Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow, Supply Room

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 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.

General Description

Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow, NATO in Naples, Italy [US Army NATO, Allied Forces Command South (AFSOUTH) Battalion] knew Manning from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (2BCT), 10th Mountain Division (10MT) (Light Infantry) (LI) Supply Room in Iraq. Manning worked for Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow in the Supply Room after Manning was removed from the T-SCIF for an alleged altercation with Specialist Jihrleah Showman on 7 May 2010 until Bigelow went two unnamed NCO [Non Commissioned Officers] escorted Manning into custody on 26 May 2010. Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow was on the same flight to Kuwait when Manning was moved to pretrial confinement at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait .

Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that there was one SIPRNet and one NIPRNet computer, as well as Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow's personal laptop in the Supply Room at FOB Hammer, Iraq.

Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that he never logged into Manning's accounts on Amazon, Google Gmail, or other accounts, and that he did not know the passwords for Manning's accounts or profiles. Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that he had never searched for WikiLeaks and did not know who Julian Assange was. Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that he did not download every email on the iraq.centcom.mil domain. Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that his personal laptop did not have a password. Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that he instructed Manning after his Article 15 [Non-judicial Punishment] that Manning was not to download "crazy things on my laptop" and he was not to go to Web sites and look at porn, or anything that might get Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow in trouble. Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow testified that he did not give instructions to other soldiers concerning his laptop, and that the Supply Room clerk had her own NIPRNet computer, but Bigelow admitted on cross-examination that he could not know whether or not other soldiers used his laptop.

Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow was not the on the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses


Individuals named in the testimony of X

  • unnamed two (2) NCO [Non Commissioned Officers] escorted Manning into custody
  • unnamed Supply Room clerk at FOB Hammer, Iraq
  • unnamed soldiers in the Supply Room at FOB Hammer, Iraq

Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow Testimony at US v Pfc. Manning, Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, 12/20/11

See Transcript of US v Pfc. Manning, Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, 12/20/11

11:12 a.m. UNITED STATES CALLS STAFF SERGEANT PETER BIGELOW via TELEPHONE

Prosecution: Staff Sergeant Bigelow? This is Captain Overgaard.

Bigelow: How ya doing?

[Prosecution places Bigelow under oath.]

Prosecution: You alone?

Bigelow: I am alone in my bedroom. It is just me.

Prosecution: You are Staff Sergeant Peter Bigelow of N.A.T.O. in Naples, Italy [US Army NATO, Allied Forces Command South (AFSOUTH) Battalion]?

Bigelow: Yes.

Prosecution: How do you know Manning?

Bigelow: I knew him from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) in Iraq.

Prosecution: [Missed question.]

Bigelow: 15 October

Prosecution: [Missed question.]

Bigelow: I went over in January. He came to work for me after getting into an altercation with Specialist Showman.

Prosecution: He worked for you in the supply room?

Bigelow: Yes.

Prosecution: How long?

Bigelow: Up until the time I went out on leave in May. Also, the time that two N.C.O.'s [Non-Commissioned Officers] escorted him down, cause we were on same flight to [missed. Could be Kuwait] to put him into custody.

Prosecution: When?

Bigelow: Immediately after custody. I got there maybe about April time, couldn't tell you.

Prosecution: But right after altercation?

Bigelow: Yes.

Prosecution: What computers were located inside during the time?

Bigelow: SIPRnet computer, NIPRnet computer, my personal laptop on which I got Iraqi Internet. Put on my F.O.B so that I could search Web sites' portals that were closed off from NIPRnet computers.

Prosecution: So equipment to help you do your job?

Bigelow: Yes.

Prosecution: Did you ever log into Manning's [She mentions several accounts: Amazon, Gmail, etc.]

Bigelow: Negative.

Prosecution: Know any of his passwords?

Bigelow: Negative.

Prosecution: Did you ever view the WikiLeaks.org Web site? Search for Julian Assange?

Bigelow: No. Who?

Prosecution: Julian Assange.

Bigelow: Ma'am, I never heard of that person.

Prosecution: So you never downloaded every email on the iraq.centcom.mil domain?

Bigelow: I didn't need it, thus didn't do it.

DEFENSE EXAMINES STAFF SERGEANT PETER BIGELOW

Defense (Coombs): Your personal laptop have a password?

Bigelow: No cause it was my personal laptop.

Defense (Coombs): So when you were in the supply room could anyone get access to your personal laptop?

Bigelow: I gave specific instructions: You will not - you will not - download crazy things on my laptop. You would not go to Web sites, look at porn, things that would get me in trouble. After his Article 15 [Non-judicial Punishment], I gave instructions to Manning.

Defense (Coombs): Give instructions to other soldiers?

Bigelow: No.

Defense (Coombs): Not your clerk?

Bigelow: No, she had a NIPRnet computer in front of her. She didn't need my computer.

Defense (Coombs): You are guessing about that?

[Bigelow admits that he can't know for sure whether or not his clerk used his personal computer because he wasn't there.]

STAFF SERGEANT PETER BIGELOW PERMANETLY EXUSED


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.