By DAVID DISHNEAU and PAULINE JELINEK
FORT MEADE, Maryland – The U.S. military hearing for Private Bradley Manning entered its fourth day Monday as officials seek to determine whether the Army intelligence analyst charged with giving classified information to WikiLeaks will be court-martialed.
Monday’s testimony will focus on a forensic examination of Manning’s two workplace computers. An investigator testified Sunday that he found more than 10,000 downloaded diplomatic cables and other sensitive information on a computer Manning used. Digital crimes investigator David Shaver said the other computer was used to conduct online searches for WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
Shaver’s testimony provided the first hard evidence linking Manning to the unauthorized release of hundreds of thousands of documents that ended up on WikiLeaks.
Manning’s lawyers intend to cross-examine Shaver on Monday. They argue the leaked material did little or no damage to U.S. interests.
The hearing will determine whether Manning will be court-martialed on 22 charges, including aiding the enemy. The 24-year-old could face life in prison if convicted.
Manning’s defense pressed the government Sunday to explain why a private said to have upended furniture in fits of rage and exhibited a pattern of troubled behavior was allowed to keep working with highly sensitive information. A supervisor refused to testify.
The tone changed late in the day when the government called Shaver to testify.
Shaver told the hearing that in addition to the State Department cables, he found several versions of a deadly 2007 helicopter attack video and secret assessments of Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees. He also said he discovered evidence that someone had used the computer to streamline the downloading of cables with the apparent aim of “moving them out.”
All the material was linked to the username bradley.manning or Manning’s user profile, Shaver said. On the second computer used by the private, he said, he found evidence that someone had conducted more than 100 searches using the keywords “WikiLeaks” and “Julian Assange,” the organization’s leader.
Those terms seemed “out of place” on a computer that was used for analyzing intelligence about Iraq, said Shaver
Manning didn’t speak Sunday except for the few occasions he leaned over to consult with his civilian defense attorney, David Coombs.
Manning’s lawyers have neither acknowledged nor denied that the intelligence analyst was behind the leaks.
Instead, they have sought to build on their case that his supervisors on the 2nd Brigade Combat Team should have seen enough worrying signs to suspend or revoke his access to secret information months before the leaks.
Capt. Casey Fulton, an Army intelligence officer, testified Sunday it was impossible to supervise analysts such as Manning constantly. “You have to trust that they’ll safeguard the material the way that they’ve been taught,” she said.
The defense has emphasized what it regards as a failure by Manning’s closest supervisor, Sgt. 1st Class Paul Adkins, to suspend the intelligence analyst’s security clearance despite his outbursts.
Adkins refused to testify Sunday, invoking his right against self-incrimination.
Other testimony revealed that Manning was sometimes angry and distant with others from his unit. The defense has said that Manning, who is gay, was bullied by fellow soldiers. Manning’s defense team says he told Adkins he suffered from gender-identity disorder- the belief that he was born the wrong sex.
Sgt. Chad Madaras testified that Manning was sometimes sullen and unresponsive, especially toward Adkins.
“He would sit down at his work station and kind of ignore everyone,” Madaras said under questioning by Coombs.
Madaras said Manning “kind of separated himself from others in the unit.” He said he didn’t know if Manning was picked on by fellow soldiers.
Late afternoon, the presiding officer ordered the hearing closed to the news media for a discussion about coming testimony that could include classified information. It was the first time since the hearing began Friday that Lt. Col. Paul Almanza closed the courtroom.