Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Unidentified Captain, S2 Section, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division


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.

Witness No. 21, an unidentified male Captain in the S2 Section of Second Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, provided a sworn statement for the Secretary of the Army's 15-6 investigation into the alleged unauthorized disclosures. Defense's account of Witness No. 15's sworn statement is found in the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses below.

The Government objected to the defense request for the unidentified Witness No. 21, an unidentified male Captain in the S2 Section of Second Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, at the December 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, stating Witness No. 21's testimony was "not relevant to the Article 32 investigation and will only serve to distract from the relevant issues." While there is no official public record of Almanza's denial of this witness' testimony, he did not appear during any open session of the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing. The public record shows that at least fourteen witnesses were granted to defense for the Article 32 Pretrial Hearing. In Lt. Col. Almanza's ruling on the Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses, 12 witnesses were granted to the defense, 10 of whom were also requested by the Government. Defense said in open Court on December 16, 2011, that Lt. Col. Almanza granted two additional witnesses to defense that morning.

No. 21 on the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses

john-doeXXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] He will testify that XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] was in charge of all enlisted responsibilities. He will testify that whenever he engaged the Soldiers on issues as a leader that he was told to back off by XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?], XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?], and XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?]. He will testify that the S2, XXXXXXXXXX [Maj. Cliff Clausen, Brigade S2], did not set standards for the unit. Based upon this lack of leadership, he will testify that a lot of conduct was ignored. He will testify that he remembers venting to XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] and XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] about how nothing was being done to address PFC Manning's mental and emotional issues. He will state that when he addresses these concerns to XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] and XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] that he was told that he need to stay in his lane. After the change in leadership within the S2 Section, he will testify that all of the officers sat down to discuss soldier standards in an attempt to address substandard conduct. However, XXXXXXXXXX [WHO IS THIS?] objected to any changes and would not allow anyone to address the issues surrounding PFC Manning. As such, he will testify that nothing was done to address PFC Manning's mental and emotional issues.

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Alexa O'Brien Alexa O'Brien conducts research and analysis 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. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, majoring in Political Science. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Applied Intelligence at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She resides in New York City.