Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, Sgt. David Sadtler, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Sworn statement says Pfc. Manning upset about Iraqis detained at press)


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. 31, then Specialist David Sadtler, 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. 31’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 the then Specialist David Sadtler, Second Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at the December 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, stating Witness No. 31’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.

On July 8, 2013 at trial, this profile, previously unidentified, was revealed to be Sgt. David Sadtler.

No. 31 on the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses

XXXXXXXXXX [SPECIALIST DAVID SADTLER] He will testify that he first met PFC Manning at a rotation at JRTC. He will testify that he believes that PFC Manning used to be a very happy and very hyper individual, but his leadership wore him down. He will state that PFC Manning was upset that no one cared about the mission. He also believed that the unit made it very difficult on PFC Manning as it seemed to outcast him as though they were trying to get him out of the Army. He will testify that a lot of people had support from other people, but that he didn’t believe PFC Manning had any support from his chain of command. He will testify that he recalls an incident when PFC Manning found a report that apparently upset him. PFC Manning had found in the report that some Iraqis or possibly some Moroccans were being arrested at a printing press facility. XXXXXXXXXX [SPECIALIST DAVID SADTLER] will testify that attached to this report was some evidence which had been collected; however, this information was in Arabic. He will testify that PFC Manning had taken the time to have the document translated and tried to show the translation to his superiors. He will testifies that PFC Manning was very upset about the issue. He will testify that if there was a moment in which PFC Manning may have snapped, this would have been it. XXXXXXXXXX [SPECIALIST DAVID SADTLER] will testify that everyone stonewalled PFC Manning on the issue as no one thought it was a big deal. He will testify that the translation indicated that the individuals being arrested had printed documents that were questioning whether the Iraqi government was embezzling public funds.

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