Wikileaks material found in bin Laden raid
The US government is planning to call an American, possibly one of the 22 Navy Seals involved in the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to give evidence at the trial of Bradley Manning about how he discovered digital material later revealed to contain WikiLeaksdisclosures, a military court heard on Tuesday.
Prosecutors intend to bring to the witness stand an anonymous man they are calling "John Doe" who would testify how he entered a room in the al-Qaida leader's hideout in Pakistan, grabbed three items of digital media and removed it. Later, four separate files of information were off-loaded with WikiLeaks contents on them.
The testimony would be used, the prosecution said, to show that Bin Laden had actively sought access to the material Manning had passed to WikiLeaks. That in turn would provide supporting evidence for the most serious charge against the soldier – that he had "aided the enemy".
Ashden Fein, the lead prosecution lawyer, told a pre-trial hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland that the individual who grabbed the digital items, as well as five other witnesses who subsequently handled it in Afghanistan and the US, would be called to show how the WikiLeaks disclosures were used by al-Qaida. "This information was requested by Osama bin Laden; a member of al-Qaida went and got the information and gave it to Bin Laden," Fein said.
In an intense afternoon of legal argument, it was also revealed on Tuesday that Manning has written a personal statement of about 35 pages in which he seeks to explain to the court why he transferred such a massive trove of confidential state documents to the anti-secrecy site. On Thursday the soldier is due to enter a dialogue with the judge presiding over the case, Colonel Denise Lind, in which he is expected to plead guilty to having been the source of the WikiLeaks dump.
...This should be an interesting day for those who have defended the actions of Manning. It sounds like he is entering into a plea bargain at this point. That is probably a wise move with the evidence accumulated against him.