Tag Archives | WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Secrets

210px-Bradley_Manning_US_ArmyThirty-Five years in military prison. Is that really a reasonable sentence for Bradley Manning’s “crimes” against the state? From ABC News:

FT. MEADE, Md. — Bradley Manning, the Army private convicted of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison today.

Manning, 25, a former Army intelligence analyst, was convicted July 30.

He was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges he faced, mostly for espionage, theft and fraud. But a judge found him not guilty of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which carries a life sentence.

The 20 charges originally carried the possibility of 136 years in prison, but Judge Col. Denise Lind later granted a defense motion that reduced the potential maximum sentence to 90 years.

Bradley Manning Guilty on Most Charges, but Not Aiding Enemy

At the end of the sentencing phase of the trial, Army prosecutors said Manning should serve at least 60 years in prison.

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Bradley Manning Trial Verdict: Mostly Guilty, But Did Not Aid Enemy

Bradley Manning's conviction at his long running trial is breaking news everywhere, this version from CNN:
A military judge has found Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history, not guilty of aiding the enemy -- a charge that would have carried a maximum sentence of life in prison. Manning was also found not guilty of unauthorized possession of information relating to national defense. He was found guilty of most of the remaining charges against him, with the judge accepting some of the guilty pleas he made previously to lesser charges...
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Wikileaks Movie ‘The Fifth Estate’ and Why It Misses the Point

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT1wb8_tcYU

The story of Wikileaks is complex and goes beyond the Hollywood world of “goodies vs baddies”. Even so a big budget film is due to be released about it soon and it’s likely to be annoying. The trailer has already irritated me, both the title and a key quote in there seem misplaced.

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde

Quoting a famous figure doesn’t make what you’re saying any more or less true and poor Mr Wilde is so famously quotable he often ends up looking wrong when de-contextualised like this. People don’t always tell the truth when granted anonymity, obviously. In fact there’s a counter argument to this quote which carries more weight in this context, it involves the ring of Gyges a philosopher called Plato and the fact that when hidden from view people often do the wrong thing.… Read the rest

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Why the U.S. Government has such a hard-on for Edward Snowden

via chycho
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It’s not the act of revealing secrets that has gotten Edward Snowden in trouble, after all, members of the Bush Administration did exactly that in the Plame affair as did members of the Obama Administration by leaking the drone memo. Leaking classified documents doesn’t always lead to prosecution, on the contrary, sometimes it leads to advancement of personal agendas:

“Does the rule of law demand that leaks of highly classified information be prosecuted? If so, John Brennan and many other current and former national-security officials had better be given orange jumpsuits. They weren’t even leaking to alert Americans to behavior that they found immoral. Often times, the U.S. national security establishment leaks to exploit a political advantage.”

The reason that the United States government is so adamant about getting their hands on Snowden is because, as Chris Hedges pointed out in “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” while discussing popular uprisings when referencing Victor Sebestyen’s book “Revolution 1989: The Fall of the Soviet Empire” in which he was chronicling the events leading up to the collapse of East Germany, the dissolution of the Stasi, and the fall of the Berlin Wall:

“This was the turning point, when the people knew that the regime lacked the will or the strength to maintain power.”

The U.S.… Read the rest

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WikiLeaks Says Michael Hastings Contacted It Just before His Death. Are They Implying He Was Murdered?

michael_hastings_a_pTim Stanley writes at the Telegraph:

WikiLeaks just threw some gasoline onto the conspiracy fire. On Wednesday night, they Tweeted: “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”

What exactly are they trying to say?

Michael Hastings was a much admired freelance journalist who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to bring down General Stanley McChrystal. He was tragically killed this week in a car crash in Los Angeles, after his car hit a tree. Hastings is believed to have been alone in the vehicle.

Hastings has certainly been in contact with WikiLeaks before. In 2012 he wrote a profile of Julian Assange for Rolling Stone in which he asked tough questions – but the overall tone is sympathetic. Hastings appeared willing to accept that the US government might have targeted Assange in an effort to discredit him; the interview also highlights the failure of mainstream media outlets to expose mistakes made by the US military and generally permits Assange to push his side of the story.

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So let me get this straight, we fast track renditions but hunt down whistleblowers on presidential planes!

via chycho

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The CIA was granted permission to use rendition (to the USA of indicted terrorists) in a presidential directive signed by US President Bill Clinton in 1995, following a procedure established by US President George H. W. Bush in January 1993”. This program kicked into high-gear under Bush junior after 911 and continues to this day under the Obama administration.

According to a US Congress report [2008], up to 14,000 people may have been victims of rendition and secret detention since 2001. Some reports estimate there have been twice as many. The US admits to have captured more than 80,000 prisoners in its ‘war on terror’.”

The map below shows the countries involved in fast tracking rendition flights, helping to transport U.S. captives to secret prisons – black sites – across the globe, condemning innocent men, women, and children to confinement, torture, and death. To the best of my knowledge, not a single rendition flight was ever grounded or searched.… Read the rest

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Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow: “In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me,… No, the Obama administration is afraid of you.”

via wikileaks

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Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow

Monday July 1, 21:40 UTC

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile.

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Bradley Manning Is Guilty of “Aiding the Enemy” – If the Enemy Is Democracy

Bradley Manning US ArmyOf all the charges against Bradley Manning, the most pernicious — and revealing — is “aiding the enemy.”

A blogger at The New Yorker, Amy Davidson, raised a pair of big questions that now loom over the courtroom at Fort Meade and over the entire country:

*  “Would it aid the enemy, for example, to expose war crimes committed by American forces or lies told by the American government?”

*  “In that case, who is aiding the enemy — the whistleblower or the perpetrators themselves?”

When the deceptive operation of the warfare state can’t stand the light of day, truth-tellers are a constant hazard. And culpability must stay turned on its head.

That’s why accountability was upside-down when the U.S. Army prosecutor laid out the government’s case against Bradley Manning in an opening statement: “This is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of classified documents and dumped them onto the Internet, into the hands of the enemy — material he knew, based on his training, would put the lives of fellow soldiers at risk.”

If so, those fellow soldiers have all been notably lucky; the Pentagon has admitted that none died as a result of Manning’s leaks in 2010.… Read the rest

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We Steal Secrets – The New Movie About WikiLeaks – Infuriates WikiLeaks

We_Steal_Secrets_-_The_Story_of_WikiLeaksEvery documentary filmmaker begins with deciding on the story to be told, and, then, how to sustain audience interest.

If your goal is to inform the public or take a stand on an important issue by explaining its origins and exposing wrong doers then you go one way. If your goal is to entertain and shroud your motives by exploring murky personality contradictions, you go another.

We Steal Secrets, Alex Gibney’s latest documentary (or is it a docudrama?), skillfully made with the backing of major media company tries to do both.

Ironically, that company, Comcast-Universal, owners of NBC, is at the same time having a major success with another movie, Fast and Furious6, glamorizing a criminal gang that relies on speedy cars.

You could say that Wikileaks, the subject of We Steal Secrets also began with a fury – a fury against war and secrecy, and was moving as fast as it could to challenge media complacency in the digital realm.… Read the rest

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Statement from Jeremy Hammond Regarding His Plea

via freejeremy.net:
Jeremy_hammond

Today [May 28, 2013] I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.

During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government’s case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial.

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