Manning’s Team Questions Secrecy of Leaked Data

     FT. MEADE, Md. (CN) – The “secret” profiles of Guantanamo detainees disclosed by Pfc. Bradley Manning contained information that may have been publicly available for years, government witnesses testified by stipulation.
     The nearly 800 documents published as the “Guantanamo Files” are just a sliver of the 700,000 files Manning uploaded to WikiLeaks, which published the trove in the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history.
     In a prepared statement months before trial, Manning said he “did not think much of them” initially, but that he gave them another look to examine the “moral efficacy of our actions surrounding JTF-GTMO.” (Joint Task Force Guantanamo.)
     “On the one hand, I always understood the need to detain and interrogate individuals who might wish to harm the U.S. and our allies,” he said. “However, the more I became educated on the topic, it seemed that we found ourselves holding an increasing number of individuals indefinitely that we believed or knew were innocent, low-level ‘foot soldiers’ that didn’t have useful intelligence and would be released if they were still held in theater.”
     Manning said he learned that “then-newly elected President Barack Obama” also viewed the prison as a stain on the U.S.’s “moral authority,” and convened a Guantanamo Review Task Force in 2007 to examine how to shut it down.
     It conducted this evaluation, in part, by analyzing documents known as Detainee Assessment Briefs, or DABs.
     During the pretrial phase, Manning’s attorneys told the military court that Guantanamo staffers referred to DABs as “baseball cards” because they contained basic information about the detainees.
     Each one ranked the prisoner’s assigned threat level and intelligence value, and outlined the allegations against him, with his defenses.
     Two witnesses testified by stipulation Monday about the sensitivity of these documents: Rear Adm. David Woods and Jeffrey Motes.
     Both acknowledged that much of information contained in the DABs had been in the public domain, and that they did not consider that in determining that several of the briefs were properly classified as “secret.”
     Simply laying out what intelligence the government had on the detainees could be damaging, they said.
     In the afternoon, testimony turned to the Global Address List, containing contact information of tens of thousands of soldiers stationed in Iraq.
     Two of those service members were four-star generals in charge of the Iraq War: Gen. Lloyd Austin and Gen. Raymond Odierno.
     Manning denies having leaked that list to WikiLeaks or anyone else.
     To convict on that charge, prosecutors must prove that Manning disclosed it, and that it had a value of at least $1,000.
     The last live witness Monday, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Armond Rouillard, said that “elite hacker groups, like Anonymous” or a foreign intelligence service could have used the list to conduct a “spearphishing” attack.
     Spearphishing involves sending targeted emails inviting the recipient to click on a link or open a document that would undermine the computer’s security.
     Such a breach could lead to financial fraud, or installation of malware on the system, Roulliard said.
     He could not say that such an attack took place because of an alleged leak of the address list, and he could not prove that the list was valuable.
     Roulliard tried to provide an estimate for the list by comparing it to other lists for sale on Google.
     Manning’s lawyers objected that this never has been a peer-reviewed method of assigning a value to information. Prosecutors withdrew their attempt to accept the witness as an expert on this topic.

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