Witnesses in the trial of U.S. Army private Bradley Manning testified on Sunday that he once struck a female colleague, often exhibited strange behavior and regularly flouted of regulations within his unit, Politico reported on Tuesday.
Capt. Casey Fulton said in court that she ordered Manning be stripped of his weapon after hitting the co-worker during a disagreement at the intelligence analysis center in which they worked near Baghdad.
“Anytime you see violent outbursts like that, especially when you’re in a deployed environment when you have functional weapons, you want to take the functional weapon away, obviously,” Fulton testified.
Manning is accused of leaking military secrets to WikiLeaks and faces a prison sentence of up to 154 years if found guilty. The investigation that led to his arrest in May 2010 also led to 15 soldiers in his former unit being disciplined. His immediate supervisor, then-Master Sgt. Paul Adkins, was demoted to Sgt. First Class for being “derelict in his duties.”
Fulton testified that Manning told her that a video posted on WikiLeaks showing an Apache helicopter killing civilians in Iraq was identical to one on their unit’s computer server.
“He sent me email with links to the shared drive of two video clips, one of the Apache incident and the other from the shared drive, basically two videos side by side,” she said.
Other witnesses said rules were routinely broken at the center by soldiers other than Manning, as soldiers there used their computers — which were part of a secure military network — for playing music or games. A civilian contractor who worked with the unit, Jason Milliman, testified that some soldiers also added software using a “password-crack program.”
“They thought they had full rights and were able to whatever they wanted to do,” Milliman said. Fulton testified that using the computers for those purposes seemed to be “deemed OK.” Manning allegedly used CDs labeled as albums by musicians like Lady Gaga to smuggle information out of the facility.
Witnesses also described incidents in which Manning was non-responsive or became unstable, slamming down books or throwing his hat down, as well as diagnosing himself with gender identity disorder. In another instance, Fulton testified seeing Manning drop to the ground while engaged in a discussion with Adkins.
“PFC Manning was obviously upset,” Fulton said. “He was sitting on the floor, and Master Sergeant Adkins was talking to him. [Manning] had his arms around his knees.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]