Criminal theories against WikiLeaks that survive Manning court-martial.

Just going to quickly write this up, because I have had several conversations (and despite my attempts to tweet information to save time, it doesn't work).

There are several criminal theories that survive the Manning court-martial in re a possible USG case against WikiLeaks for the 2010 releases of classified information:

1.) The Garani Airstrike Video.

Manning was acquitted of this criminal conspiracy, and it was central to the USG case against Manning for both Espionage and Aid Enemy. It was a major coup to uncover this theory a year before her trial on the merits (without the benefit of a court-record).

Be responsible. If you print the government's failed case, just because it sounded sexy in 2012 (and you only were at the Article 32), you are really phoning it in. The public deserves better.

Manning was not charged as a spy under the Espionage Act. Link to 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). She was also acquitted of the Garani airstrike video AND aiding the enemy. No small feat given the nature of this prosecution.

The USG's own forensic expert (Shaver) agreed with defense at her trial on the charges that Manning had transmitted an uncharged video in April 2010, and not the November 2009 one (tied up with an individual named Jason Katz). They had found pictures of the burn victims on her computer.

Shorter: The Garani video allegedly placed on Jason Katz's work computer on December 15, 2009, was a forensic match to the video found on the CENTCOM server charged against Manning under the Espionage Act for November 2009 transmission. The video found on Katz's computer, however, did not match the video allegedly found on Manning's workstation. Defense established that Manning obtained a video described as a flight over battle-space from the "shared drive" (where she got the video of the July 2007 airstrike, known as "Collateral Murder"). She transmitted an uncharged video with a different hash in April 2010.

What is interesting is that military prosecutors kept most of their case against WikiLeaks out of the Manning courtroom. They attempted to segment from Justice investigation. But since even they admitted, Manning was a "portion" of the WikiLeaks investigation file, material was turned over.

Further, military prosecutors made statements that amounted to a technically unproven circumstantial case against WikiLeaks in the Manning court-room (they weren't prosecuting WikiLeaks then, so assume it is part of a theory for such a potential prosecution). They asserted, for example, in court that the sensors that monitor DOD networks, and which they admitted do operate inconsistently, had suspicious gaps in relation to this scenario (See court record: Vol. FOIA 38).

The alleged implication of this theory was that a criminal conspiracy had occurred that involved civilians and WikiLeaks (with/without Manning). Manning was acquitted. In other words, individuals cited, like Jason Katz, and the "founders, owners, managers" or WikiLeaks" (including Assange) were allegedly still involved in the act. So, it survives the Manning court-martial.

I think the video may have actually been accessible (but encrypted) on the Internet. Don't have time to look.

There is a related search warrant for Jason Katz in SDNY.

Do a search on my site for Katz, Shaver, Garani, sensors, and/or gaps.

2.) Alleged Spearfishing.

Military prosecutors alleged that WikiLeaks was spearfishing Department of Defense emails.

CID Agent Mark Mander testified about this theory at Article 32.

Manning was found guilty of stealing the Microsoft GAL; but prosecutors said that they did not have forensic evidence of a conversion (meaning transmission to WikiLeaks); and Manning was already out of the intel shop when this happened.

Interestingly, in December 2010, the US Army IT Agency sent an official notification entitled 'WikiLeaks and Phishing Scams Associated w/ Current Events in the Media.'

Do a search on my site for Mander, spearphish, spearfish (in case I spelled it incorrectly), GAL, Global Address List.

3.) Rainbow Tables.

Manning was found guilty of a lesser charge of violating a lawful general order for changing the password on her classified computers (this was apparently against Army regulations). Prosecutors alleged that she did so to surf SIPRnet anonymously. Military prosecutors also alleged that she did this with the help of Assange, see chat log fragments with alleged interlocutor, where they allegedly discussed rainbow tables. Military prosecutors said at Manning court-martial that they had forensic evidence it was Assange, but they never presented it.

Do a search on my site for rainbow and hash.

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.
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