Bradley Manning's character is being attacked in the media today in response to the testimony given yesterday by Manning's superior Specialist Showman. To understand the context of her comments, it is helpful to read more of the testimony than is commonly quoted in the press. Below is some of the testimony from yesterday. The link to the transcripts where you can read everything that was said in the courtroom is here.
Prosecution called Jihrleah Showman to the stand:
Q:During these counselings, did you ever ask PFC Manning his motivation for joining the military?
Q Do you remember what the accused's response was when you asked him that question?
A He indicated that he joined the military mainly for training and educational benefits.
Q And did you prompt him to elaborate on that?
A Yes, I did.
Q What did do you?
A I asked him, due to the fact that it was kind of an answer that every soldier gives, I wanted something a little bit more in-depth so I tapped the flag on my shoulder and I asked him what the flag meant to him.
Q And what was his response?
A He said the flag meant nothing to him. And he did not consider himself part of -- did not consider himself to have allegiance to this country or any people.
CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR. COOMBS:
Q I want to start off by asking you a few questions about what you just testified to, okay, Ms. Showman?
A Yes, sir.
Q No one was at this conversation besides you and PFC Manning; is that correct?
Q And this was a verbal counseling session between you and PFC Manning?
Q And you asked him, you testified on direct, you asked him why you joined the Army?
Q And, in fact, he told you that he joined the Army because he needed money for college?
Q He also told you he joined the Army so he could learn more about computers?
Q And during that conversation you apparently interpreted his body language as not really caring about the counseling session?
A He had his typical stance, just kind of putting up with the conversation.
Q My question to you was, during that conversation, you interpreted his body language as not really caring about the counseling?
A I can't confirm that or deny that.
Q So you have no opinions as to how you interpreted his body language?
A It appeared as though -- he didn't seem distraught by the counseling session or the fact that he was bothered with it --
Q Listen to my question. Could you see from his body language whether or not in your opinion he was not caring about the counseling session?
A I did not see him actually. Not at that point.
Q Based upon his body language, you were not happy.
A I was not, I was not unhappy at that time.
Q Well, that's why you tapped your shoulder, correct, the flag, what does that mean?
A No, that's incorrect, sir.
Q You didn't tap your shoulder because you were upset?
A No, I did not tap my shoulder because I was upset.
Q When you tapped your shoulder on the flag, you asked, what does that mean to you?
Q And you did this because you were upset?
Q And you -- he told you that you can't have blind allegiance to a flag?
Q He told you you can't have blind allegiance to a flag?
A I don't remember him saying that.
Q He told you that you cannot be an Atomaton?
A I do not recall that phrase at all, sir.
Q You don't recall that?
Q And he then told you that you had to have duty to all people regardless of their country?
A I do not recall that.
Q You don't recall that?
A No, sir.
Q You got very upset at the time that he made these statements?
A The statements that I indicated that he made, it did bother me.
Q Bothered you. It made you upset?
A Correct. As an American and as a fellow soldier, I was distraught by the statements he made.
Q And you interpreted his statements to be disloyal to America?
Q Now, once you did that, you never reduced this counseling session to a written counseling form, did you?
A Not at that time, no.
Q Not ever?
A No, sir.
Q Prior to 2010, the arrest of PFC Manning in 5 May of 2010, you never reduced this allegation to writing?
Q Now, if you really thought that PFC Manning said disloyal comments to America that would be a serious matter, wouldn't it?
A It is a serious matter, sir.
Q Listen to my question. That would be a serious matter, wouldn't it?
Q It would be a serious matter because he had a top secret clearance.
Q It would be a serious matter because he had access to top confidential information?
Q Because he's an ALS, an all-source analyst?
Q And you're his supervisor at this time?
Q You heard of the phrase I'm sure, if it's not in writing it didn't happen? You've heard of that phrase with regards to counseling, haven't you?
A I'm sure at one point I have heard that.
Q And that phrase basically means that you need to document things, right?
Q And, in fact, you said on direct that you would counsel things that you needed to document?
Q And yet you didn't counsel this, you didn't put it in writing?
A I did not.
Later in the cross examination, when Coombs asks about why Shulman did not write it down, she responded that she told her superior, Adkins, about it. When Coombs called Adkins to the stand in the afternoon, he did not recall this conversation and also testified that he never wrote anything about it down. He also said that due to an injury he has memory loss But he then agreed with Coombs, who said "disloyal statements" would have been the kind of thing to write up a report about, right? Yes, Adkins said, that would have been written.
I plan to edit and post more comments from the transcripts as well. My drawings of Showman and Adkins are attached.
Thanks for taking the time to read this!