Judge says Bin Laden raid member can be WikiLeaks witness

A member of the team that raided Osama bin Laden’s compound will be able to testify at the trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is charged in a massive leak of U.S. secrets to the Wikileaks website, a military judge ruled Wednesday.

The witness has been publicly identified only as “John Doe” and as an “operator” for the Defense Department, which is a designation given to SEALs. Prosecutors say he participated with SEAL Team Six in their May 2011 assault on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which the terrorist leader was killed.

Col. Denise Lind is weighing options for protecting witness’ identity, which include moving the trial to a secure location or having him wear a disguise.

Lind also must decide what limits to place on any defense cross-examination of John Doe, as well as three other unidentified “special witnesses,” to protect national security.

Manning’s trial is scheduled to begin on June 3 at Fort Meade and could last for 12 weeks.

Filed in: Military, News

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