Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack, Brigade Fire Section, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division

UPDATE POST COURT-MARTIAL

United States v. Pfc.Manning was conducted in de facto secrecy. The public was not granted contemporaneous access to court filings or rulings during her trial. In addition to reporting on her trial, I transcribed the proceedings, reconstructed the censored appellate list, and un-redacted any publicly available documentation, in order to foster public comprehension of her unprecedented trial.

As a result of a lawsuit against the military judge and the Military District of Washington brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights, as well as my own FOIA requests and research, an official court record for US v. Pfc. Manning was released seven months after her trial. That record is not complete.

The official trial docket is published HERE and the entire collection of documents is text searchable at usvmanning.org.

*During the pretrial proceedings, court-martial and sentencing of Pfc. Manning, Chelsea requested to be identified as Bradley and addressed using the male pronoun. In a letter embargoed for August 22, 2013 Chelsea proclaimed that she is female and wished to be addressed from that moment forward as Chelsea E. Manning.

*Image of now Chief Warrant Officer, Three (CW3) Hondo Hack receiving the "Meritorious Service Medal for his hard work while serving as the Fire Support Officer at 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI)" in July 2011.  Image is from the Facebook profile of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division

*Image of now Chief Warrant Officer, Three (CW3) Hondo Hack receiving the "Meritorious Service Medal for his hard work while serving as the Fire Support Officer at 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI)" in July 2011. Image is from the Facebook profile of the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division

Chief Warrant Officer, Three (CW3) Hondo Hack is mentioned in the Article 32 Pretrial testimony of Specialist Jihrleah Showman. Showman testified that she reported to then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack but that the only person that Showman had access to was Master Sergeant Paul David Adkins (now Sergeant 1st Class due to administrative action), the NCOIC (Non-commissioned Officer in Charge) of the T-SCIF. Showman testified that counseling was not available. Showman testified that she stopped fighting for counseling from then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) CW2 Hondo Hack, and that she was only counseled once.

Specialist Showman testified that the December 2009 incident with Specialist Daniel Padgett, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Ehresman, and Pfc. Manning should not have remained in the S2 shop.

Showman testified that an unidentified First Sergeant did eventually find out about the alleged December 2009 incident with Manning, Padgett, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Ehresman, because Showman's commanding officer Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack told the unidentified First Sergeant.

Showman testified that Adkins did not report the alleged December 2009 incident with Manning, Padgett, and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Ehresman to the unidentified First Sergeant. Showman testified that she escorted Manning to meet with the unidentified First Sergeant, and that she told the unidentified First Sergeant that Manning should have never deployed and that this was not the first time and that she was not surprised about the incident.

Specialist Showman testified that she was the first to find the 12 July 2007 Apache video known as "Collateral Murder" when she was going through folders that belonged to the fire section.

Showman testified that she was looking at videos "to improve my professional development." Showman testified that she started looking at the 12 July 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video for "no reason in particular" and that she had looked at a few others as well.

Showman testified that she and then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack would watch videos together to see how then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack's fire section would respond to situations like the one in the 12 Jul 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video.

Showman testified that then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack was grooming her to be a targeting analyst for a future deployment.

Showman testified that she watched the 12 July 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video four of five times. Showman testified that one other unidentified soldier, and three of four unidentified officers were watching the 12 July 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video with her and discussing it.

Showman testified that the unidentified soldier and three or four unidentified officers discussed what they saw in the video and tried to analyze "what things could be perceived or why the military was taking specific tactics in dealing with the enemy."

Showman testified that the unidentified soldier or three or four unidentified officers did not discuss rules of engagement while viewing the 12 July 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video. Showman testified that there was an "answer given" about the military firing on the van while she, another soldier, and three or four officers viewed the 12 July 2007 Baghdad Apache airstrike video.

The Government objected to the defense request for the testimony of the then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack, Fire Section, Second Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at the December 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, stating his testimony was "not relevant to the Article 32 investigation and will only serve to distract from the relevant issues."

While there is no official public record of Almanza's denial of this witness' testimony, then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack, Fire Section, Second Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division did not appear during any open session of the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing. The public record shows that at least fourteen witnesses were granted to defense for the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing. In Lt. Col. Almanza's ruling on the Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses, 12 witnesses were granted to the defense, 10 of whom were also requested by the Government. Defense said in open Court on December 16, 2011, that Lt. Col. Almanza granted two additional witnesses to defense that morning.

Then Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack provided a sworn statement for the Secretary of the Army's 15-6 investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosures. Defense's account of Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack sworn statement is contained in their Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses below.

No. 25 on the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses

XXXXXXXXXX [Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack] He will testify that prior to the deployment, he received occasional comments from XXXXXXXXXX [Specialist Jihrleah Showman] regarding PFC Manning's attitude and personal problems. However, he was never aware of any suggestion not to deploy PFC Manning. He will testify that he was made aware of one incident during the deployment involving PFC Manning by another soldier. XXXXXXXXXX [Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack] then sought out XXXXXXXXXX [AN UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT] to clarify what this soldier had told him. After learning what happened, XXXXXXXXXX [Chief Warrant Officer, Two (CW2) Hondo Hack] along with XXXXXXXXXX [UNIDENTIFIED FIRST SERGEANT] decided to counsel PFC Manning for about 45-60 minutes and referred him to Mental Health for evaluation. He will testify that could not recall if the referral was command directed or if Manning volunteered. He will testify that he later learned that PFC Manning had not gone to mental health as required. However, due to his transition, he will testify that he informed his replacement of the issue instead of attempting to address the issue himself.

Other Resources

Alexa O'Brien Alexa O'Brien researches and writes about national security and law enforcement. Her work has been published in The New York Times, VICE News, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Guardian (UK), The Daily Beast, NY Daily News, and featured on the BBC, PBS, NPR, Democracy Now!, and Public Radio International. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in the United Kingdom and listed in The Verge 50. In 2016, she worked at The Constitution Project in Washington, D.C. as a staff researcher and writer on an independent commission studying Oklahoma's death penalty. She also provided research support to scholars of the first cost study conducted on that state's capital punishment system.