Chats With WikiLeaks Co-Founder Discovered On Bradley Manning's Laptop
According to The Washington Post, a government witness presented the new evidence at a pretrial hearing, describing a memory card that contained 500,000 field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan. Other witnesses mentioned a file deleted from Manning's work computers that contained 100,000 State Department cables and an incriminating email from May 2010, in which Manning wrote, "I was the source of the 12 July 07 video from the Apache weapons team which killed two journalists and injured two kids."
From The Washington Post:
The steady disclosure of evidence was highly damaging, experts said, as prosecutors attempted to paint a picture of a leaker who knew he was breaking military rules.
“You add it up, add it up, and eventually it gives people something approaching a moral certainty” that Manning committed the crimes, said Eugene Fidell, a visiting lecturer in military justice at Yale Law School. “I would be surprised if the defense was sipping champagne this evening. Private Manning is in serious trouble.”
Manning, 24, wearing fatigues and Army-issue dark-framed glasses, sat at a table with his defense team, taking notes or speaking to his attorney, mostly without expression. Also monitoring proceedings have been attorneys for the London-based Assange, who are concerned that he could face criminal conspiracy charges in the United States.
…On this fourth day of the hearing, investigators said they recovered from one of Manning’s work computers a deleted file containing four assessments of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; a corrupted, deleted file containing 10,000 State Department cables that apparently was never sent to WikiLeaks; and a deleted file with more than 100,000 diplomatic cables that had been compressed for apparent ease of transfer.
The chats between Manning and Assange, whose user name was “email@example.com,” were recovered from Manning’s laptop, prosecutors said.
“The substance of the chat was predominantly discussion of government information and specifically sending or receiving that information,” said Mark Johnson, a contract forensic examiner with the Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit. He said Assange and Manning discussed WikiLeaks and assessments of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
A report by Wired.com detailed one of the encrypted files uncovered by Special Agent David Shaver on an SD card found in the home of Manning's aunt.
The third file, a readme.txt file, appeared to be a message to someone, likely WikiLeaks.
"Items of historical significance of two wars Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Activity, Sigacts, between 00001 January 2004 and 2359 31 Dec 2009 extracts from CSV documents from Department of Defense and CDNE database. These items have already been sanitized of any source identity information.
You might need to sit on this information for 90 to 180 days to best send and distribute such a large amount of data to a large audience and protect the source.
This is one of the most significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.
Have a good day."
Shaver said he was able to open those encrypted files using the same password he extracted from the MacBook.
“You got kind of lucky?” asked the prosecutor.
“Yes, sir,” Shaver replied.
The current hearing will eventually decide whether Manning's case goes to a court-martial. According to The Post, he would then face 22 charges including aiding the enemy and violating the Espionage Act.
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