Wikileaks Hearing: Mixed Findings so Far
The military hearing to determine whether a court marshal should go forward for Pfc. Manning continues today, as both sides submit evidence to support their case. Manning has been accused of sharing state secrets by sending documents and videos to the "whistleblower" site WIkileaks. If convicted on all counts, Manning could face the death penalty, although prosecutors have signaled that they would not recommend this punishment.
The prosecution has shown that over 100,000 State Department cables have been found on a laptop used by Manning as well as software that would allow the user to copy the records to a recordable cd. Communications logs have also been presented; both an email in which Manning claims to be the source of an Apache helicopter attack video published by Wikileaks, and a chat with Julian Assange discussing the exchange of government documents.
In support of Manning, the defense has had witnesses admit there is no evidence that the copying software was used by Manning, and that the cables discovered on the laptop were not ones that were published by Wikileaks. Witnesses for the prosecution also admitted that the documents could be on the laptop as part of normal business practice, and that other personnel had access to the laptop and could have been the ones to copy the files.
So far a picture of poor security practices has been the most interesting aspect of the hearing. Manning used the same password on multiple accounts, allowing investigators easy access, Manning's supervisor emailed a link to sensitive documents to a group of employees, the laptop used by Manning was used by other employees, with a shared password, and SD cards and thumb drives were common, and un-tracked, tools in the environment.