Day 6 of Bradley Manning’s pre-trial hearing: In-depth notes from the Art. 32 courtroom
Wednesday, December 20, 2011
Proceedings began at 9am sharp with David Coombs calling Sgt. Daniel Padgett to the stand.
Sgt. Padgett explained that he had been in the Army for the last three years, and prior to that, he was a Marine from 2001 to 2005. When he deployed with the Army to Iraq in October 2009, he held the rank of Specialist and functioned as a 35F intelligence analyst. PFC Manning was also a Specialist 35F. Since then, Padgett has been promoted to Sergeant, and has been trained as a 35L counter intelligence agent.
Sgt. Padgett explained that he was tasked to be the NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge) of the night shift of the intel office—although as a Specialist, he was not yet a non-commissioned officer. His job was to oversee operations of the night shift, but he had no real guidance or formal training to do so. Sgt. Padgett noted that there was no clear chain of command between him and PFC Manning, whom he was supposed to supervise.
Sgt. Padgett outlined a December 2009 incident when PFC Manning was late for work. Sgt. Padgett requested the ability to counsel PFC Manning regarding this incident. Later, when counseling PFC Manning in the S2 intelligence office regarding the importance of being on time for his shift, PFC Manning blankly stared straight ahead, and then flipped the table into the air. Two computers and a radio crashed to the ground. Sgt. Padgett put his hand on PFC Manning to calm him down. Moments later, the Chief Warrant Officer put PFC Manning in a “full nelson” style wrestling head lock.
Sgt. Padgett responded that no one in the chain of command asked him about what happened that day, nor was any UCMJ action taken against PFC Manning for the incident.
With no further questions from PFC Manning’s attorney David Coombs, the prosecution had Sgt. Padgett confirm that opsec (operation security) and infosec (information security) were topics covered prior to deployment, and that 35F’s had signed non-disclosure agreements regarding classified information. Sgt. Padgett explained that “you just know” to safe guard classified information.
With no further questions from the prosecution, the Investigating Officer inquired into the use of music, movies, and games in the SCIF.
Sgt. Padgett explained that music was initially authorized, and that movies were watched on unclassified computers. There were also a couple of games on the office shared drive.
Sgt. Padgett was permanently excused from the stand.
PFC Manning’s attorney David Coombs called Captain Barclay Keay to the stand. Capt. Keay gave testimony via speakerphone.
Capt. Keay deployed to Iraq in November 2009. It was his second deployment, but his first in an S2 (intelligence) position. He was assigned to be the OIC (officer in charge) of the SCIF night shift at FOB Hammer. His only troops on that night shift were all specialists: Bradley Manning, Daniel Padgett, and Cooley.
Capt. Keay explained that the primary work of the SCIF occurred during the day shift, and the night shift simply helped with tasks that carried over from the day shift. Capt. Keay was in this position for “only about three weeks,” during which time he asked almost everyone, from officers to the lower ranking enlisted, about which actual procedures were in place. He received various answers to his questions.
Capt. Keay explained that soldiers commonly listened to music. He assumed soldiers watched videos and played video games, but he never “caught anyone with their hands in the cookie jar” as they probably hid those on screen windows when they saw him coming. Capt. Keay acknowledged that in a sworn statement (probably as part of a “Secretary of the Army 156 investigation”) that listening to music was simply tolerated as accepted practice in the SCIF, despite his formal training otherwise. Capt. Keay noted that he now knows what a SCIF “should look like”: No music, videos, or games on secure computers.
Capt. Keay explained that his interactions with PFC Manning were limited. However, he believed that PFC Manning “wanted to be a good soldier,” and that PFC Manning did “good analytical work.”
The IO asked if there were any other witnesses.
David Coombs noted that this was the final defense witness for the Article 32 hearing, because all other defense witnesses were not allowed by the IO to be questioned.
The IO asked PFC Manning if he understood his right to make a statement, and his right to not make a statement. PFC Manning, in very quick speech, said what I understood to be “I understand, sir” (but it was not at all clear).
The IO then asked PFC Manning if he wished to make a statement. PFC Manning replied “No, sir.”
It was now 9:40am. The IO moved to recess the proceedings until 9:00am, Thursday, December 22, for closing statements by the prosecution and defense. David Coombs objected to the delay by noting that both the defense and prosecution should be ready to make closing statements by 4:00pm today—giving both sides plenty of time to prepare.
The IO upheld the prosecution’s argument that there was a pre-existing agreement to do closing statements on Thursday, regardless of today’s very early finish.
Hearing in recess until 9am, Thursday, December 22.