings where he was asked what should be considered basic questions on corrections policy and procedures and he would not know the answer. He would read over papers containing the policy or procedure and try to decipher its meaning in the middle of his cross-examination. Sometimes he would give an answer that made sense but would immediately back track when he figured out what he said. Other times he would go off on a tangent getting defensive as if he realized Coombs was trying to argue there was some conspiracy."

When Averhart was explaining how Brad's history and background influenced his decision to keep him on POI long term (it's only meant to be used short term) Judge Lind, clearly cognisant of the problem with this approach, said "His history isn't going to change. It is what it is." Like Col. Choike before him, Averhart admitted that Quantico brig wasn't equipped to hold pretrial detainees for such a long period of time. At another point, Averhart commented "It's a prison, not daycare!" by way of justifying how he ran the brig.

DAY NINE - 7 December

Witness: Brig commander (from 24 Jan 2011) CWO Denise Barnes. Although cross-examination of CWO Barnes continued into Day Ten, I'll put it all together here for convenience.

Chief Warrant Officer Denise Barnes

During government examination, Barnes had her own take on the psychiatric reports that stated Brad wasn't a suicide risk:

"They would say from psychiatric standpoint there’s really nothing there, but we all know you don’t have to have a mental health issue to want to kill yourself."
When on 2 March 2011 Brad pointed out to MSGT Papakie the absurdity of the conditions he was being held under and observed wrily that if he really wanted to, he could harm himself with the elastic in his underpants - one of the few items he was allowed in his cell - Barnes ordered for them to be removed at night. However, she said in court that Brad hadn't said he was going to kill himself or made a suicidal gesture, which begs the question of why she felt removal of his underpants was "necessary".

Barnes stated that Brad wasn't communicating with anyone at the brig about his feelings (despite ample evidence to the contrary including counselling notes and the S.138 complaint), and used this as a justification for punishing him from 2 March onward by maintaining the "special handling instruction" to take away his underwear:

"If I see no 'positive change' from Manning, he doesn't get his underwear back."
She also said
"If you're going to kill yourself, you're not going to tell anyone."
Barnes had to admit under cross-examination that Brad had told someone, namely the C&A Board, that he DID NOT intend to commit suicide. It was also pointed out to her that Brad might have become less communicative precisely because his underwear had been removed after his comment and that he might have feared that anything he said could be used against him.

Barnes said she was concerned by Brad's behaviour, using the example of him pretending to fish while sitting in his cell even though she had been reassured by psychiatrists that it was nothing to worry about. Coombs referred to a previous statement Barnes had made to the defence in response to concerns raised about Brad's treatment:

"...because guess what if I have a mistake on my watch, I will probably get out with no retirement."
He suggested that, far from being concerned about Brad's wellbeing and safety, Barnes was actually concerned about her own career and retirement prospects.

Barnes had to concede to Coombs that the authority she was claiming to remove Brad's clothes under the SECNAV instructions only applied for an inmate on suicide risk status, and Barnes did not change Brad's status from prevention of injury, likely because she would have needed the agreement of one of his psychiatrists to put him back on suicide risk and even if she'd obtained this, it would only have been a very short term measure. In fact, on the unlawful 'POI plus' conditions Barnes inflicted on Brad from that time - see Galaviz's testimony on this point - Brad's underwear was removed from him every night until he was transferred to Leavenworth and Barnes indicated she would have been prepared to continue this routine indefinitely had he stayed at Quantico. Other high ranking Naval officers, such as Galaviz who testified earlier in the week and Lt. Col. Wright who worked for the Security and Law Enforcement section of the Marine Corps Headquarters, challenged Barnes about her actions but she brushed this off as a difference of professional opinion, ignoring the clear conditions set out in SECNAV.

Barnes told the defence that she thought Brad was being "manipulative" when he stood naked at morning count on 3 March. Like others, she testified that he had freely chosen not to cover himself with one of his blankets and claimed that he could have requested his clothes back from the lance corporal on duty. Brad's testimony was that the lance corporal (whose rank he could only guess at, having been also deprived of his glasses) had said "Is that how you stand at parade rest?" when Brad stood for count holding his blanket around him as he had done previously when stripped to his boxers under suicide risk watch. The guard had simply repeated the question when Brad had asked for clarification. I am also very nearsighted and can imagine the disorientation Brad felt when he was effectively rendered blind by the removal of his glasses. Naked apart from his blanket, Brad was already denied his dignity and extremely vulnerable. It would have been even harder to initiate conversation with the guards from the additionally disadvantaged position of not being able to see. Also, this was the first morning after his underwear had been removed, as ordered by the brig commander. It is reasonable to assume that on this particular morning Brad had no idea whether his underwear would be returned to him at all. It says more about brig commander Denise Barnes than about Brad that she considered him "manipulative" in these circumstances.

A week or so before Barnes took Brad's underwear from him at night (she repeatedly pointed out in court that it was returned to him during the day), Barnes sent an email to Col. Oltman saying she was concerned about Brad being taken off antidepressants. She wrote:

"I am looking at someone who is not an out-patient who is in the friggin' Brig, so that alone will add to his stress/depression especially once the pace of the legal proceedings pick up. It will only get worse once the true weight of his legal situation/future hits him..."
It appears that, although unqualified in psychiatric medicine, Barnes felt that antidepressants were essential for anyone in Brad's situation, perhaps a tacit acknowledgement here of the extreme, abusive and mentally damaging conditions he was being subjected to under her command.

Barnes said that Brad could have taken his complaints about his confinement conditions higher and also that anyone was "welcome to come by". This latter was patently untrue. As Kevin Gosztola points out, the brig refused to let Congressman Dennis Kucinich or UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Mendez "come by" and visit Brad unmonitored.

An extremely unreliable witness, Barnes' testimony was full of holes. For example, she tried to argue that it was necessary to remove Brad's underwear at night because it was dark and the guards wouldn't have been able to see what he was doing (i.e. he could be harming himself). The big problem with this line of reasoning is that we know from other witnesses that there was a fluorescent light shining right into Brad's cell 24 hours a day, he was under close observation and there were no dark corners for him to hide in and harm himself, day or night. Like Averhart, Barnes tried to claim that Brad had opportunities to chat to other inmates housed in adjacent cells. Averhart had already admitted under cross-examination that this was not true. At one point, Barnes counselled Brad about covering his face while he was asleep which was forbidden. Coombs asked whether Barnes realised that, being asleep, this was involuntary behaviour. Barnes appeared not to understand Coombs' point and just repeated that it wasn't allowed.

Barnes praised Blenis' professionalism and didn't think that the "one small comment" Blenis made about keeping a parcel from Brad because "we felt like being dicks" affected this. Averhart had taken a similar line over the dicks comment but Barnes went on to claim that there was a serious risk and the package might have been a bomb:
"I don’t want something to friggin' explode and hurt Manning and someone in the staff."
In Barnes' logic, this justified Blenis keeping the package from Brad for his own vindictive reasons. Although Barnes had a very high opinion of Blenis, she said she would not herself refer to Brad's underwear at "panties" (as Blenis and Papakie did) and would not think it funny to do so.

The question of whether Brad had been kept in solitary confinement or not was addressed on the second day of Barnes' testimony. Barnes maintained he was not, apparently on the grounds that guards occasionally spoke to him. She claimed Brad was not held in his cell for 23 or more hours a day but was unable to say how many hours he was held there. She admitted his cell had no windows, saying "That’s just how the Brig is designed." Those held in solitary confinement, according to one authority, are typically held in a windowless cell with a total floor area of between 60 and 80 square feet. Barnes had to agree that Brad's cell was smaller than this (just 48 square feet). She went on to justify her treatment of Brad who's "not even found guilty yet" on the basis that it was protecting him from possible harm at the hands of "patriotic" inmates, following a similar line to Averhart.

"Some people don’t look at things objectively. Is reporting a crime the right thing regardless? Some people have different views."
Coombs asked Barnes to comment on an email sent by three-star General Lt. Gen. George Flynn to some officers at Quantico including Choike and Oltman entitled "Hardly waterboarding" in reference to a Daily News editorial about Brad's treatment at the brig that had concluded claims of "torture" were "exaggerated". The editorial included the line
"Hardly waterboarding. Hardly electrodes on the genitals. Hardly beatings. Hardly burns."
Barnes said it was "good to see" a reporter getting it right. Presumably, she thinks that the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture got it wrong. In relation to the action over Brad's underwear, Barnes admitted that she called Oltman before carrying it out, and that General Flynn passed his personal instructions to her through Oltman. She testified that Major General Ary the highest ranking lawyer in the Marine Corp. approved of her decision and also that "At the end of the day in the military, you follow orders." She also said, during a long rant on the witness stand:
"I friggin' take it personal when people say I have something personal against Manning or any other detainee."

Under questioning from Judge Lind, Barnes said she could not recall whether other detention facilities took away the clothes of inmates on POI status. She was unable to point to anything in SECNAV that gave her the authority to do this while Brad was on POI, but said that

"That day after talking to staff and being briefed did not feel he was suicidal or made comment threatening suicide"
but she took his underpants away regardless!

Independent reporters witnessing CWO Barnes' testimony on these two days were less than impressed:

Nathan Fuller: "[Barnes'] guarded demeanor and rambling responses starkly contrasted with Cpt. Casamatta’s [see Day Ten] seemingly genuine interest in Manning’s health and simple, direct answers to questions on the stand"

Alexa O'Brien: "Based on Barnes testimony on cross, I've determined she is 'uncommunicative' & should be put in MAX POI indefinitely."

Kevin Gosztola: "Barnes is flat-out pathological. Driving me batty listening. Her testimony is increasingly devoid of logic."

Jesselyn Radack: "Why isn't Barnes being court martialed? She defied SECNAV reg, even AFTER its proponent (Wright) called her on it. Kept Manning's underwear."

DAY TEN - 10 December

Witnesses: CWO Denise Barnes Conclusion of cross examination by defence (included in Day Nine report)
Then three more witnesses: (1) Major Zelek, Marine Corps Base Quantico former Inspector General (2) 1st SGT Brian Williams HHQ Joint Base Meyer, Henderson Hall Senior Enlisted Officer (Manning current command) (3) CPT Casamatta HHQ Joint Base Meyer, Henderson Hall Company Commander (Manning current command).
The government decided in the end not to call Col. Carl Coffman, who was the special court-martial convening authority

Marine Major Timothy Zelek

Zelek was an Inspector General at Quantico in charge of investigating ethical breaches and was monitoring coverage of Brad's situation in the media following a surge in phone calls and emails about Brad's treatment in December 2010. His view was that some of the media coverage was neither fair nor accurate. Marine Corps Headquarters weren't interested in looking into the matter so Zelek suggested to Colonel Choike that he could carry out a "quality of life" investigation himself to prove all was well. Zelek didn't believe Choike would mistreat anyone at the brig.

Zelek said that "The entire inspection took an hour and a half, two hours at most" and confirmed that he was not inspecting whether Brad was being improperly held on MAX SR, nor inspecting to give his seal of approval. Brad was not interviewed as part of this investigation, nor were his custody status and classification reviewed. Zelek wasn't made aware that Brad was only allowed 20 minutes sunshine call a day, in leg restraints when outside that prevented him from exercising properly. He wasn't shown the psychiatrists' recommendations about Brad's status, didn't consider whether the continued restrictive conditions were appropriate nor whether Brad was being treated differently from other inmates

First Sergeant Bruce Williams

Williams testified that he had no concerns that Brad was being treated poorly by officials at Quantico. He stated that Brad was not happy about wearing the suicide smock, illustrating his point by imitating the "stern look" Brad had given him and reporting that this stopped when the smock was no longer being used. However, unlike others, Williams said that Brad was communicative with him and not reluctant to talk.

Captain Joseph Casamatta

Captain Casamatta was part of Bradley's Army command and visited Brad frequently at Quantico. Although presented as a prosecution witness, he gave evidence that supported Brad's case.

An army representative visited Brad at least fortnightly at Quantico and met with his privately to check on his wellbeing. Casamatta made many of these visits. He testified that he was not made aware that psychiatrists were recommending Brad be removed from POI status and feels that he should have been told. Because he was not given full information about the conditions under which Brad was being held, he was not able to properly evaluate his situaiton. He was however told about Brad's comment in March 2011 about being able to harm himself with the elastic from his underwear. He said he took this as a "tongue-in-cheek" comment and didn't think Brad meant he was suicidal.

"He’s an intelligent and articulate person. Quite frankly I didn’t believe he would have such thoughts as to actually kill himself with his underwear."
Nor did Casamatta understand why the comment had led to increased restrictions - wrongly described to him by Barnes as the "maximum level of status" - and he spoke to special Court-Martial Convening Authority Col. Carl Coffman about this as well as discussing Brad's POI status many times with brig commander Averhart. Coffman promised to deal with the removal of underwear, but didn't.

Casamatta's testimony was that he built a good rapport with Brad over time, who he described as being respectful and engaged, who didn't seem withdrawn and who never gave indication that he would harm himself or others. They would speak about items on the checklist for the visits and a wide range of other topics, including family and sport. As well as visiting Brad, Casamatta sometimes accompanied him to appointments. He didn't observe any unusual behaviour at any time.

In 2011, when Brad was in court on his birthday in December, Casamatta gave Brad a cupcake to celebrate. This time, at the end of his testimony he went over to shake Brad's hand.

DAY ELEVEN - 11 December

Closing arguments were presented today by first the defence (Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs) and then the prosecution (US Government prosecutor Major Ashden Fein). The defence needs to show intention to punish or conditions tantamount to torture while the prosecution has to show (with a higher level of proof than required of the defence case) a preponderance of evidence that the government's treatment of Brad was carried out with legitimate objectives.

Summing up and closing arguments for the defence: David Coombs

David Coombs told Judge Lind that in his view three of the staff at Quantico: Blenis, Fuller and Jordan perjured themseves in their testimonies to the court. Coombs likened Brad's treatment to that of "a zoo animal" and observed that such treatment over such a long period of time must "weigh heavy on his psyche," later commenting that "the most amazing thing about this is that given his conditions, Bradley Manning didn't totally break down." He said that no one had offered a legitimate, non-punitive reason for keeping Brad on MAX POI. He cited Averhart's orders and Oltman's statement that Brad would be kept on MAX POI "indefinitely", as well as General Flynn's influence and the weekly reports that were forwarded from the brig up the line of command to Flynn and above and emails from above that were shared widely including with low-ranking officers. Because Flynn thought Brad was a suicide risk, the brig staff simply went along with the status quo of keeping him on MAX POI - Flynn's opinion was sufficient - he didn't need to issue a formal order. They used information about his condition while held in Kuwait and factors that were out of his control to justify this. In court they also used arguments about his behaviour but admitted that they had failed to communicate this to Brad at the time. In relation to complaints by government witnesses that Brad didn't communicate with them, Coombs said this was a red herring, since Averhart failed to mention any issue about communication in his response to Brad's Article 138 complaint. The only real critic of the whole situation regarding Brad's status and classification, psychiatrist Captain Hocter, was effectively silenced.

Coombs noted the extreme restrictions imposed on Brad's recreation, giving him less than someone held on disciplinary segregation. He pointed to Barnes' testimony in which she admitted that removing Brad's underwear was a violation of the SECNAV instructions and also to her emails that showed that she kept Brad on POI rather than putting him back on suicide risk in order to avoid scrutiny of the decision by doctors. It is notable that the government did not bring the witnesses who could have testified as to exactly what happened on the morning of 3 March 2011 when Brad stood naked at parade rest. After his underwear had been removed when he'd tried to communicate his frustration about his treatment, Brad did "the only sane thing and stopped communicating with these people." Some witnesses testified during the hearing that the restrictions were for Brad's own protection. Coombs pointed out that non-abusive protective custody could have been used if that really was the objective. He slammed the C&A Board process as a "complete sham" in both composition and function, being rigged, cosmetic and fatally flawed to give the impression of legitimacy. Coombs drew the court's attention to the fact that Brad had been successfully held in medium custody at Fort Leavenworth since April 2011.

Summing up and closing arguments for the prosecution: Major Ashden Fein

Fein characterised Bradley Manning as having erratic behaviour, evidencing this with his breakdown in Kuwait (when he was held in isolation in a cage, deprived of all contact with the outside world and had an enforced timetable that turned day into night and night into day); his answer on the intake form at Quantico (when told he must enter a comment about any suicidal intentions) that he was "always planning, never acting"; his anxiety attack at recreation (when the guards carried out a "shark attack" on him the day after there was a protest outside the brig); his comment about being able to kill himself with the elastic in his underpants if he really wanted to (when he was making an appeal to be taken off POI); his lack of communication with brig staff (although no one told him he should communicate more). The government presented Brad as a flight risk, hence being held on maximum custody, although he has made no attempts to escape since he was detained over two and a half years ago.

The government cited the suicide of another inmate at the brig as the reason for Quantico being "cautious" over Brad and claimed that the way he was treated (POI) was due to concern about his well-being. Fein conceded that Brad was improperly held on suicide risk status for seven days in August 2010 and January 2011 and said that he should be given seven days credit (from a possible sentence of life without parole!) for this. The government argued that the C&A Board was independent (despite evidence to the contrary) and that there was nothing wrong - in fact it was to Brad's advantage - having his counsellor as a voting member of the board (this is the counsellor, Blenis, who lied to Brad, saying he wanted him off POI when he was recommending he stay on POI, and blaming it on the psychiatrists who were actually recommending Brad be removed from POI status).

Fein denied that Brad was not given any privacy during his detention at Quantico since he had five minutes "of potential privacy" between checks by the guards (during which time he could be observed from the guards' booth, including while he used the toilet, but was unable himself to see inside the booth to know whether the guards were watching him or not). Fein excused the brig's failure to give the standard one hour of exercise a day by saying that this could be varied in the "special handling instructions" (and presumably, if these instructions had said "isolate, degrade and torture pfc Manning" the government would be using them as a justification for all his mistreatment).

Judgment reserved

Judge Denise Lind reserved her judgment, saying she would have to review transcripts of the witness testimonies before ruling.

Observations from some of those in court:

Alexa O'Brien: "Coombs masterfully took down prosecution's own involvement and coverup in Manning mistreatment."

Jesselyn Radack: "Coombs seamlessly wove togthr 10 days&some of most confusing testilying I've ever heard N2 coherent, powrfl close (w/ PowerPt & flow charts)" and "More short Fein: Discretion, discretion, discretion. Quantico had discretion 2 do whatever the f*ck it wanted 2 Manning--all 4 his own good."

Mike McKee: "Govt admits egregious conditions tantamount to punishment, deserving reduction in sentence, but FAR from owning up in full."

More links to court reports and articles

Bradley Manning Support Network reports:

BMSN: Testimony comparison 19 Dec

Nathan Fuller: 23 Dec: Bradley Manning Takes Stand, Puts Military Captors on Trial | 14 Dec (Summary of whole hearing) | 11 Dec | 10 Dec | 6 Dec | 5 Dec | 2 Dec | 1 Dec | 30 Nov | 29 Nov | 28 Nov | 27 Nov
Emma Cape: 29 Nov

Other reports:

London Vigil for Bradley Manning 27 Nov
Kevin Gosztola: 15 Dec (on lack on mainstream media coverage) | 12 Dec | 11 Dec | 10 Dec a | 10 Dec b | 7 Dec a | 7 Dec b | 7 Dec c | 6 Dec a | 6 Dec b ] | 5 Dec a | 5 Dec b | 3 Dec | 2 Dec | 1 Dec | 30 Nov a | 30 Nov b | 30 Nov c | 29 Nov a | 29 Nov b | 28 Nov a | 28 Nov b | 27 Nov | 27 Nov: Primer
Jesselyn Radack: 12 Dec | 9 Dec | 8 Dec | 6 Dec | 4 Dec | 3 Dec | 1 Dec
Adam Klasfeld: 12 Dec | 11 Dec | 10 Dec | 7 Dec | 5 Dec | 30 Nov | 29 Nov | 28 Nov
Michael Ratner: 7 Dec (audio)
Arun Rath: 29 Nov | 28 Nov | 27 Nov
Mike McKee: 6 Dec
Seamus McKiernan: 1 Dec
Lindi Carter: 1 Dec
Brett Brownell: 30 Nov
Julian Assange: 29 Nov
Andrew Blake: 15 Dec

Alexa O'Brien's transcripts of the court proceedings and witness testimonies for this hearing: List of entries | 27 November | Col. Daniel Choike | 28 November | Col. Robert Oltman | Capt. William Hocter | 29 November | Col. Ricky Malone | Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton | Bradley Manning | 30 November | Lt. Col. Robert Russel | Gunners Mate Terrance Webb | Lance Corporal Joshua Tankersly | Lance Corporal Jonathan Cline

Alexa O'Brien's transcript of Bradley Manning's Testimony as a witness: 29 & 30 Nov

Alexa O'Brien's transcripts on Bradley Manning's proposed plea by substitution and exceptions: 29 Nov | 28 Nov | 27 Nov


Alexa O'Brien on RT News (YouTube) 6 Dec
Daniel Ellsberg, Michael Ratner, Jesselyn Radack discuss trial 5 Dec
David Coombs, Bradley Manning's Attorney 3 Dec [from 23:00]
Analysis of Coombs' presentation BMSN, Kevin Gosztola and WISE Up

Courtroom illustrations: Clark Stoeckley

Follow Bradley Manning's case with: | Kevin Gosztola | Alexa O'Brien
Welsh, Irish, Scottish, English (WISE) solidarity:

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