An all-source intelligence officer who worked with Pvt. Bradley Manning in Iraq, called the man who allegedly leaked a trove of diplomatic cables and and classified information to Wikileaks a “go-to” analyst who was skilled with computers but needed help with some of his analysis.
“He had a good understanding of the enemy threat,” Capt. Casey Fulton said today at the ongoing Article 32 hearing at Fort Meade, Md. “He had a better understanding than any of the other analysts.”
Fulton also said she and Manning discussed the 2007 video of an Apache gunship attack on civilians that had been posted by Wikileaks.
She said the video, which showed the infamous attack on civilians and a Reuters TV cameraman, was available and viewed by soldiers on the shared SIPRNet system where she oversaw a team of analysts. Fulton said that after the video was posted by Wikileaks, she told soldiers in her intelligence unit that she believed the videos were different. Manning told her he believed they were the same and sent her a link with a comparison showing that the videos were identical, she said.
Fulton also described a violent outburst by Manning in May 2010, when he struck another solider in their secure office or SCIF (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility). Fulton said she ordered a derogatory report against Manning and that he be stripped of his weapon and was then barred access to the SCIF area.
Under cross examination by Manning’s defense lawyer David Coombs, Fulton testified that soldiers working in the SCIF had shared music and video games on their shared network computers.
“No one ever told you that music on the shared drive was a violation of information assurance procedures?” Coombs asked.
“No,” Fulton said.
In her testimony, Fulton said that soldiers in her intelligence unit had wide access to files in the Combined Information Data Network Exchange (CIDNE) Iraq database. According to the charge sheet, the CIDNE database contains more than 380,000 records.
Asked about protecting the data, Fulton said that everyone had signed a non-disclosure agreement.
“It’s impossible to supervise 100 percent of the time,” Fulton said. “You have to trust they will safeguard the material.”
Fulton testified that soldiers in the SCIF had the ability to burn CDs on their computers show that US military officials could share intelligence information with Iraqi officials.
Following Fulton’s testimony prosecutors called Sgt. Paul Adkins, one of Manning’s supervisors. Adkins had failed to notify his superiors about Manning’s gender identity disorder after Manning sent him a photo of himself dressed as a woman.
Adkins took the witness stand but when asked his name invoked his right to remain silent and was dismissed by investigative officer Lt. Col. Paul Almanza.
Warrant Officer Kyle Balonek, another supervisor to the analysts who worked with Manning, was reached over a teleconference to testify, but also invoked his right to remain silent.
Following these two brief witnesses who chose not to testify prosecutors called Sgt. Chad Madaras who testified via teleconference that he worked the night shift in Manning’s unit and that Manning worked the day shift.
Madaras said that his DCGS-A computer often would have problems at the beginning of his shift and would crash numerous times.
The prosecutors asked if he had ever searched the subjects Wikileaks, Iceland, Julian Assange, Icelandic politician Birgitta Jónsdóttir , Joint Task Force Guantanamo, or the State Department’s Net-Centric databases. Sgt. Madaras said he never searched for any of these topics.
Under cross examination, Madaras said Manning was viewed as an outcast by other soldiers.
“He separated himself,” Madaras said. “I don’t know if he was picked on.”
Madaras also testified that music, movies and games were on the shared computer networks inside the SCIF. When he was asked about the computer crashes. Madaras told the investigative officer: “We told him [Manning] to remove items from his desktop.”
Coombs moved on to focus on the items being on the intelligence analysts computers.
During his cross examination, Coombs had a testy exchange with Almanza, who said the questions were not focused on the direct examination.
“I would caution the investigating officer,” Coombs told Almanza as he grabbed a lawbook and cited military code. “The defense should be allowed to conduct discovery.”
“I’ve given you leeway,” Almanza said.
“I’m not going off into the ozone layer,” Coombs said. “The IO [investigative officer] should not limit cross-examination.”