Speaking for the prosecution, Major Ashden Fein faced an unenviable task.
Three days of testimony had not painted a defensible picture of Bradley Manning's incarceration thus far. It had served to turn the spotlight onto the military itself; while wavering sympathies were drifting into Manning's camp.
Fein (pictured) immediately sought to undo some of the damage.
The Brig command at Quantico authorized a list of books, which Manning had requested from his auntie (he claimed that he took a 'shotgun' approach to asking for so many, on the basis that he might end up with one of them). These included texts like Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier and David Finkel's The Good Soldiers. He received them all.
(NB I half suspect that there has been some reporting error here. Those last two could be the same book and my money is on the Finkel one. It includes a transcript of Collateral Murder, the video footage which Manning is alleged to have handed to WikiLeaks.)
Fein also received confirmation from Manning that he had requested and been given new underwear and t-shirts. This was possibly to address earlier reports that said underwear had been taken away from the private.
“They still smelled like Iraq," Manning responded, when asked why he'd asked for these items. "No matter how many times it got washed it just never went away.” Even Fein was amused by that.
However other lines of questioning did not quite go as the prosecution had planned. Fein pressed Manning to admit that, contrary to the notion that he'd been devoid of sunlight, there had been a skylight close to his Quantico cell.
"Further down the hallway, yes sir." Manning promptly replied. Not at all counteracting his previous testimony about pressing his face against the bars to see the reflection of a reflection of the sky.