Witness | US v Pfc. Manning, SGT (former Specialist) Sheri Walsh, 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.

SGT (former Specialist) Sheri Walsh, 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 Walsh'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 unidentified female Specialist (No. 2), Second Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division at the December 2011 Article 32 Pretrial Hearing, stating Witness No. 33'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. 33 on the December 2, 2011 Defense Request for Article 32 Witnesses

XXXXXXXXXX [SGT (former Specialist) Sheri Walsh] will testify that PFC Manning had conversations with her about relationship issues and the fact he was having gender identify issues. She will testify that PFC Manning spoke to her often about wanting to get an Honorable Discharge so that he could keep his Top Secret Clearance after his release from the Army. She will testify that she noticed that very few people would talk to PFC Manning. She will testify, that every time that she saw PFC Manning, he was by himself. She will testify that others would make fun of PFC Manning's size and the fact that they believed he was gay. One time XXXXXXXXXX [SGT (former Specialist) Sheri Walsh] saw PFC Manning coming out of his room; two soldiers pushed the door back into PFC Manning's face. She will testify that PFC Manning was obviously upset and embarrassed about having the door pushed back into his face. She will testify that instead of complaining about the conduct, PFC Manning simply said that he walked into the door by accident. XXXXXXXXXX [SGT (former Specialist) Sheri Walsh] will testify that she believes PFC Manning was at a very confusing time in his life. She does not believe that the Army was a good fit for him based upon where he was at in his life.

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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.