Audio Transcript:

Marco Werman: For the past week there's been a lot of attention on Edward Snowden. He's the contractor who leaked information about the NSA's phone and internet surveillance programs. Apparently he's still in Hong Kong, and vowing to fight extradition to the U.S. Meanwhile that other high profile leaker, Bradley Manning, is on trial at Fort Meade in Maryland. The Army private has already admitted leaking hundreds of thousands of classified war documents and state department cables. Now he's in the second week of his court martial, still facing charges that could result in a life sentence. The World's Arun Rath has been following the Manning case. And Arun, when we last spoke the court-martial was way ahead of schedule. They got through a week's worth of witnesses in just a few days. So what happened this week?

Arun Rath: Pretty much exactly the same thing. The defense once again agreed to stipulate a lot of the prosecution witness's testimony, meaning they Marco Werman: For the past week there's been a lot of attention on Edward Snowden. He's the contractor who leaked information about the NSA's phone and internet surveillance programs. Apparently he's still in Hong Kong, and vowing to fight extradition to the U.S. Meanwhile that other high profile leaker, Bradley Manning, is on trial at Fort Meade in Maryland. The Army private has already admitted leaking hundreds of thousands of classified war documents and state department cables. Now he's in the second week of his court-martial, still facing charges that could result in a life sentence. The World's Arun Rath has been following the Manning case. And Arun, when we last spoke the court martial was way ahead of schedule. They got through a week's worth of witnesses in just a few days. So what happened this week?

Arun Rath: Pretty much exactly the same thing. The defense once again agreed to stipulate a lot of the prosecution witness's testimony, meaning they didn't have to come in and testify in person. So once again, exactly like last week. They got through the whole week by Wednesday. They're already done, they have a four day weekend.

Werman: So the prosecution must be deep into their case against Manning. How are they doing so far?

Rath: Well, it seems fair to say that they have not had a great week, the prosecution. They had teased out in their opening arguments a couple of things. One of them was that Bradley Manning had access to Wikileaks most wanted list, it was sort of a laundry list of the things they most wanted. They accused him of basically using that as a shopping list. They have not been able to establish that so far, even that Bradley Manning looked at that list.
They actually also have what is apparently a chat between Bradley Manning and Assange, and again, they have not been able to establish that Assange, if this is Assange, was actually soliciting Bradley Manning for the information, which is something that they set out to prove.

Werman: Right, so why is that important, and does it mean that the prosecution won't be able to establish Manning's intent with this leak?

Rath: Right, well part of what's important about this is actually something that's going on in the background. There's a lot of grumbling about there's a grand jury investigating Julian Assange and Wikileaks. So there's an idea that they're trying to establish this connection, this idea that Julian Assange was actually soliciting for the information, to get more information to actually establish them as a co-conspirator if they're actually going to go after Wikileaks at some point.

Werman: So did the prosecution get traction on anything?

Rath: They did have some witnesses talk about the damage that may have been caused by the leaks that Bradley Manning was responsible for. There were a couple of military intelligence experts who talked about, for instance, these action reports, that they could have. They could communicate information to the enemy about how we neutralize IED attacks, information about troop movements and things like that. Now, these are all very old and after the fact, so how much they actually impact things is open for debate. But they were actually able to get some information on the record about how Bradley Manning may have in fact endangered soldiers lives.

Werman: And what about any evidence that the prosecution's provided on what Bradley Manning leaked?

Rath: Well that's been another problem with them this week. We actually, we know Bradley Manning has admitted to leaking some information. But one thing in particular, this air strike, it's called the Garani air strike or the Farah air strike. It was in Afghanistan in 2009, and it was a horrendous incident where dozens, probably over 100 civilians were killed by a U.S. air strike. Bradley Manning offered to admit leaking that, but at a different time in the timeline that the prosecution is trying to establish.
They're saying he leaked that initially, almost as soon as he got to Iraq. Manning is saying that no he didn't leak it until March of 2010. So if the prosecution doesn't establish their timeline then their charge sort of falls apart. So even though Bradley Manning has admitted to leaking that, because the prosecution can't establish it in a timeline they have set out to do, so far that's not coming together for them either.

Werman: So what next, Arun?

Rath: The prosecution will still be trying to establish, again, damage that was done by Bradley Manning, that could potentially be done. And it's interesting to see because we might have, the fact that things have moved ahead so quickly, so fast, we've gotten through two weeks' worth of testimony in basically six days, it's an unusual process Marco, and I think it's really hard to predict how it's going to unfold now.

Werman: The World's Arun Rath has been covering the Bradley Manning trial for us. Thank you.

Rath: Thanks Marco.
have to come in and testify in person. So once again, exactly like last week. They got through the whole week by Wednesday. They're already done, they have a four day weekend.

Werman: So the prosecution must be deep into their case against Manning. How are they doing so far?

Rath: Well, it seems fair to say that they have not had a great week, the prosecution. They had teased out in their opening arguments a couple of things. One of them was that Bradley Manning had access to Wikileaks most wanted list, it was sort of a laundry list of the things they most wanted. They accused him of basically using that as a shopping list. They have not been able to establish that so far, even that Bradley Manning looked at that list.
They actually also have what is apparently a chat between Bradley Manning and Assange, and again, they have not been able to establish that Assange, if this is Assange, was actually soliciting Bradley Manning for the information, which is something that they set out to prove.

Werman: Right, so why is that important, and does it mean that the prosecution won't be able to establish Manning's intent with this leak?

Rath: Right, well part of what's important about this is actually something that's going on in the background. There's a lot of grumbling about there's a grand jury investigating Julian Assange and Wikileaks. So there's an idea that they're trying to establish this connection, this idea that Julian Assange was actually soliciting for the information, to get more information to actually establish them as a co-conspirator if they're actually going to go after Wikileaks at some point.

Werman: So did the prosecution get traction on anything?

Rath: They did have some witnesses talk about the damage that may have been caused by the leaks that Bradley Manning was responsible for. There were a couple of military intelligence experts who talked about, for instance, these action reports, that they could have. They could communicate information to the enemy about how we neutralize IED attacks, information about troop movements and things like that. Now, these are all very old and after the fact, so how much they actually impact things is open for debate. But they were actually able to get some information on the record about how Bradley Manning may have in fact endangered soldiers lives.

Werman: And what about any evidence that the prosecution's provided on what Bradley Manning leaked?

Rath: Well that's been another problem with them this week. We actually, we know Bradley Manning has admitted to leaking some information. But one thing in particular, this air strike, it's called the Garani air strike or the Farah air strike. It was in Afghanistan in 2009, and it was a horrendous incident where dozens, probably over 100 civilians were killed by a U.S. air strike. Bradley Manning offered to admit leaking that, but at a different time in the timeline that the prosecution is trying to establish.
They're saying he leaked that initially, almost as soon as he got to Iraq. Manning is saying that no he didn't leak it until March of 2010. So if the prosecution doesn't establish their timeline then their charge sort of falls apart. So even though Bradley Manning has admitted to leaking that, because the prosecution can't establish it in a timeline they have set out to do, so far that's not coming together for them either.

Werman: So what next, Arun?

Rath: The prosecution will still be trying to establish, again, damage that was done by Bradley Manning, that could potentially be done. And it's interesting to see because we might have, the fact that things have moved ahead so quickly, so fast, we've gotten through two weeks' worth of testimony in basically six days, it's an unusual process Marco, and I think it's really hard to predict how it's going to unfold now.

Werman: The World's Arun Rath has been covering the Bradley Manning trial for us. Thank you.

Rath: Thanks Marco.