Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Jason Allen Milliman, Field Software Engineer, Contractor, F.O.B. Hammer, Iraq, US Army


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 from Jason Allen Milliman was a field software engineer contractor at F.O.B. Hammer, Iraq's FaceBook profile.

* Image from Jason Allen Milliman was a field software engineer contractor at F.O.B. Hammer, Iraq's FaceBook profile.

General Description

Jason Allen Milliman was a field software engineer contractor at F.O.B. Hammer, Iraq. His job was to keep the DCGS-A (Distributed Common Ground Systems) up and running.

Jason Allen Milliman was in the US Army for 21 years, doing electronic repair for military Intel systems, then he became a contractor. Milliman was a contractor in Iraq "on and off" between November 28, 2007 to December 19, 2010.

Jason Allen Milliman saw Bradley Manning everyday, but didn't interact with him. "Maybe once or twice a week."

Jason Allen Milliman says that Sergeant Chad Madaras told him that he thought Bradley Manning had "done" something to the computer that they shared. Said, "He's [Bradley Manning] always messing with them." Jason Allen Milliman said, "I didn't know what was going on; just figured it was defragging that was needed."

Jason Allen Milliman says mIRC chat was authorized.

Jason Allen Milliman was authorized to install DCGS programs.

Jason Allen Milliman says he didn't think Wget was authorized.

Jason Allen Milliman was the only one in the T-SCIF with administrator privileges.

Jason Allen Milliman says that the process for getting software installed was: "They would ask me, I'd ask my boss. If they gave the approval, they would let me know; if they gave a disapproval, they would let me know." His boss was a civilian, and the process would take a couple of days.

Jason Allen Milliman says he saw instances when soldiers would install programs on their DCGS-A computers as executable programs that run from their desktops.

Individuals named in the testimony of Sergeant Chad Madaras:

  • Sergeant Chad Madaras
  • Tosy Gimmage (sp.), a mentor, who with Jason Allen Milliman field software engineer contractor at F.O.B. Hammer were the only only person assigned to the DCGS-A (Distributed Common Ground Systems).
  • unnamed "mentors" who performed maintenance on the DCGS-A (Distributed Common Ground Systems)
  • Jason Allen Milliman a field software engineer contractor's civilian boss
  • unnamed soldiers in the T-SCIF who Jason Allen Milliman a field software engineer contractor saw had programs installed on their DCGS-A (Distributed Common Ground Systems)
  • unnamed individual(s) who made "eventually" aware that unnamed soldiers were putting unauthorized software on their computers

Other Information

  • Jason Allen Milliman connected in Facebook with:
    • Master Sergeant Paul David Adkins (now Sergeant 1st Class due to administrative action)
    • Captain Steven Lim 2nd Brigade Military Intelligence (MI) Company Commander Brigade S2
    • Sergeant Chad Madaras

Additional Article 32 Pretrial, 12/18/11 (by an anonymous journalist, ed. by Alexa O'Brien)

See Transcript of US v Pfc. Manning, Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, 12/18/11 (Additional)


Prosecution: This is Captain Fein calling.


Prosecution: Current position?

Milliman: Network engineer working with [Missed.] Inc.

Prosecution: Military?

Milliman: 21 years, 2 mo, 15 days. Worked with 72 Echo, 33 Tango. Latter as electronics repair guy. Electronic repair for military Intel systems. Responsible for repairs.

Prosecution: Job require TOP SECRET clearance?

Milliman: Then, yes. Now, SECRET.

Prosecution: When did you retire?

Milliman: August 31, 2009. Became contractor for [Missed].

Prosecution: How long were you deployed as a civilian in Iraq?

Milliman: On and off from November 28, 2007 to December 19, 2010.

Prosecution: Where in Iraq?

Milliman: Started out at Camp [Missed] in Baghdad. Moved to JSS [Joint Service Support] Loyalty, then to Camp Ramadi, July of 2000 to 2009 until 2-10 [2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry)] moved out, don't know exactly when that was.

Prosecution: What was your primary responsibility?

Milliman: Field Software Engineer. F.S.E. is the title.

Prosecution: What does an FSE do?

Milliman: Responsible for the base on the location, other units. I supported [Missed].

Prosecution: Where were you based out of?

Milliman: F.O.B. Hammer [Missed].

Prosecution: There the entire time 2nd Brigade was deployed?

Milliman: DCGS-A. [He defines the acronym.] System that authors data to analysts. Data used by analysts to make their decisions on certain targets. My job was to keep system up and running. There is the servers and the laptops. Majority of my job was laptops that had to be fixed for analysts.

Prosecution: Who was authorized to perform maintenance?

Milliman: The [Missed] and the mentors. The mentors handled software, people not being able to adjust format, whether it was hardware, firmware, software.

Prosecution: How often did computers have problems at F.O.B. Hammer?

Milliman: Everyday one or more systems needed assistance: dust blown out, needed defrag'ing, etc. Nature of the beast.

Prosecution: Corrupted PST's [ Personal Folders File is the format used by Microsoft Outlook] common occurrence for users on these computers?

Milliman: There are those who are afraid to delete everything. Corrupts file system. Sometimes machine wouldn't reboot. Not common occurrence, but I've seen several times.

Prosecution: What was common procedure for a DCGS computer?

Milliman: [He talks about what sort of repairs he would do, how he would go about rebooting, fixing, etc.]

Prosecution: What if hard drive or computer could not be fixed? Explain hard drive in a laptop that would be complete failure versus one you can fix?

Milliman: Reboot in safe mode, sometimes... [He goes on to explain.]

Prosecution: Did you know Manning?

Milliman: Worked in the office where I worked.

Prosecution: How often?

Milliman: Saw him everyday, but didn't interact. Maybe once or twice a week?

Prosecution: Do you know Madaras?

Milliman: I saw him three to five times a week.

Prosecution: How many times did you have to repair Madaras/Manning's computer?

Milliman: That seemed to be the one that I'd need to fix. Madaras said he thought Manning had "done" something to the computer. Said, "He's always messing with them." I didn't know what was going on; just figured it was defragging that was needed. Occasionally we might sit at same table in chow; not often. Not much really.

Prosecution: Remember when you met?

Milliman: No.




Prosecution: Did Manning ever talk to you about his knowledge of computers?

Milliman: Manning said he had had a computer software company previously. He said at one point, "If people knew what I can do to computers, they'd be amazed." He seemed kind of serious, kind of joking at the same time when he said this.

Prosecution: Do you know program WGET?

Milliman: No.

Prosecution: Who was authorized to install DCGS programs?

Milliman: Me.

Prosecution: Was WGET authorized?

Milliman: Don't recall. Don't think so.

Prosecution: mIRC chat?

Milliman: Not installed, but most people used that. It was possible - could be on desktop.

Prosecution: Was authorized software?

Milliman: It was authorized to use, yes.



Defense (Coombs): You retired in 2005? And were an E7 then? Got a job as DCGS-A build software engineer, November 2007 to December 2010? Only worked on DCGS-A machines? Only person doing it?

Milliman: Not necessarily. Sometimes. Think twice.

Defense (Coombs): You were the only person assigned?

Milliman: Yes, me and mentor Tosy Gimmage (sp.).

Defense (Coombs): Based on your experience, was heat a major problem for computers?

Milliman: Yes.

Defense (Coombs): DCGS-A machines would run hot?

Milliman: Yes, even in the A/C.

Defense (Coombs): Due to heat, dust, etc., computers would crash?

Milliman: Yes, single most frequent cause of failure.

Defense (Coombs): Could crash because of hard drive or graphics card problem? When DCGS machines would crash, that's when you repaired? Two users per machine?

Milliman: Yes.

Defense (Coombs): Do you know why there were a lot of user profiles?

Milliman: Unfortunately, [Transcriber wrote F6, but may be D6--Basic Digital Network Analyst] folks...they had trouble getting onto the network so they would create a new profile. Or they would "hot seat": sit there temporarily?

Defense (Coombs): You say they would crash. Users would store a lot of stuff on their desktops? When DCGS-A machine crashed, sometimes you could retrieve, sometimes you couldn't?

Milliman: Yes.

[Milliman talks about using universal drive adapter to recover hard drive files from hard drive if necessary.]

Defense (Coombs): You were the only one with admin rights?

Milliman: Correct.

Defense (Coombs): You were asked to add programs?

Milliman: Yes.

Defense (Coombs): What was process of getting approval for software that wasn't in the package?

Milliman: They would ask me, I'd ask my boss. If they gave the approval, they would let me know; if they gave a disapproval, they would let me know.

Defense (Coombs): Was there anyone in that chain who was military?

Milliman: Don't know.

Defense (Coombs): People you called were all civilians?

Milliman: Yes. Took a couple days.

Defense (Coombs): What is mIRC Chat? Depending on problems with it, did this cause issues with DCGS-A machines running?

[Transcriber notes that main question was would new programs play nice with other programs on DCGS-A machines?]

Milliman: Correct.

Defense (Coombs): As part of your job, you noticed soldiers had placed executable files on their desktops.

Milliman: There was an occasion or two where I noticed other programs had been installed. Notice instances where soldiers put their own executable files on their desktops

Defense (Coombs): Soldiers thought the machines were theirs to do what they wanted with them?

Milliman: Yes.

Defense (Coombs): And you would tell them they couldn't do that?

Milliman: Yes.

Defense (Coombs): You were made aware that soldiers were putting unauthorized software on their computers?

Milliman: Yes, eventually.

[Transcribers note. They would go back and forth about how common an occurrence it was for soldiers to put their own software on the comps.]

Defense (Coombs): Computers could have been formatted to disallow DCGS-A machines from having software saved to them but weren't, right?

Milliman: Right.

Defense (Coombs): Reason is that you worked for the soldiers, they didn't work for you, right?

Milliman: Right.


Prosecution: Were you asked by Manning to install WGET on his comp? Or to download a version of it?

Milliman: Not that I recall.

Investigating Officer: You mentioned mentor. Who's that?

[Milliman explains.]


Other Resources:

Alexa O'Brien Alexa O'Brien researches and writes about national security. Her work has been published in VICE News, The Cairo Review of Global Affairs, Guardian UK, Salon, The Daily Beast, and featured on the BBC, PBS Frontline, On The Media, Democracy Now!, and Public Radio International. In 2013, she was shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in the UK and listed in The Verge 50..