WikiLeaks Wasn’t on Syllabus for Manning, Teacher Says

     (CN) – An Army intelligence training instructor said he had never heard of WikiLeaks while he was teaching the art to Pfc. Bradley Manning before the soldier went on to commit the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history.
     That admission came Tuesday during the second day of the landmark trial in which the burden lies with prosecutors to prove that Manning knew he was “aiding the enemy” by transmitting military files to the secret-spilling website.
     The trove included diplomatic cables, incident reports from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, profiles of Guantanamo detainees, and a video of a Baghdad airstrike that WikiLeaks titled “Collateral Murder.” For the most part, Manning does not contest that he was the source of the leaked files. Conviction of the top count could put the 25-year-old soldier away for the rest of his life.
     Troy Moul, a civilian contractor with Tucson Unified Systems, testified that he taught too many students to remember them all, but Manning was a memorable pupil from his spring 2008 class.
     “As a student, he was very quiet, very reserved,” Moul said. “[He] did not have, that I saw at least in the classroom, a lot of interaction with the other students. He was very studious, always full of questions. It was – it actually got difficult at times to continue with the instruction because he was always asking, why is this, what if, what’s the meaning behind something to better understand what we were teaching.”
     Maj. Thomas Hurley, one of Manning’s military defenders, pressed him about how other students made him the “butt of jokes,” sometimes during class.
     Moul said the situation got so bad that he had to admonish the taunters.
     During Moul’s testimony, the contents of his lesson plans were projected on a screen in the court. The course outlined and defined the various categories of sensitive information, including “confidential,” “secret” and “top secret.” Another lesson described the role of the “original classification authority,” which determines the sensitivity of data and the official labels with which they are marked.
     One of the pages showed a cartoon figure, reminiscent of a crude Dilbert comic strip, sitting at a computer with an unsourced statistic claiming that the number of “terrorist sites” had jumped from “less [sic] than 100 to as many as 4,000” in recent years.
     This purportedly served as a warning that the enemy used the Internet, prosecutors said.
     Students needed a score of 80 percent or higher to graduate, and Manning passed the course.
     Before graduating, however, Manning had to serve “correctional training” for sharing a YouTube video that raised a “red flag” for Brian Madrid, a retired staff sergeant affiliated with the program. Madrid said Manning told his family and friends about his daily schedule and talked about his training in “secret” and “top secret” information, “buzzwords” that drew Madrid’s attention.
     Manning did not actually spill any classified information in this video, but the school made him prepare a PowerPoint presentation to the class anyway, Madrid added.
     In this presentation, Manning had to write the circumstances when dates, times, locations, individuals or official information should be protected.
     On a page marked “Adversaries,” the young soldier had been made to list foreign governments, nongovernmental organizations and “Anyone,” a category that included “Activists” and “Hackers.”
     The final page concluded that one should “Use Common Sense” because “Many Enemies” exist in a “Free and Open Society.”

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