Transcript | US v Pfc. Manning, Witness Lance Corporal Jonathan Cline, Quantico Brig Guard

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.

US v Pfc. Manning, Article 39(a) Session, December 1, 2012

UNITED STATES CALLS LANCE CORPORAL JONATHAN CLINE.

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Telephonic] You are now before [the court-martial of] Unites States v. Pfc. Manning... [What is your location?]

Lance Corporal Cline

In East Walpole, Massachusetts.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Are you free...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Jonathan

Prosecution (VonElton)

No notes?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Alone?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

PROSECUTION SWEARS IN LANCE CORPORAL JONATHAN CLINE

Prosecution (VonElton)

You are no longer in the Marine Corps?

Lance Corporal Cline

No.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How long did you serve?

Lance Corporal Cline

Four years and ten months.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How long in corrections?

Lance Corporal Cline

Three years.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How many jobs did you hold in the Marine Corps?

Lance Corporal Cline

Master [missed], special quarters supervisor, dorm supervisor, available escort at times.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Did you go to school for corrections?

Lance Corporal Cline

Lackland Air Force...

Prosecution (VonElton)

Marines Corrections [Noted, 'tale'?] course?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How long did were you at Quantico?

Lance Corporal Cline

Till September 12, [noted 2012, but could be my error or witness', probably 2011]

Prosecution (VonElton)

Worked at Quantico...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Till it closed.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Positions?

Lance Corporal Cline

[I noted, 'Mastic'?] supervisor, [missed more].

Prosecution (VonElton)

What does a mastic supervisor do?

Lance Corporal Cline

Accountability of silverware and make sure the meals are on time.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How do you account for silverware?

Lance Corporal Cline

Count... [missed].

Prosecution (VonElton)

General population...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

What did you do as special quarters supervisor?

Lance Corporal Cline

Check on the well being...and make sure they are following the rules.

Prosecution (VonElton)

As an escort what did you do?

Lance Corporal Cline

[Missed.]

Prosecution (VonElton)

How often did you interact with prisoners?

Lance Corporal Cline

Everyday I would interact with prisoners and detainees.

Prosecution (VonElton)

No interaction?

Lance Corporal Cline

I would only speak to them when I had to tell them something or something needed to be done.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How would you talk to them?

Lance Corporal Cline

Same way I am talking to you now.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How come?

Lance Corporal Cline

Because being in there was punishment, and I did not need to scream at them.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Why not talk to them more?

Lance Corporal Cline

Because I was not there to be friends with them. It was work.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How did you know Pfc. Manning?

Lance Corporal Cline

From Brig?

Prosecution (VonElton)

How often did you see him?

Lance Corporal Cline

It would depend on what position I was holding...if I was in special quarters or escort.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How often did you move prisoners in MAX?

Lance Corporal Cline

Whenever I was called upon to do so.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How did you move...?

Lance Corporal Cline

As fast as possible, because the facility was in complete lock down.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How many-- months, weeks, years moving prisoners?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How many?

Lance Corporal Cline

Years.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember a protest on 18 January 2011 [NB the protest was on 17 January 2011]

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes. Never saw-- I know they were protesting the confinement of Pfc. Manning from what the command would tell us.

Prosecution (VonElton)

What would the guards say?

Lance Corporal Cline

They were annoyed because would hinder them or how they needed to get home.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember if protests affected the way that staff interacted with prisoners at the Brig?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember moving Pfc. Manning on 18 January 2011?

Lance Corporal Cline

The DBS [Duty Brig Supervisor] GM2 Webb told us we were taking Pfc. Manning to dorm one for rec call. At that point we got a set of restraints ready and told master control to stand by for lock down. ...Me, GM2 Webb, ... [missed].

Prosecution (VonElton)

Who was special quarters supervisor?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

What happened next?

Lance Corporal Cline

[Pfc. Manning] put hands [in restraints]-- instructed through the feed tray. Then told Pfc. Manning to turn around for restraint belt. Then, told Pfc. Manning to lay on on back for leg restraints. Then... Brig called lockdown.

Prosecution (VonElton)

What happened next?

Lance Corporal Cline

Pfc. Manning was escorted down for rec call.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember is Pfc. Manning was corrected...?

Lance Corporal Cline

...for moving while applying hand and leg restraints. He was moving his hands-- I don't remember what he was doing for legs, but...

Prosecution (VonElton)

Did it make it more difficult...?

Lance Corporal Cline

It does, and it is a safety for the escorts, because if we are applying restrains and they moved-- t was kind of like they were trying to move away from having restraints applied.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Lance Corporal Tankersly instructed Pfc. Manning...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How did Pfc. Manning repsond?

Lance Corporal Cline

I don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember if Lance Corporal Tankersly instructed Pfc. Manning [to respond to directives], 'Aye Aye,' followed by the guard's rank.

Lance Corporal Cline

I don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

What happened after...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Dorm one was secured and as we were taking off the restraints, he began to move again.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Did Pfc. Manning say anything?

Lance Corporal Cline

I don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

How did you respond?

Lance Corporal Cline

We told him to stop moving and then we removed the restraints.

...

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Missed.]

Lance Corporal Cline

After [we] removed [the restraints], he fell down and Lance Corporal Tankersly and GM2 Webb tried to catch him and he landed on his butt-- and he proceeded to get up and ran over to weight machine and cried.

...

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you know why he fell?

Lance Corporal Cline

[Missed.]

...

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Missed.]

Lance Corporal Cline

He moved behind the machine as well.

...

Prosecution (VonElton)

How do you know he was crying?

Lance Corporal Cline

He was loud enough for us to hear him.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Did he say anything?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Missed.]

Lance Corporal Cline

[Missed] called Gunnery Sergeant Fuller, and when Gunnery Sergeant Fuller came down he asked me and Lance Corporal Tankersly [to go] outside...and spoke to Pfc. Manning and GM2 Webb and told Lance Corporal Tankersly and me that we would not be escorting him anymore.

Prosecution (VonElton)

What did he say

Lance Corporal Cline

Nothing. He said later that we were intimidating Pfc. Manning.

....

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember...voluntary statements?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Why give?

Lance Corporal Cline

Numerous reasons.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Can you give examples?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Would make [missed a few words]...with voluntary declining rec call?

Lance Corporal Cline

When they [prisoners] first did it the DBS allowed once or twice. Then chain of command had a meeting. They could no longer decline rec call, because was plan of the day.

Prosecution (VonElton)

But, sometimes detainees would fill out if declined rec call?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

...handling instructions [missed]?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Handling instructions to talk to other prisoners?

Lance Corporal Cline

Detainee to their immediate left or right in low tone of voice/

PROSECUTION ENDS EXAMINATION OF LANCE CORPORAL JONATHAN CLINE

Judge Lind

Defense?

Defense (Coombs)

Mr. Cline how are you?

Lance Corporal Cline

...how are you?

Defense (Coombs)

You had interactions with Pfc. Manning prior to 18 January 2011?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Before 18 January 2011, Pfc. Manning was always respectful?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

After 18 January 2011, Pfc. Manning was respectful to you?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Other than 18 January 2011, Pfc. Manning was compliant?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Pfc. Manning was complaint-- never tried to escape, harm himself?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Normal detainee?

Lance Corporal Cline

Average detainee.

Defense (Coombs)

He was not someone you were gonna talk to about daily news?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes. I never did that with any detainee.

Defense (Coombs)

[Missed.]

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes. It was a strictly professional relationship.

Defense (Coombs)

[Missed.] Behavior with Pfc. Manning, ever see anything to make you concerned?

Lance Corporal Cline

Not that I can remember.

Defense (Coombs)

Absent 18 January 2011 [missed]?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

You said you would lump him in with average detainee category?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

With regards to Pfc. Manning you would agree when he responded, he was formal in his response?

Lance Corporal Cline

From what I can remember.

Defense (Coombs)

When he was calling. he would call out rank- like 'Lance Corporal detainee Manning needs toilet paper?'

Lance Corporal Cline

If they did not have toiler paper...call rank... [Gives example.]

...

Defense (Coombs)

Don't remember or it never happened?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Defense (Coombs)

You took Pfc. Manning to rec call on 18 January 2011?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Supervisor was standing by-- on 18 January 2011 when you took Pfc. Manning out to rec call-- Lance Corporal Tankersly instructed Pfc. Manning to face alpha row?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Defense (Coombs)

Don't remember or 'I don't think that happened'?

Lance Corporal Cline

So long ago, can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you remember Pfc. Manning doing it, but not verbalize?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't remember.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you remember Lance Corporal Tankersly instructing Pfc. Manning to say, 'Aye Aye...'?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall Lance Corporal Tankersly voicing a command in a stern manner?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Because you don't remember?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall Pfc. Manning being confused because of Lance Corporal Tankersly's order?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall Pfc. Manning being nervous?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you remember [Pfc. Manning] being instructed, 'Aye Aye...'? I know it's been so long.

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Because it's been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Pfc. Manning was in full restraints when escorted to rec call?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Because on MAX?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Hand and leg irons...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

[Missed, but essentially 'You held onto Pfc. Manning when you escorted him?']

Lance Corporal Cline

...in order that he didn't escape.

Defense (Coombs)

Or fall down [while in restraints]?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Lance Corporal Tankersly told Pfc. Manning to stop moving...?

Lance Corporal Cline

And, Pfc. Manning said, 'I'm not moving.'

...

Defense (Coombs)

Because it's been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

...

Defense (Coombs)

Do you remember Pfc. Manning responding saying, 'Aye Aye, Lance Corporal'?

Lance Corporal Cline

Don't remember.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Lance Corporal...use a stern voice?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long>

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Pfc. Manning fell backwards onto [his buttocks], and Lance Corporal Tankersly reached out and tried to grab him, and Pfc. Manning fell to ground?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Looked like Pfc. Manning passed out in incident report?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Because, been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Lance Corporal Tankersly and GM2 Webb tried to grab..., and Pfc. Manning [after he got up] went behind [exercise] machine and covered his face?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Crying?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall Pfc. Manning apologizing?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

[Missed.] ...got a chair [and told Pfc. Manning] to sit down?

Lance Corporal Cline

[Missed.]

Defense (Coombs)

Gunnery Sergeant Fuller...comes in and said you and Lance Corporal Tankersly-- told you to wait outside?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes, we are told to go outside dorm one hatch.

Defense (Coombs)

Does Gunnery Sergeant Fuller say that Pfc. Manning did not understand why he was being treated differently?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Did Gunnery Sergeant Fuller tell you and Lance Corporal Tankersly, Pfc. Manning said that you were anxious and it was making him anxious?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall same watch supervisor coming into room-- I mean special quarters supervisor? Do you recall same person coming into rec room?

Lance Corporal Cline

can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Do you recall any other guard coming in, in order to ask DBS GM2 Webb a question?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

After the incident, apparently you were swamped out with a new guard?

Lance Corporal Cline

yes, we were relieved of escort...

Defense (Coombs)

And, two new guards took Pfc. Manning back to his cell?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Did Gunnery Sergeant Fuller come to you to explain?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

You said some people were annoyed by the protest?

Lance Corporal Cline

I remember people...protests closed gate and I remember people at the Brig that lived north, use that gate.

Defense (Coombs)

Commanding officer and Brig supervisor briefed you about the protests? Chief Barnes, Chief Averhart, and one of the DBS?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Defense (Coombs)

Been so long?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes.

Defense (Coombs)

Pfc. Manning was allowed to speak to other detainees in a low conversational tone?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes. Prisoners and detainees [were allowed to speak to another that was to their] immediate left or right-- not two cells down-- not three cells down.

Defense (Coombs)

So, if I was a detainee, who did not have someone to my immediate left or right, I could not speak to anyone?

Lance Corporal Cline

Correct.

Judge Lind

Redirect?

Prosecution (VonElton)

Do you remember treating Pfc. Manning differently...?

Lance Corporal Cline

No.

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Missed.] Basically treat them like a normal human being?

Lance Corporal Cline

They are already in a facility as punishment-- they do not need to be screamed out.

Prosecution (VonElton)

Remember filling out voluntary statements on...?

Lance Corporal Cline

Yes, but can't recall.

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Missed.]

Lance Corporal Cline

We would write down everything that happened and explain [I noted appellate exhibit enclosure 33, number may be incorrect.]

Prosecution (VonElton)

[Missed.]

PROSECUTION ENDS RE-EXAMINATION OF LANCE CORPORAL JONATHAN CLINE

JUDGE LIND EXAMINATION OF LANCE CORPORAL JONATHAN CLINE

Judge Lind

Live on or off post?

Lance Corporal Cline

On base.

Judge Lind

Did Lance Corporal Tankersly live on base?

Lance Corporal Cline

I don't remember.

Judge Lind

Were you affected by the front gate [being closed because of protests]?

Lance Corporal Cline

Only when I had to go grocery shopping.

Judge Lind

Did you have any anger towards Pfc. Manning as a result of the protest?

Lance Corporal Cline

No.

Judge Lind

Did you ever see him talking to another inmate?

Lance Corporal Cline

Can't recall.

Judge Lind

Which means [it didn't happen or you don't remember]?

Lance Corporal Cline

I don't remember.

Judge Lind

On 18 January, when you and Lance Corporal Tankersly were relived of rec room-- is that normal procedure when something happens.

Lance Corporal Cline

You only get relieved...it was rare. It was the first time it happened to me there.

Judge Lind

Do you remember why?

Lance Corporal Cline

My and Lance Corporal Tankersly intimidating Pfc. Manning was the reason given.

Judge Lind

Did you get counseled for that?

Lance Corporal Cline

No, I did not.

JUDGE LIND ENDS EXAMINATION OF LANCE CORPORAL CLINE

Judge Lind

Any more questions?

PROSECUTION RE-EXAMINATION OF LANCE CORPORAL CLINE

Prosecution (VonElton)

After you got relieved, did you feel that you had done something wrong?

Lance Corporal Cline

I was puzzled.

Prosecution (VonElton)

But did you feel that you had done something wrong?

Lance Corporal Cline

No, I did not.

PROSECUTION ENDS RE-EXAMINATION OF LANCE CORPORAL CLINE

LANCE CORPORAL CLINE DISMISSED

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.