Bradley Manning in court

This post is updated with links to each day’s report of the Article 32 hearings, through Day 6, December 21

Day 1 – Getting into the Courtroom
7:35 AM
Manning’s pretrial hearing (called the Article 32) began on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade in Maryland.  The weather was chilly and grey, but lightened as the day progressed.  Members of the public and media who wished to attend the trial were processed through the main visitors entrance.  Fort Meade prepared for an enormous turnout — designating a soccer-field sized parking lot for trial attendees and setting up an overflow spectator theater with video feed from the trial that could hold 100 people.

Read the rest of the report here.

Day 2

10:34 AM

Bradley Manning entered with David Coombs and his two military-assigned attorneys.  When the investigating officer, Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, arrived, he appeared to be chewing something (maybe a lozenge?).  The IO reviewed the court room rules again, advising the spectators not the interrupt or have cellular phones or they could be subject to removal.

Almanza then began by asking Manning’s two military-appointed JAGs, Blouchard and Kemkes, whether they were both certified by military law and authorized to represent Bradley Manning.  Blouchard and Kemkes confirmed they were.

Read the rest of the report here.

Day 3

11:17 AM.

Sergeant First Class Paul Adkins was called by the prosecution. He was a straight-backed individual with wide shoulders and narrow eyes, with thin-rimmed glasses.  No sooner was Adkins sworn in than he invoked his Article 31 right to remain silent.   The investigating officer Almanza asked whether there were any questions he could be asked which would not cause him to invoke his Article 31, and Adkins said there was nowt.

David Coombs stood and objected.  Citing case law, he argued that the Article 31 did not apply in an article 31 hearing. He urged Almanza to force Adkins to testify because he wasn’t under criminal investigation in this matter.  As a secondary measure, the defense urged the Almanza to offer Adkins immunity and then compel him to testify.  The prosecution would not support an immunity offer for Adkins, and the IO dismissed Adkins from the stand.

Read the rest of the report here.

Day 4

9:31 AM

Lt. Col. Paul Almanza, serving as the investigating officer for the Article 32 trial, entered and called the hearing to order. As typical, he reminded the spectators about the need to preserve the dignity and decorum of the proceedings by not interrupting or having cellular devices, and warned that individuals violating this policy would be removed.  He did not warn individuals about notifying the IO before they discuss classified information; I assume he just forgot.

Read the rest of the report here.

Day 5

9:12 AM.

At the time, Coombs and two members of the prosecution were in a meeting in a backroom, while Manning sat in the court room with his back facing the public. Then it was announced that there would be an additional 10 minute delay. The attorneys appeared briefly, and then they and Manning exited.

At 9:32 all of the parties were again at their desks. Almanza called the meeting to order, reminding spectators about the need to respect the decorum of the court and reminding individuals that no cellular devices were allowed in the court.

Read the rest of the report here.

Day 6

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Proceedings began at 9am sharp with David Coombs calling Sgt. Daniel Padgett to the stand.

Sgt. Padgett explained that he had been in the Army for the last three years, and prior to that, he was a Marine from 2001 to 2005. When he deployed with the Army to Iraq in October 2009, he held the rank of Specialist and functioned as a 35F intelligence analyst. PFC Manning was also a Specialist 35F. Since then, Padgett has been promoted to Sergeant, and has been trained as a 35L counter intelligence agent.

Sgt. Padgett explained that he was tasked to be the NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge) of the night shift of the intel office—although as a Specialist, he was not yet a non-commissioned officer. His job was to oversee operations of the night shift, but he had no real guidance or formal training to do so. Sgt. Padgett noted that there was no clear chain of command between him and PFC Manning, whom he was supposed to supervise.

Read the rest of the report here.

[If any of the links aren’t working, and also for more information on Manning’s case and the campaign to free him, go to]