Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Deputy Commander, US Central Command (USCENTCOM)

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.

Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Deputy Commander, CENTCOM

Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Deputy Commander, CENTCOM

General Description:

Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Deputy Commander, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) is the Original Classification Authority for the classification determination and impact on national security for the CIDNE Afghanistan Events [Afghan War Diary], CIDNE Iraq Events [Iraq War Logs], other briefings and the BE22PAX.wmv video [Garani Airstrike Video].

According to his official biography "VADM Harward serves as deputy commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), located in Tampa, FL.

Harward worked "in the executive office of the President at the White House where he served on the National Security Council as the director of Strategy and Policy for the office of Combating Terrorism."

Harward was "Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff representative to the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), as a member of the Senior Interagency Strategy Team. "

Harward "served as deputy commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command. Previous to this assignment, he served as commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force (CJIATF) 435 from 2009 to 2011 in Afghanistan."

Harward "commanded troops in Afghanistan and Iraq over six years since Sept. 11, 2001" and "served as a federal executive fellow at RAND"

David Coombs, lead civilian defense counsel writes the "Defense had requested that these [Original Classification Authority (OCA)] witnesses be present at the Article 32 requested from both the SPCMCA [Special Court-Martial Convening Authority ] and GCMCA [General Court-Martial Convening Authority] to depose the relevant OCA witnesses and requested contact information for the relevant OCAs."

Defense argued that Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Deputy Commander, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) was an "essential witness" for the Article 32 hearing, but the Investigating Officer, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, ruled that Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, Deputy Commander, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) "not reasonably available."

Judge Lind agreed with the Investigating Officers ruling, saying that Almanza's determination "performed the "correct balance test" and was "not improper."

Lind also ruled against the defenses motion for depositions, saying "depositions only allowed in cases used to preserve essential testimony." Lind said "that affidavits can be considered sworn statements under Section 28, 1746" and that the "Government had offered OCA by telephonic"

Other Information

Article 32 Witness List Number 43 on Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses, December 2, 2011

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX [VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT S. HARWARD, DEPUTY COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMAND (USCENTCOM)] will testify concerning his classification review and classification concerning the CIDNE Afghanistan Events, CIDNE Iraq Events, other briefings and the BE22PAX.wmv video [Garani airstrike video].

See March 16, 2011 Motion Hearing Transcript for name disclosure. "Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, deputy commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), responsible for the classification review of the CIDNE Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Acts (SIGACTS) and video, BE2PAX.zip (Garani Airstrike Video).

See Special Agent Mark Mander, CCIU, December 17, 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearingfor disclosure of BE2PAX.zip as Garani airstrike video:

Mander: Garani video believed to have been on shared -- by CENTCOM. Initially, CCIU attempted to connect and download those documents and that was collected as evidence. CCIU determined it was not sufficient. So CCIU sent two agents to CENTCOM in Florida where they obtained log files related to investigation. Several weeks later Deputy SJA Schoenettles (sp.) provided background info on Garani air strike. The file was BE2PAX.zip. That file was believed to be Garani air strike video. Lamo contacted us and related that he became aware on the Internet of someone that he did not know, who was part of the original decryption effort, who worked for DO[E or D ?], which we believed was Manning.

Prosecution: How did you verify?

Mander: Lamo was able to...Mr. Jason Katz. Mr. Jason Katz had previously been identified as an employee of Brookhaven National Labs. He was employed February 2009 to March 2010. His reason for being fired was for engaging in inappropriate computer activity. We additionally obtained forensic imaging, which was authorization by a network connection agreement with his government assigned and personal computer.

Defense Deposition Request, January 12, 2012

e. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX [WHAT IS THIS?]. XXXXXXXXXX [VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT S. HARWARD, DEPUTY COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMAND (USCENTCOM)] will testify concerning his classification review and classification determination concerning the CIDNE Afghanistan Events, CIDNE Iraq Events, other briefings and the BE22PAX.wmv video [Garani airstrike video]. Specifically, XXXXXXXXXX [VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT S. HARWARD, DEPUTY COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMAND (USCENTCOM)], will testify concerning his classification determination and his belief of the impact on national security from having this information released to the public. The requested deposition is needed due to the Article 32 Investigating Officer's improper determination that XXXXXXXXXX [VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT S. HARWARD, DEPUTY COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMAND (USCENTCOM)] was not reasonably available at the Article 32 hearing.XXXXXXXXXX [VICE ADMIRAL ROBERT S. HARWARD, DEPUTY COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMANDER, US CENTRAL COMMAND (USCENTCOM)] was an essential witness and should have been produced in person at the Article 32 hearing. Additionally, govern the classified nature of his testimony, the government needs to arrange for a proper location for the deposition. The defense request that an oral deposition be conducted.

See March 16, 2011 Motion Hearing Transcript for name disclosure: "Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, deputy commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), responsible for the classification review of the CIDNE Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Acts (SIGACTS) and video, BE2PAX.zip (Garani Airstrike Video)."

See above or Special Agent Mark Mander, CCIU, December 17, 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearingfor disclosure of BE2PAX.zip as Garani airstrike video.

Motion Hearing Transcript, March 16, 2012

Judge Lind: Defense Moves to Compel Deposition...

Judge Lind reads her ruling which is broken down into sections that explain the motion, the defense argument, and her ruling. Judge Lind reads very quickly and so I could not type out every word or sentence that she said. Here is what I captured:

Defense has asked for the oral deposition of the following individuals:

...

Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, deputy commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM), responsible for the classification review of the CIDNE Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Acts (SIGACTS) and video, BE2PAX.zip (Garani Airstrike Video)

...

The Judge continues reading background information in her ruling.

Judge Lind then reads the lists of charges.

Lind reads excerpts from the Article 32 Pretrial Investigating Officers previously unavailable rulings on Defense's Witness List [See Number 43] and Motion to Compel Witnesses from the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing.

...

Lind continues and reads the Article 32 Pretrial Investigating Officer's ruling on Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward, deputy commander, U.S. Central Command, saying "not reasonably available...

...

Judge concludes by denying Defense Motion to Compel Depositions.

Lind rules that the Investigating Officer's determination of the witnesses reasonable availability in Article 32 Pretrial was not Improper, as the defense had argued.

Lind says she bases her own ruling on the Pretrial Article 32 rules in that the Investigating Officer, Paul Almanza, performed the "correct balance test, depositions only allowed in cases used to preserve essential testimony."

Lind says that affidavits can be considered sworn statements under Section 28, 1746.

Judge Lind continues:

Judge Lind: Government had offered OCA by telephonic...Defense disputes 2E applies...Article 9, R.C.M. 702...in the interest of justice the motion is denied.

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..