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During Pfc. Bradley Manning's legal hearing last month, many observers thought the proceedings seemed scripted. It turns out that, at least in part, they were.
POLITICO has obtained the script, which extends to 18 pages, including various addenda dealing with the handling of classified information. The script lays out statements for the Investigating Officer Lt. Col Paul Almanza and for the prosecutors, while places for comments by defense counsel were generally left blank.
The script was generally adhered to but not entirely. For example, when Almanza closed the hearing to hear classified evidence he said representatives of "relevant government agencies" would be allowed to stay in the courtroom. The script says "relevant victim agencies."