When military lawyers and Manning's civilian defense met at Fort Meade, Maryland, it was not the first legal proceeding in the case.
But it was the first time that Bradley Manning's own name had appeared on the witness schedule.
Until then, he had been kept out of sight (if not out of the public mind) in the brig, at Marine Corps Base Quantico, in Virginia, USA.
It was the conditions in which he was held there, which had prompted such a lashing from the United Nations. Under international law, it amounted to torture; and as signatories to the Convention Against Torture, the USA is not legally allowed to do that.
While a lot of American mainstream media seemed determined to frame Bradley Manning as a traitor to the nation, the way in which it played out lost a lot of credibility for the USA throughout the rest of the world.
It was a situation which proved unpalatable to some in the highest echelons of the US government. In April 2011, Chief spokesperson for the State Department, P.J. Crowley, resigned over the matter. He went on public record stating, "What is being done to Bradley Manning is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid on the part of the department of defense."
His immediate supervisor, Hilary Clinton, accepted the departure with regret, telling the press, "PJ has served our nation with distinction for more than three decades, in uniform and as a civilian."
Shortly afterwards, nearly 300 academics - most of them top notch legal scholars - signed a review stating that, in their professional opinion, the treatment of Bradley Manning was unconstitutional. It breached the Eighth Amendment.
But none of this helped Private Bradley Manning, who was still on suicide watch in a 6 × 12ft cell. Where he had seen the sun for only 20 minutes during the previous nine months; and where he was stripped naked each night, standing with his legs apart, while a parade of guards walked by and inspected him.
It soon did indirectly help him though. As media attention escalated in the other direction, bringing the US government and military under increasing pressure to stop being the bad guys, then Private Manning was moved.
Days later, he was transported to the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility, in Kansas, where he could enjoy a whole 80ft of space. He was also finally allowed to mix with other prisoners. Yet still there was no trial.
In the eyes of the law, Private Bradley Manning remains an innocent man, until proved guilty.