Chelsea Manning Charged Documents

In the summer of 2013, Private Chelsea Manning was convicted of six offenses of violating the Espionage Act and one violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for disclosing portions of approximately 227 documents to WikiLeaks.

Manning was not charged as a spy. Below is one of several instances that military prosecutors told the court, that Manning was not charged as a spy under the Espionage Act. (See FOIA Vol 18, Pg 1267).

Manning Not Charged as a Spy

Moreover, Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy.

Manning was convicted of disclosing (under Espionage Act):

    • --90 low level battle field reports from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      --Five (5) Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay detainee assessment briefs.
      --116 diplomatic cables from the State Department.
      --Two CIA Red Cell Memos.
      --One U.S. Army Counterintelligence Center Memo.
      --Approximately 13 CENTCOM reports and briefs on mass civilian casualties by U.S. Forces in the Farah province of Afghanistan.
  • The highest classification she disclosed was SECRET.

    The U.S. State Department declassified portions of 44 of the 116 charged diplomatic cables in a post-arrest review by Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary of management, and the Department of State's original classification authority. The official review stated that a confidential 2007 diplomatic communication about Iraq was no longer sensitive, but its declassification would require Department of Treasury concurrence.

    The material Manning leaked did not contain sources and methods. A review of the approximately 725,647 documents leaked by Manning conducted by the Defense Intelligence Agency placed the risk to national security at moderate to low.

    Brig. Gen. Robert Carr, the counterintelligence expert, who had directed the DIA Intelligence Review Task Force, testified that the disclosures did not contain direct references to human intelligence or sources. Although the Afghan SIGACTS did contained around 900 names, Carr testified that "Many of those names were of people who were already dead, had died at some point in the battlefield."

    I will publish a full analysis of the charged documents; when I am able.

    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.