Bradley Manning court-martial hears 'evidence of online chats' with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

 

A computer crimes investigator says he saw evidence on a laptop of chats between former military intelligence analyst Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy web site WikiLeaks.

On the sixth day of Manning's court martial prosecutors have begun to present examples where, they say, classified information transmitted by Pvt Manning to Mr Assange’s site threatened to inflict quantifiable damage to US national security interests across a range of different categories.

The defence has argued that the 25-year-old former soldier had no intention of hurting the US when he stole the classified materials, including cables, prisoner assessments and video clips, and shared them with WikiLeaks and wanted only to spark a debate about America’s conduct in the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Mark Johnson, the forensic computer sleuth, noted that in communicating with WikiLeaks Pvt Manning had used the alias Nathanial Frank, the name of a historian who wrote a book critical of the US military’s now abandoned ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy that obliged gays in the armed services to keep quiet about the sexual identities.  The defence has also told the court that the defendant struggled to fit in as a gay soldier.

Any testimony describing direct communications between Manning with Assange will go to the core of the prosecution’s assertion that the defendant set out to compromise national security.  It will also be of interest to the US government if it returns to the issue possibly of charging Mr Assange, a step it has not taken.

On the stand, Mr Johnson said he found a trail of chats between Manning and an account that prosecutors believe was used by Mr Assange.  Those chats were about government business, he said, adding: “Specifically, they were mentioning Iceland, Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay.)”.They discussed WikiLeaks too.

The prosecution this week has asserted that the torrent of secret material sent by Manning to WikiLeaks included such things as code names and sensitive information on US military tactics and strategy.  It also included at least one enemy target, the court was told. 

In a statement that was read to the court, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Martin Nehring, a classification expert, said his review of Afghanistan and Iraq battlefield reports leaked by Manning revealed techniques for dealing with improvised explosives, the name of an enemy target, the names of criminal suspects as well as troop movements. 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Analyst - 12 Month FTC - Entry Level

£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Chefs - All Levels

£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance Engineer

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive & Customer Service - Call Centre Jobs!

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high