Wiki Tweets Can Be Used Against Manning

     FT. MEADE, Md. (CN) – Prosecutors trying to convict Pfc. Bradley Manning of “aiding the enemy” can use a pair of Twitter postings they say Manning consulted before sending files to WikiLeaks, a military judge ruled.
     Months before his trial, the 25-year-old soldier acknowledged he uploaded more than 700,000 files, including diplomatic cables, incident reports from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, profiles of Guantanamo detainees, and a video of an airstrike in Baghdad that WikiLeaks titled “Collateral Murder.”
     In making that statement, he insisted that nobody at WikiLeaks pressured him to send more documents. Prosecutors’ claims to the contrary largely hinge upon two Tweets they pulled from a Google cache.
     A Jan. 8, 2010, post states: “Have encrypted videos of US bomb strikes on civilians http://bit.ly/wlafghan2 we need super computer time http://ljsf.org.”
     Prosecutors said the first post connects Manning to the disclosure of video taken from an airstrike on the Farah province of Afghanistan that reportedly killed an estimated 86 to 147 civilians.
     Another, dated May 7, 2010, announced: “We would like a list of as many .mil email addresses as possible. Please contact editor@wikileaks.org.”
     The latter supposedly ties Manning to the compromise of a “Global Address List” of tens of thousands of armed service members in Iraq. Prosecutors say that the addresses could be used for “spearphishing” operations outsiders use to hack into military networks. Manning denies ever sending this list to anyone, though he acknowledges downloading it.
     WikiLeaks never published the Farah video, or the address list.
     The government also hoped to authenticate a list of so-called “Most-Wanted Leaks” WikiLeaks published in 2009.
     Although government experts never found forensic evidence that Manning viewed the Tweets, or the “Most-Wanted” list, prosecutors theorize that the reason for this is that Manning wiped his computer in January 2010, and clicked on the “Private Browsing” tab of his computer. They propose that Manning could have viewed this during his many searches for WikiLeaks.
     Manning’s attorneys hoped the military judge, Col. Denise Lind, would shelve the evidence as inadmissible hearsay because the government analyst found it through a Google search, not the Twitter feed directly. They added that the lack of a data trail confirming their client viewed them made them irrelevant.
     The colonel ruled Friday, however, that the government can submit the Tweets as circumstantial evidence Manning may have viewed during his prodigious Wiki research.
     The “Most-Wanted Leaks” list, on the other hand, could not be verified because it was pulled from a cached archive. An official from the website that maintained the archive told the court that it populated this collection from third-party donations.
     Defense attorneys plan to offer their own “Most-Wanted” lists, pulled directly from the WikiLeaks website, which presumably will show that the requested leaks do not match those that Manning disclosed.

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