Mar 11, 2014
Leaked Guantanamo Files Won’t Harm Nation, Key Manning Witness Says (Video)
Posted on Jul 10, 2013
A former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay prison testified at Bradley Manning’s trial Tuesday that the Army private’s disclosure of classified detainee assessment files to WikiLeaks had no value to enemy groups and did not harm American national security.
Col. Morris Davis was chief prosecutor in the Guantanamo military tribunals from 2005 to 2007. He told the court in Fort Meade, Md., that he had checked a sample of detainee files leaked by Manning against information that was publicly available at the time of the disclosures. He found much overlap and repetition, including passages in the official prisoner assessments that were virtually word-for-word copies of freely available material.
“A lot of the information was repetitive of comparable open-source information that was available in print,” Davis said. “You could read the open-source information and sit down and write a substantial version of what was in the DAB [detainee assessment brief].”
Manning pleaded guilty to passing more than 750 of those briefs to WikiLeaks in 2010, an admission that carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail. The U.S. government has pushed for charges based on a higher offense, violation of the 1917 Espionage Act, claiming that the young soldier understood that his leaks could be used to harm the United States. That offense carries a punishment of 10 years in custody.
Manning pleaded guilty to lesser offenses carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years. The U.S. government is pursuing prosecution on 22 counts that could jail him for a maximum of 149 years.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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