Since my fellow contributors have given the PFC Manning Art. 32 hearing short shrift, I’ll add this synopsis as the defense begins its case today.
The government’s case has painstakingly connected PFC Manning to not only the particular files uploaded by the Wiki[shhhh] organization, but has connected him to particular breaches of SIPRNet security protocols and his own access rights. To do this the government has brought in an array of computer, shall I call them geeks–I think that’s a term of endearment in that community? The government’s case has thus focused on establishing PFC Manning’s access rights and tracing data found on computers and other media used by PFC Manning to SIPRNet activity by Manning and the files available on Wiki[shhhh]. connecting the dots between Manning and Wiki[shhhh] has included evidence of on-line chats between Manning and Wiki[shhhh] founder Julian Assange, which is likely part of the motivation behind Manning defense counsel David Coombs jumping up and down on Day 1 about the IOs bias because he worked for DOJ (though, as I noted else where, his job is not connected to any investigation of Assange).
The government focus on connecting the dots has been to the exclusion of, at least in the open hearing sessions, evidence about the damage to national security caused by Manning’s alleged acts or any intent to communicate this data to foreign enemies of the US. That’s not to say that the closed hearing sessions, which apparently have not been numerous (thank you TCs and IO for reading the King case Investigation Report), haven’t addressed these issues.
As for government witnesses, aside from the computer geeks the only star power has been convicted former hacker Adrian Lamo (sp?). Lamo testified about the now public chat logs between he and Manning that revealed Mannings transparency motives, but also demonstrated Manning knew the information he allegedly released could aid foreign governments.
The defense for its part has hammered away at the lack of evidence about harm to US national security. It has taken shots at some of the government’s geeks and attempted to break some of the connections by pointing out differences, in some cases, between files found by the government’s geeks and those on Wiki[shhhh]. The defense early on also laid the ground work for what, in my best guess, is a potential diminished capacity-type defense to the specific intent specs. The defense has put at issue Manning’s sexuality and mental health in the pre-DADT end US Army. If not a defense, the defense counsel are at least laying the groundwork for a potential sentencing case. They’ve also tried to use this evidence to counter-government evidence that Manning, even though a junior soldier, was highly skilled and knew exactly what the potential impact of releasing this type of information would be.