The sentencing phase of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s trial began today at Fort Meade, with testimony from Brigadier General Robert Carr, a prosecution witness who was trying desperately to portray Manning’s leaks as a big problem.
“The one that hit us in the face were the Iraq logs,” Carr insisted, saying the army was overwhelmed by trying to cope with that many documents, and that it forced the military to rethink data access policies.
Brig. Gen. Carr further initially claimed that Manning’s leaks had lead to the death of an Afghan national, but later conceded, under defense cross-examination, that there was no actual evidence to support that claim, and that the slain Afghan wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the leaks.
Indeed, Carr finally had to concede that he had no evidence that anyone was ever killed by the leaks, leading defense attorney David Coombs to note that the prosecution seemed to be trying to blame “just about everything that ever happened” on Manning.
The defense is also trying to get some of the charges merged by the court to somewhat reduce the potential maximum sentence for Manning, noting that many of the charges are essentially the same thing.