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Manning judge limits scope of 'damage' testimony

Aug. 7, 2013 - 02:25PM   |  
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FORT MEADE, MARYLAND — The judge at U.S. soldier Bradley Manning’s sentencing hearing rejected some government evidence Wednesday that the classified information he disclosed through the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks had a “chilling effect” on U.S. foreign relations

The judge ruled that such testimony is admissible only if the effect came directly after the information was published.

She threw out State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy’s testimony that leaked information published more than two years ago continues to hurt U.S. foreign relations and policymaking.

The judge also has rejected Acting Assistant Secretary Michael Kozak’s testimony that the leaks had made some foreign citizens, including human rights activists, less willing to speak privately with U.S. diplomats.

Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 diplomatic cables and Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, plus some battlefield video, while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010.

The judge heard testimony Wednesday from a military intelligence official, civilian James McCarl, who leads a Pentagon effort to analyze information about the enemy’s use of homemade bombs, or improvised explosive devices, which McCarl said accounted for 60 to 80 percent of all casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The battlefield reports Manning leaked included five years’ worth of detailed information about roadside bomb and IED attacks.

Earlier Wednesday, Manning’s lawyers released a schedule of the 20 sentencing witnesses they plan to call next Monday through Wednesday. Manning is not on the list, but his lawyers can call him to the stand without notice.

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