12 Apr 2013

Evidence Obtained During Bin Laden Raid Can Be Used In Manning Trial

Digital files obtained during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden can be used to determine whether Wikileaks’ leaker Army Pfc. Bradley Manning “aided” Al Qaeda, a judge ruled during a pre-trial hearing Wednesday. Manning pled guilty to leaking classified information, but denied aiding the enemy, the most serious charge leveled against him.

manning on his way to court

As Firedoglake’s Kevin Gosztola reported from Fort Meade, Judge Denise Lind rejected a motion from Manning’s defense to disallow files obtained from Bin Laden’s compound on the basis that “evidence of circumstances surrounding receipt is relevant to whether he did give it to the enemy.”

According to court documents Tweeted by independent journalist Alexa O’Brien, the defense argued that such files are “not relevant” and serve “unfair prejudices” and “confusion of the issues.” Part of their argument rests on the question of “receipt.” As Gosztola notes, whether Bin Laden accessed files leaked by Manning does not prove the soldier personally passed them along to Al Qaeda: No evidence has been presented yet to indicate that Manning gave information to WikiLeaks and then someone within WikiLeaks turned around and passed that information to an Al Qaeda member. The government is making its entire argument on the fact that it was published to the Internet and accessible to the “enemy” and, therefore, Manning “aided the enemy.”

Full story on Alternet