US prosecutors are set to call a Navy SEAL – possibly one who participated in the killing of Osama bin Laden – to testify against alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning to prove he ‘aided the enemy,’ a crime punishable by death in the US.
A military court will examine the case to prove that Al-Qaeda
directly benefitted from access to the classified diplomatic cables
leaked by the 25-year-old soldier. Private Manning was arrested in
May 2010 and accused of leaking the documents to whistleblowing
The new possible witness in the case was identified as ‘John
Doe,’ and referred to as "the operator who actually collected
the evidence in Abbottabad and handed it to an FBI agent in
Afghanistan,” the Guardian reported.
‘John Doe’ will also be permitted to testify away from the
military court where the case is being heard, upon the
British media has speculated that due to the secrecy surrounding
the testimony, the military officer may be one of those who took
part in the 2011 killing of Al-Qaeda leader bin Laden.
Col. Denise Lind, the military judge presiding over the case,
has yet to rule on whether any evidence associated with bin Laden
should be allowed in the trial, which is scheduled to begin in
On Tuesday, an army court ruled that Manning would remain in a
military prison while awaiting trial, following the refusal of a
separate request to dismiss the charges against the alleged
It was also revealed that Manning wrote a personal statement
from 24 to 35 pages in length, according to different sources. In
the document, Manning supposedly explained why he leaked the
classified documents to WikiLeaks.
The US government has attempted to block Manning from reading the statement, saying that large portions of it are irrelevant to the court proceedings, the Telegraph reported.
Manning’s defense does not want the word terrorism to emerge during the proceedings and they are challenging testimony from Navy SEALs because it could reduce even further the slight possibility of Manning having a fair trial, Kevin Gosztola, a journalist covering the case told RT.
“Certainly the fear here I think is that you would be
sensationalizing the proceedings and it would make it nearly
impossible for Manning to have a fair trial just because we’d now
be talking about terrorism,” Gosztola said. “And terrorism
will get away from the fact that he is charged with the offence of
releasing the information and they don’t have to show that
terrorists received it.”