Military witness in Manning trial: No harm to U.S. from leaked files on Gitmo detainees

The Associated Press reports: Secret threat assessments of Guantanamo Bay detainees that Pfc. Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks did not harm national security, a former chief prosecutor at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba testified Tuesday.

Retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis described the briefs as summaries of investigative and intelligence reports meant to be seen by senior military and executive branch officials. They included information about the detainees’ known or suspected terrorist ties but the briefs were often inaccurate, he said.

“You don’t know if what you’re looking at is right or wrong or overstated or understated,” he said.

Manning is charged with aiding the enemy and other offenses for leaking hundreds of thousands of battlefield records, State Department diplomatic cables, other classified documents and several battlefield videos to WikiLeaks.

Manning has acknowledged sending nearly 800 classified Gitmo detainee assessment briefs to the anti-secrecy group in March 2010. WikiLeaks published most of the documents on its website starting in April 2011. Five of the leaked documents are the basis of an espionage charge, and all underlie a theft charge.

Davis said four of the men named in the briefs had been released from Guantanamo at least four years before Manning leaked them. The fifth is on a list to be transferred out, Davis said.

He said the still-classified assessments contain little information that hasn’t been publicly revealed, including in the 2006 movie “The Road to Guantanamo” and the 2007 book, “The Guantanamo Files.”

And he said an enemy would learn nothing of value by reading them.

“If they’re trying to gain some kind of strategic tactical advantage, the detainee assessment brief is not the place to get it,” Davis said.

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1 thought on “Military witness in Manning trial: No harm to U.S. from leaked files on Gitmo detainees

  1. Norman

    Yet he is being charged with aiding & abetting the enemy. This is looking more & more like the “Key Stone Cops” or the inmates running the asylum.

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