The London Expat American Meetup Group Message Board › Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks and Afghanistan - US Citizen in Guantanamo

Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,369


Bradley Manning needs consular visit, mother tells William Hague‎
Susan Manning calls on British foreign secretary to check her son's physical and mental health in maximum security custody
http://www.guardian.c...­
The Guardian - 6 days ago

Bradley Manning needs consular visit, mother tells William Hague

The UN special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez, issued a rare reprimand to the US government this week for failing to allow him private access to the soldier. Manning can meet Mendez only in the presence of a guard, where the soldier's comments could be used against him in future court martial proceedings.

Mendez said he was acting on a complaint "that the regimen of this detainee amounts to cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or torture. Until I have all the evidence in front of me, I cannot say whether he has been treated inhumanely". The Pentagon denied this week he was kept in solitary confinement.

Manning, 23, has been in custody since last May in conditions that have provoked widespread criticism of the US military and government. He is held alone in a maximum security cell for 23 hours a day and stripped naked each night apart from a smock.

Manning does not have a British passport or consider himself British, his lawyer has said, but because his mother, Susan, is Welsh, the soldier is "British by descent", the Foreign Office confirmed this month.

In her letter, Susan Manning wrote that she visited her son in Quantico marine base in Virginia in February, travelling with her sister, Bradley's aunt and his uncle, "but they were not allowed to see Bradley.

"I was very distressed by seeing Bradley. Being in prison, and being held in the conditions which he is, is having a damaging effect on him physically and mentally. I am worried that his condition is getting worse. I would like someone to visit him who can check on his conditions. If Bradley's being a British national means that someone from the British embassy can visit him, then I would like to ask if you can make that happen. I do not believe that Bradley is in a position to be able to request this himself, so I am asking as his mother on his behalf."

Susan Manning, who divorced Bradley's American father, Brian, when her son was a teenager, also asked Hague for consular support on her own behalf. "If I try [to] visit Bradley again, can someone from the British embassy help me and other members of Bradley's family to deal with the US marine authorities and help with any other arrangements we have to make?"

Bradley Manning's mother asks William Hague for help‎
WalesOnline - David Williamson - 5 days ago
http://www.walesonlin...­

http://mirror.wikilea...­
http://youwillanyway....­



PJ Crowley: Why I called Bradley Manning's treatment 'stupid'
FIRED FROM THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: The US should uphold the highest standards towards its citizens, including the WikiLeaks accused. I stand by what I said
http://english.ruvr.r...­
http://www.guardian.c...­
http://www.guardian.c...­

"I stand by what I said. The United States should set the global standard for treatment of its citizens – and then exceed it. It is what the world expects of us. It is what we should expect of ourselves."

Earlier this month, I was asked by an MIT graduate student why the United States government was "torturing" Private First Class Bradley Manning, who is accused of being the source of the WikiLeaks cables that have been reported by the Guardian and other news outlets and posted online. The fact is the government is doing no such thing. But questions about his treatment have led to a review by the UN special rapporteur on torture, and challenged the legitimacy of his pending prosecution.

As a public diplomat and (until recently) spokesman of the department of state, I was responsible for explaining the national security policy of the United States to the American people and populations abroad. I am also a retired military officer who has long believed that our civilian power must balance our military power. Part of our strength comes from international recognition that the United States practises what we preach. Most of the time, we do. This strategic narrative has made us, broadly speaking, the most admired country in the world.

To be clear, Private Manning is rightly facing prosecution and, if convicted, should spend a long, long time in prison. Having been deeply engaged in the WikiLeaks issue for many months, I know that the 251,000 diplomatic cables included properly classified information directly connected to our national interest. The release placed the lives of activists around the world at risk.

Julian Assange and others have suggested that the release of the cables was to expose wrongdoing. Nonsense.

While everyone can point to an isolated cable, taken as a whole, the cables tell a compelling story of "rightdoing" – of US diplomats engaged in 189 countries around the world, working on behalf of the American people, and serving broader interests as well. As a nation, we are proud of the story the cables tell, even as we decry their release.

But I understood why the question was asked. Private Manning's family, joined by a number of human rights organisations, has questioned the extremely restrictive conditions he has experienced at the brig at Marine Corps base Quantico, Virginia. I focused on the fact that he was forced to sleep naked, which led to a circumstance where he stood naked for morning call.
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,370


Con....

Based on 30 years of government experience, if you have to explain why a guy is standing naked in the middle of a jail cell, you have a policy in need of urgent review. The Pentagon was quick to point out that no women were present when he did so, which is completely beside the point.

The issue is a loss of dignity, not modesty.

Our strategic narrative connects our policies to our interests, values and aspirations. While what we do, day in and day out, is broadly consistent with the universal principles we espouse, individual actions can become disconnected. Every once in a while, even a top-notch symphony strikes a discordant note. So it is in this instance.

The Pentagon has said that it is playing the Manning case by the book. The book tells us what actions we can take, but not always what we should do. Actions can be legal and still not smart. With the Manning case unfolding in a fishbowl-like environment, going strictly by the book is not good enough. Private Manning's overly restrictive and even petty treatment undermines what is otherwise a strong legal and ethical position.

When the United States leads by example, we are not trying to win a popularity contest. Rather, we are pursuing our long-term strategic interest. The United States cannot expect others to meet international standards if we are seen as falling short. Differences become strategic when magnified through the lens of today's relentless 24/7 global media environment.

So, when I was asked about the "elephant in the room," I said the treatment of Private Manning, while well-intentioned, was "ridiculous" and "counterproductive" and, yes, "stupid".

I stand by what I said. The United States should set the global standard for treatment of its citizens – and then exceed it. It is what the world expects of us. It is what we should expect of ourselves.
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,371




http://mirror.wikilea...­

Video: Pentagon: WikiLeaks Suspect Being Moved The Associated Press
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,372
WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning "designed Facebook" as a schoolboy, friends say
Bradley Manning, the prime suspect in the leaking of top secret documents to the WikiLeaks website, was such a computer expert that he designed a version of Facebook years before modern social networking sites took off, friends have disclosed.
http://www.telegraph....­

"It was pretty much a social networking site before its time. You could log in and find out about local news."

Manning was born in Oklahoma but spent his teenage years living with his mother in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire.

Friends remember the teenager as a shy schoolboy who was determined to speak his mind and “had his own sense of right and wrong”.

Tom Dyer, a fellow pupil at Tasker Milward School, said: "Overall, Bradley was renowned for his IT skills.

"He produced a website with another schoolmate. It was pre-Facebook. It was like a community site. It didn’t really lift off, but it was a good idea.

Manning, 23, is being held in solitary confinement at a military base in Quantico, Virginia.

He was arrested in May after WikiLeaks released leaked footage of attacks by US Apache helicopters which killed two Reuters news staff in Iraq in 2007.

He was later charged with "transferring classified data" and "delivering national defense information to an unauthorised source," which could carry a maximum sentence of 52 years in jail.

Following the later release by WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of documents from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Pentagon has described Manning as a "person of interest" in its hunt for the source.

But those who befriended Manning when he arrived in Wales aged 13, after his parents divorced, suggested that he had always possessed some of the character traits which may have prompted the biggest-ever leaks of confidential information from the US government.

Mr Dyer told Channel 4 News that Manning had quickly established a reputation for computer expertise at his West Wales comprehensive.

And he said he was not surprised when he heard that he was suspected of being behind the leaks.

He said: “He's always had this sense that 'I'm going to right a big wrong'. He was like that at school.

"If something went wrong, he would speak up about it if he didn't agree with something. He would even have altercations with teachers if he thought something was not right.”

Mr Dyer insisted that Manning never meant any harm but was simply determined to stand his own ground.

"He has his own sense of what is right or wrong,” he added. “It’s not directed against another person in particular. He's certainly not malicious in any of his actions."

Rowan John, another school friend, said: "He was opinionated but not forward on it. If he truly believed in something, he would give an opinion. That's probably because he was right in his opinion."

"It was pretty much a social networking site before its time. You could log in and find out about local news."
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,380


UK Ministry of Defence ordered to disclose involvement in US-led rendition
Ruling by freedom of information tribunal follows request three years ago by all-party group
http://www.judiciary....­
http://www.guardian.c...­
Monday 18 April 2011

This is more of what we should see in a Constututional Democracy under a Presidency headed by a "Constitutional expert"

The Ministry of Defence has been ordered to disclose its involvement in the US-led rendering of terror suspects seized in Iraq and Afghanistan to prisons where they were likely to be abused or tortured.

In a move that should break official secrecy surrounding the practice, the Information Rights Tribunal has rejected MoD claims that providing the data would be too costly and damage Britain's international relations.

The tribunal, which hears disputes arising from Freedom of Information Act disclosure requests, says it was "difficult to see how any responsible government … with whom we have friendly relations could take offence at open disclosure" of the terms of agreement or arrangements over the practice "to ensure that the law is upheld".

It adds: "Unless cogent evidence is adduced to show why a particular government would have strong concerns about disclosure of such information as we are here considering, we would be minded to conclude that no case of prejudice to international relations would be made out. If, on the other hand, there was such a case, then the public interest in disclosing the terms of those arrangements becomes that much more pressing and weighty."

The tribunal's ruling came in response to a request, made three years ago by the all-party parliamentary group on extraordinary rendition, chaired by the senior Conservative backbencher, Andrew Tyrie. It follows allegations by Ben Griffin, a former member of the SAS, that detainees captured by British special forces had been transferred to US forces under whose authority they had been tortured or unlawfully removed from Iraq.



An internal MoD review concluded in 2008 that there was no evidence of unlawful rendition. A year later, it admitted that two detainees captured by British forces in Iraq had been rendered to a notorious jail in Bagram in Afghanistan.

"For closure on rendition we need disclosure. One way or another, the truth will eventually come out," Tyrie said. " Unless the MoD decides to appeal, this judgment will add to the drip-drip of information on rendition in recent years. Far better for us to get to the bottom of this quickly, to learn the lessons and to move on."

David Cameron last year asked Sir Peter Gibson, a former appeal court judge and intelligence services commissioner, to investigate whether Britain was involved in the improper treatment of detainees held by other countries.

However, he also said "military detention operations" in Iraq and Afghanistan after 2003 would be investigated separately by the MoD. The parliamentary extraordinary rendition group objects to what it calls an arbitrary cut-off date.

Tyrie has written to Sir Malcolm Rifkind, chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, saying that earlier guidance to intelligence officers involved in interrogating detainees abroad, and the committee's view of it, have not been published. That did not inspire public confidence in ISC investigations, Tyrie says.

http://politics.guard...­
http://www.guardian.c...­
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,381


Obama Confronted by Democrats in San Fransisco
War crime exposer, Bradley Manning: Democratic Party supporters confront Obama at fundraiser
http://www.baycitizen...­

Breakfast in America....

Yesterday President Obama met with 150 donors for his 2012 reelection campaign over breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco, Then about 12 of his contributors pressed the president in song on the unjust confinement and tortuous treatment of alleged WikiLeaks whistle-blower US Army intelligence analyst PFC Bradley Manning.

The President spoke of the creative organizing that won him the 2008 election, but over 10% of the attendees held up "Free Bradley Manning" signs and launched into a song entitled "Where's our change?"

Secret Services agents attempted to grab the signs, while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and President Obama looked on......

Then attendee Logan Price talked to Obama president for 2-3 minutes: "I explained to the president that Bradley Manning and WikiLeaks is in fact the Daniel Ellsberg and Pentagon Papers of my generation. We need to stand up for whistle blowers. President Obama disagreed with me, noting that he `could not conduct open source diplomacy.' But when I asked him about the democratic revolutions in the Middle East, he backpedaled."

Another fundraiser explained:"Bradley Manning's case raises a number of important questions regarding civil liberties, the Internet, and President Obama's campaign promises," She added,"I hope that the President will finally make this right. Bradley Manning has been punished enough already. He needs to be freed."

Michael Thurman, another fundraiser and recently discharge veteran of the US Air Force, explained, "I had hoped President Obama would end our nation's occupation wars. I'm disappointed, but what the military has been allowed to do to Bradley Manning—a 23-year-old Soldier who is accused of doing nothing more than telling the truth—is crazy."

More than a half million people have already signed a statement decrying PFC Manning's treatment as a "violation of his constitutionally guaranteed human rights, and a chilling deterrent to other potential legal whistle-blowers committed to public integrity." Over 300 of America's top legal scholars have called on the Obama Administration to end the torturous treatment of Bradley Manning. The list of signatories includes Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who taught constitutional law to Barack Obama. Prof. Tribe was a key backer of his 2008 presidential campaign, and was most recently a legal adviser in the US Justice Department.

Barack Obama serenaded by Bradley Manning protesters at fundraiser‎
http://www.guardian.c...­
http://www.sfgate.com...­
http://blogs.abcnews....­



Obama invokes Christian beliefs at Easter prayer breakfast‎
http://www.kansascity...­

President Barack Obama this week said Jesus’ death and resurrection on Easter “puts everything else in perspective,” at a White House event that showcased his increasing comfort with discussing his faith.

Using the kind of personal religious language that he had once shied away from in public, Obama spoke of “the pain and the scorn and the shame of the cross” in an Easter prayer breakfast for about 150 guests and staff.

Obama makes his case in California‎
Los Angeles Times - 1 day ago
http://articles.latim...­

We said in America, you shouldn't go broke because you got sick," Obama said
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,382


Obama Confronted by Democrats in San Fransisco
War crime exposer, Bradley Manning: Democratic Party supporters confront Obama at fundraiser
http://www.wtma.com/r...­
http://www.baycitizen...­

Breakfast in America....

Obama Gets Unwelcome Serenade at San Francisco Fundraiser
President Obama, I paid my dues, where's my change?



(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Protesters interrupted President Obama’s breakfast fundraiser Thursday in a San Francisco hotel, serenading him with a song that included lyrics that decry the imprisonment of Pfc. Bradley Manning, held by the U.S. government on suspicion of releasing classified government information.

“Alone in a six-by-12 cell sits Bradley; 23 hours a day is night; the fifth and eights Amendments say this kind of thing ain't right,” a woman in the event sang, according to several pool reporters who were there to cover the event on behalf of the national media. “I paid my dues, where’s our change?...we'll vote for you in 2012, yes that's true; look at the Republicans -- what else can we do?”


Comments
http://www.youtube.co...­

They were way too polite. Obama is a major disappointment. He needs to be called out more. And did you catch how his goon was walking around grabbing the signs? They should have refused to let go.
wcookegb 17 hours ago 11


FRESH JUICE PARTY
PRESS RELEASE April 21, 2011
http://freshjuicepart...­

The FRESH JUICE PARTY (www.FreshJuiceParty.com) movement made its grand debut in San Francisco this morning at an Obama fundraising breakfast at the St. Regis Hotel. Showing they’ve got considerable juice behind them, the organization squeezed out thousands of dollars for seats at the event for the opportunity to spontaneously sing a song for the President At the conclusion of their performance, the other guests applauded and the President commented on the creativity of the song, and saying, “They have better voices than I do…Thank you for the song...Now that's the kind of creativity I'm talking about.” He had been speaking of the importance of grassroots organizing before the song began.

This growing group of concerned citizens feels the President and the DNC need to remain true to the principles Obama asserted when he was campaigning in 2008. So they commandeered the morning’s festivities with the song, “Where’s Our Change?” to show solidarity with Bradley Manning, American soldier and alleged Wikileaks source who has been languishing in a detention center in Quantico, Virginia since July 2010 without due process, often forced to stand naked and being refused the ability to meet with United Nations officials. The 5th and 8th Amendment violations against him have led to public outcry here in the United States and internationally. So much so that there are now plans to remove Manning to another facility.

The FRESH JUICE PARTY is an experimental action group, but this is no joke: they promise to PAY individuals who post videos on YouTube of themselves singing the song (found at www.FreshJuiceParty.com) in a public forum, up to $100 per video and the top video will win an award of $1,000.
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,392


Congressman Honda: "War Internment Lessons: Peter King's Muslim Hearings Will Not Make America Safer"
Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) is Senior Democratic Whip and member of House Budget and Appropriations Committees. This article was first published on Washington Post's "On Faith"
Growing up in internment camp Amache in Colorado was no joy ride: useful insight, sixty-five years later, in determining the direction America is STILL headed
http://cpc.grijalva.h...­
http://www.huffington...­

Support for IRA Terrorism
Peter King should talk.... hypocrit and backstabber; Who's class side are you on?
http://en.wikipedia.o...­

In the 1980s, King actively supported terrorists within the Irish Republican movement, and frequently traveled to Northern Ireland to meet with senior members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army,

Left wing Al Sharpton on The IRA
New York Magazine - 28 Mar 1988
http://books.google.c...­

The Irish Republican movement within the United States has long, dubious political stake. Why fund revolution abroad, when there is so much inequality back home?

Interfaith Protest Rally Against Peter King
http://blog.musulman....­
http://www.huffington...­













Congressman Honda: "War Internment Lessons: Peter King's Muslim Hearings Will Not Make America Safer"
http://cpc.grijalva.h...­



Who would have thought that my early childhood experience in a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II would offer such useful insight, sixty-five years later, in determining the direction America is headed? In reflecting on Thursday's hearings on Muslim Americans, planned by Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), I feel like a mirror is being held up to my life, giving value to lessons learned as a child.

Make no mistake. Growing up in internment camp Amache in Colorado was no joy ride -- just look at the pictures. We were treated like cattle in those camps. Never mind the fact that we were born in America. Never mind the fact that we were patriotic Americans and law-abiding citizens. Never mind the fact that we were constructively contributing to the American economy. Despite all this, hundreds of thousands of Americans suddenly became the enemy at the height of the war, with no cause, no crime, and no constitutional protection.

We look back now, as a nation, and we know this was the wrong reaction. We look back now and know that this was a result of "race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership." We look back now and know that an entire ethnicity was said to be, and ultimately considered, the enemy. We know that internment occurred because few in Washington were brave enough to say "no."

We know all this, and yet our country is now, within my lifetime, repeating the same mistakes from our past. The interned four-year old in me is crying out for a course correction so that we do not do to others what we did unjustly to countless Japanese-Americans.

This time, instead of creating an ethnic enemy, Congressman King is creating a religious enemy. Because of prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of Republican leadership, King is targeting the entire Muslim-American community. Similar to my experience, they are become increasingly marginalized and isolated by our policies.

Never mind the fact that many were born in America and have no allegiance to their ancestors' native homeland. Never mind the fact that they are patriotic Americans and law-abiding citizens. Never mind the fact that they are constructively contributing to the American economy. Irrespective of all this, millions of Americans have become the new enemy, with no cause and no crime.

There is no question that a congressional hearing, which targets an entire religion, is morally and strategically wrong-headed. First, it is un-American. This is not the America that I know and have helped build as a life-long public servant. The America that I know has always provided refuge for those fleeing persecution, from early settlers to recent refugees. The America that I know, furthermore, does not hate and discriminate base on race, religion or creed.

Second, it is counterproductive. Congressman King is undermining his own objective. In hosting these hearings, King, as chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, has declared, erroneously, that the Muslim-American community does not partner actively enough with law-enforcement officials to prevent potential acts of violence. Despite the offensive and fallacious nature of King's concern, given extensive evidence that contradicts his claim, the Homeland Security chairman's strategy makes future partnerships unpalatable.

In one fell swoop of his discriminatory brush, King, in his apparent attempt to root out radicalization, marginalizes an entire American minority group, making enemies of them all. To add insult to injury, King has quipped (again, speciously) that America has too many mosques and that extremists run 80 percent of them. We can only hope that Rep King does not completely undermine all the goodwill established across this country between Muslim Americans and law enforcement officials. You can be certain that few will want to work with King going forward.

Don't get me wrong. I support the Homeland Security Committee examining "radicalization" in this country, provided it is a comprehensive review, not a discriminatory one that targets only one subgroup of America. I support the committee examining "violent extremism" in this country, including an examination of militias and the 30,000-plus gun-related deaths occurring each year. I support a committee chair that is keen to keep our homeland secure.

This is not the case with King. These hearings do little to keep our country secure and do plenty to increase prejudice, discrimination and hate. I thought we learned a lesson or two from my internment camp experience in Colorado. I hope I am not proven wrong.


Follow Rep. Mike Honda on Twitter: www.twitter.com/repmikehonda
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,393
Congressman Honda: "War Internment Lessons: Peter King's Muslim Hearings Will Not Make America Safer"
http://cpc.grijalva.h...­




Rep. Michael Honda (D-Calif.) is Senior Democratic Whip and member of House Budget and Appropriations Committees. This article was first published on Washington Post's "On Faith".

Follow Rep. Mike Honda on Twitter: www.twitter.com/repmikehonda
Wilber W.
WilberWebb
Group Organizer
London, GB
Post #: 3,473


Manning, Assange, and the Espionage Act
Posted by Raffi Khatchadourian May 20, 2011
http://www.newyorker....­



The coming week will mark the one-year anniversary of an unusual chapter in the unfolding WikiLeaks saga: the naming of Bradley Manning, a young military-intelligence analyst and Private First Class in the United States Army, as the source of some of the most spectacular classified leaks in this country’s history. Manning’s role as a WikiLeaks source, reported first at Wired.com, emerged from encrypted online confessions that he apparently made to Adrian Lamo—a former hacker who was secretly recording those confessions, and who later gave them to federal authorities and also made them public. By the time Wired.com published its story, on June 6, 2010, Manning had descended into a labyrinth of military detention, where he has remained (at first, for two hundred and seventy seven days without charge). Very few people have been able to talk to him, and his personal defense has not been heard.

Based upon the encrypted confessions, Manning is thought to be the source of all the major WikiLeaks revelations in the past year: the “Collateral Murder” video that I wrote about for The New Yorker last summer; the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diary; the State Department cables (which are still being published); and most recently a tranche of files from Camp Delta, at Guantánamo Bay. In contrast, Manning’s indictment, which was finally issued this March, is more modest in its scope. The military accuses him of illicitly downloading the “Collateral Murder” video from a classified network, and giving it to an unauthorized person (presumably from WikiLeaks). It accuses him of doing the same with about fifty cables. The only “mass leak” mentioned in the indictment is one involving “more than 150,000 diplomatic cables,” but the military does not accuse Manning of giving them away—just obtaining them unlawfully. The language in that clause is vague, and it could cover additional leaks.

In the year that this country has been discussing Bradley Manning, a lot of talk has been devoted to his relationship with Julian Assange, the founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks. This is because the Obama Administration has suggested that it is not content to prosecute Manning alone, but rather is seeking to do so in combination with other potential defendants, specifically Assange, who (the argument goes) may have worked with Manning as an accomplice. This is in no way an easy legal case to make. Manning appears to have broken a very clearly defined set of laws. He may have been driven by recklessness; he may have been driven by morality— by the belief that he was revealing the inner mechanics of unjust policy. But whatever his motivation he seems to have made a rational choice: the public benefit of releasing the material was of greater value to him than the obvious personal legal jeopardy.

As simple as Manning’s indictment appears to be, the legal case against Assange, if there even is one, is murky, with potentially lasting and harmful repercussions to civil liberties in this country. Assange did not obviously break any laws by publishing the leaks that were provided to him. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration has expressed interest in prosecuting him under the Espionage Act, and, if reports about a sitting grand jury convened in Virginia to weigh the matter are true, it may be in the midst of pursuing just such a case. As Jane Mayer noted in The New Yorker last week, the act was designed to prevent “classic espionage” and not the release of classified material in a news context. An Espionage Act indictment against Assange would be unprecedented, and could erode freedoms that reporters enjoy during their normal work of cultivating sources in government. I, like other journalists, oppose the idea entirely. The law should not be invoked.

Still, at least publicly, the whole possibility of a case against WikiLeaks has largely come to turn on a single point of fact: did Assange or close associates communicate with Manning? Establishing such a link is a necessary step in trying to prove that there was a conspiracy. Assange has been asked about this, and he has given variations of the same answer. He told George Stephanopoulos on ABC, last year,



I had never heard of the name Bradley Manning before it was published in the press. Wikileaks’ technology [was] designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material. That is, in the end, the only way the sources can be guaranteed that they remain anonymous, as far as we are concerned.

Statements like this may well be true, but they do not address the central question. In the anonymous world of Internet communications, it is possible not to know the name of someone, and still communicate directly with him. Assange himself has used aliases: as a teen-ager, he was known in cyberspace as Mendax.

This January, there were reports that U.S. investigators “could detect no contact between Manning and Assange.” That was surprising. Manning’s confessions to Lamo make explicit references to direct communications between him and WikiLeaks. At one point, while trying to answer a question, Manning writes, “I’ll have to ask Assange.” In another burst of short notes, he says:

(2:04:29 PM) im a source, not quite a volunteer
(2:05:38 PM) i mean, im a high profile source… and i’ve developed a relationship with assange… but i dont know much more than what he tells me, which is very little
(2:05:58 PM) it took me four months to confirm that the person i was communicating was in fact assange






Some people doubt the veracity of these logs. I find this aspect of them to be consistent with what I know and what is reasonable. For a long time now, a compelling bit of corroborating evidence in them has been hidden in plain sight. In May of last year, my piece about WikiLeaks was making its way through the last stages of production at The New Yorker. It was being edited and fact-checked; final touches were being added. I did not interview Manning for the article; nonetheless, while we were working on the piece, he wrote to Lamo on May 25th and said, “new yorker is running 10k word article on wl.org on 30 may, btw.” This turned out to be a dead-on prediction. But how could he have known specifics about our piece before we had published it? The answer is pretty clear: someone involved in WikiLeaks, or an intermediary, told him.
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