Manning Defense Focuses on Female Alter-Ego and Erratic Behavior


In questioning prosecution witnesses, Manning's defense attorneys also raised the issue of his erratic, violent behavior, which led one superior to conclude he was "a threat to himself and to others." The defense raised questions about why Manning's superior officers allowed him to deploy to Iraq and continue to have access to classified materials.

Former Army specialist Jihrleah Showman said she was "furious" when she saw Manning's name on a deployment roster after two disturbing incidents, prior to the unit's deployment to Iraq, in late 2009.

In one of the incidents, he began to act aggressively, "screaming at the top of his lungs, waving his hands, with saliva coming out of his mouth" at the sight of his the unit's senior ranking non-commissioned officer.

Showman said she recommended that Manning receive an Article 15 non-judicial punishment to deal with a minor infraction, because he "was a threat to himself" and a "threat to others" and had disrespected his superiors. However, to her knowledge, superior officers took no action.

In a separate incident, Manning told her he "constantly felt paranoid" and "felt people were listening to his conversations, felt he could not trust anyone in the unit or around him."

After the unit had deployed to Iraq, Manning was manhandled after flipping a table during a counseling session with Sgt. Daniel Padgett.

Padgett testified today "initially, he was calm but then his demeanor changed, he stared at me in a way that made me feel a little uncomfortable."

In each of these incidents, Manning never received any reprimands or loss of access to classified information he had access to as an intelligence analyst.

That did not happen until after a May 2010 incident in which Manning punched Showman, in what she called an "unprovoked" attack.

That violent outburst led to Manning being demoted from the rank of specialist to a private and to his removal from the unit.

Defense attorneys tried to portray a unit without a clear chain of command, where junior-ranking intelligence analysts routinely violated security protocols, such as playing music, videos and games on their classified work computers.

Today, the nighttime shift supervisor, Capt. Barclay Keay said that despite raising concerns with others, "music was kind of tolerated so soldiers could be more productive…I just kind of pushed it to the side."

It was not until Keay switched units that he learned that recreational activities should not be tolerated in the work environment.

With closing arguments expected tomorrow, the military officer presiding over the pre-trial hearing will have until mid-January to decide whether to recommend Manning for a court martial.

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