Friday, February 25, 2011

Bradley Manning a broken man...

Army officials say Manning's mental health evaluation is not set to be complete until around February of 2011

Comment: I think Mr.Mannings mental evaluation is more than obvious .....with the compliments of the US Goverment....
A song for Bradley....America once ,was such a great country.....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bradley Manning ADVOCACY FUND launches today...

New Organization to Provide Analysis on Soldier's Case and Disabuse Misinformation Campaigns

WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

 The Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund is launching a campaign today in support of the United States Army private accused of disclosing classified materials. The Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund will connect the media and the public with friends, experts, journalists, retired military members, whistle-blowers, and academics who can provide insight and expertise on PFC Manning and his case, as well as correct widespread misinformation. 

To donate, please visit
Despite the recommendations of three forensic psychiatrists, the Brig Commander at Quantico refuses to lift the POI (Prevention of Injury) status, which has kept PFC Manning in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for the past seven months.

Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon Papers, said today, "There has been a concerted effort to paint Bradley Manning as a terrorist and traitor. He is neither. He is a patriotic American who deserves better than to be tried in the media – as is happening day after day on the basis of misinformation – before he has had any opportunity to speak publicly for himself or to present his own case in court. I hope others will join me in supporting the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund to ensure a free-flow of information on PFC Manning and give him a fair shot at due process and humane treatment."

The Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund will send regular updates on PFC Manning and new developments in his case. A link to a timeline on PFC Manning's activities can be found here .

 For more information please contact Naomi Seligman, 310.627.4577 /  or Trevor FitzGibbon, 202.406.0636 /
The Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund is a 501(C)(4) organization that funds and supports media advocates and promotes public advocacy efforts related to freedom of speech issues.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Four Corners...Bradley Manning..the Forgotten Man...

Transcript in full with ASSANGE

TRANSCRIPT The Four Corners. Bradley Manning. The forgotten man...


Program Transcript

Read the transcript of Quentin McDermott's report The Forgotten Man, first broadcast Monday 14 February 2011.
Reporter: Quentin McDermott
Date: 14/02/2011
KERRY O'BRIEN: Julian Assange - hero to untold millions, public enemy number one to the most powerful government in the world.
Welcome to Four Corners.
The WikiLeaks story is both monumental and complex. But while all eyes are on Julian Assange and the very visible battle over Sweden’s attempt to extradite him from Britain to face charges apparently unrelated to WikiLeaks, there is another crucial side to this saga being played out behind the walls of an American military prison, and in the power centres of Washington – one that’s received little attention in this country.
As Julian Assange waits in an English country manor for the British courts to determine his immediate fate, the young US Army private who allegedly masterminded the biggest intelligence breach in history is languishing in solitary confinement in America facing jail for life.
Private Bradley Manning, who blew the whistle in such spectacular fashion from a humble military desk in Iraq, is the key to US efforts to force Julian Assange back to America for prosecution.
What follows is a story that reveals the personalities at play in WikiLeaks and the cyber world, and America’s fierce determination from the depths of its embarrassment to make an example of Julian Assange. Here’s Quentin McDermott’s report.
(Audio from Apache helicopter)
SOLDIER: Hotel Two-Six: this is Crazy Horse One-Eight, have individual with weapons...
Yep, he's got a weapon too.
(End of audio)
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT, REPORTER: On April the fifth last year, the most shocking vision to come out of the war in Iraq was published by WikiLeaks.
(Audio from Apache helicopter)
SOLDIER 2: All right, firing.
Let me know when you've got them.
SOLDIER 3: Let’s shoot.
Light 'em all up.
SOLDIER2: Come on, fire!
SOLDIER 3: Keep shoot'n, keep shoot'n. Keep shoot'n.
(End of audio)
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The US Army video, filmed in 2007, showed a group of men - almost all unarmed - being gunned down in a Baghdad street by an American Apache helicopter, and recorded the voices of the soldiers carrying out the attack.
(Audio from Apache helicopter)
SOLDIER 3: Come on buddy.
SOLDIER 2: All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.
(End of audio)
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: One man had reportedly been carrying an RPG, a rocket propelled grenade, but two of the unarmed men who died were Reuters news staff, and two young children in a van were seriously wounded in the onslaught.
(Audio from Apache helicopter)
SOLDIER 3: Clear... clear... Come around, clear.
(End of audio)
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The title given to the video, Collateral Murder, marked the launch of a new, highly politicised agenda for WikiLeaks, driven by the website’s founder Julian Assange.
JULIAN ASSANGE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, WIKILEAKS: Of course the title is absolutely correct. It speaks about very specific incidents.
If you go to you will see the exact incident it's talking about when a man is crawling in the street completely unarmed, wounded and he is killed by a 30 millimetre cannon from the air very intentionally, and his rescuers.
DANIEL ELLSBERG, FMR US MILITARY ANALYST: I watched the Apache helicopter attack in the video with the eyes of a former marine infantry officer. I was a platoon leader and company commander and I was also a battalion training officer who had trained troops on Nuremberg in the laws of war.
It was very clear to me that what I was looking at was a war crime, was murder.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The video’s credits paid tribute to "Our courageous source", and advertised WikiLeaks’ “unbroken record in protecting confidential sources.”
But just seven weeks later Private Bradley Manning, an army intelligence analyst based in Baghdad, was arrested and charged with leaking the video.
It was a shattering blow, as a former spokesman for WikiLeaks, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, recalled when he spoke to Four Corners in Berlin last month.
DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG, FMR SPOKESPERSON, WIKILEAKS: When that happened and when it was black and white that an alleged source of us was arrested and it was in connection to these high profile, to this high profile video, and it was by the US military and he was detained in a prison in Kuwait, that was really devastating.
And I can’t even put words on how I felt. This was like falling into a pit that had no end.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Private Manning’s arrest wasn’t triggered by a lapse in security from WikiLeaks, a tip-off from a fellow soldier, or security checks in Iraq.
Instead – and bizarrely – it was instigated by this man, a former hacker from California called Adrian Lamo.
Mr Lamo spoke to Four Corners on Skype. He says Bradley Manning approached him online after learning of their shared interest in WikiLeaks and that their conversations ranged over several days.
The words Private Manning is alleged to have used in their chats are voiced here by an actor.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged correspondence): I'm an army intelligence analyst, deployed to eastern Baghdad, pending discharge for "adjustment disorder".
ADRIAN LAMO, FORMER HACKER: Mr Manning introduced himself factually as an intelligence analyst stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq. His initial communication was unremarkable. There was nothing that would lead a casual reader to believe that there was anything out of the ordinary about it. However, he soon began to drop hints about his access to classified information.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged conversation): Hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time, say, eight to nine months, and you saw incredible things, awful things... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC... what would you do? ...things that would have an impact on 6.7 billion people.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Adrian Lamo says Bradley Manning sensationally confessed that he passed vast amounts of classified material to WikiLeaks, including a war log from Iraq, containing 400,000 events.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged conversation): Let's just say *someone* I know intimately well, has been penetrating US classified networks, mining data like the ones described... sorting the data, compressing it, encrypting it, and uploading it to a crazy white haired Aussie who can’t seem to stay in one country very long.
Crazy white haired dude =Julian Assange.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: According to the records of these chats, Private Manning saw his own connection with WikiLeaks as significant.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged correspondence): I'm a source, not quite a volunteer I mean, I'm a high profile source ...and I've developed a relationship with Assange.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Adrian Lamo says a moment came when he decided he had to act.
ADRIAN LAMO: For me, the precise moment at which I felt that what Bradley Manning was doing was a danger to national security and to the lives of others was when he characterised one of his leaks as being in excess of a quarter of a million state department documents.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged correspondence): Say... 260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective?
ADRIAN LAMO: I knew for a fact, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he could not possibly have vetted all of these documents himself for safety. It was simply being released in bulk to an unauthorised third party, a third party that had an unknown agenda.
And this was of course a conduct that he was going to continue to engage in unless interdicted.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Adrian Lamo says he kept a record of the alleged confessions made by the 22-year-old soldier in Iraq, and when he tipped off military intelligence, it was like a scene from a spy thriller.
ADRIAN LAMO: As any good crime movie will tell you, I met them at a diner. The meetings were ultimately multi-jurisdictional and, at points, involving individuals from the FBI, Army Counter Intelligence, the Army Criminal Investigation Division, the National Security Agency and other entities.
I did not expect them to immediately arrest Mr Manning, but they determined that that was the best course of action and that is what happened.
KEVIN POULSEN, SENIOR EDITOR, WIRED.COM: So the magazine’s actually been around since the early 1990s, before there even was a web.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In an equally sensational move, Adrian Lamo then offered his story and the alleged chat logs to Kevin Poulsen at Wired Magazine in San Francisco.
The two men met at this coffee shop near Sacramento.
KEVIN POULSEN: I finally met up with Adrian in Sacramento at the Starbucks. He finally got his laptop working, he finally got the logs on his screen, and I was able to start skimming through what he had there.
It kind of started to dawn on me that maybe, maybe this is real. Maybe this actually, actually turned in, turned in WikiLeaks’ most important whistleblower.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Adrian Lamo says he gave the story to Kevin Poulsen as insurance, in case something happened to him.
ADRIAN LAMO: I discussed with Kevin my interaction with government agents up to that point. I provided him with a copy of the logs for safekeeping and at that point I went on to meet with government agents.
I myself did not know if I was necessarily going to be coming back from that meeting or if they would want to hold on to me for some unknown reason based on the information that I already had in my possession.
KEVIN POULSEN: It was on the drive back from Sacramento where I found myself wondering if I was going to be stopped on the Bay Bridge by the Feds saying, hey, you have something of ours. I mean that, that, I began to think that, yeah, this was- this was actually a big story.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In the weeks following Private Bradley Manning’s arrest, an even bigger story was building.
Julian Assange by now was a wanted man, as he circled the globe with the treasure-trove of documents he had allegedly received from Private Manning.
In conditions of great secrecy, Assange did a deal with two of the world’s major newspapers, The New York Times and The Guardian.
ALAN RUSBRIDGER, EDITOR, THE GUARDIAN: There was a lot of cloak and dagger about it because he was, I think, probably the most hunted man on earth at that point because of what he had, and it sounded extraordinary.
And when I, when he first came back with his sort of password and we opened up the website and this was just the first tranche, so this was just the first set of war logs, you could immediately see that this was, you know, of tremendous significance and was going to make an awful lot of people in governments really unhappy.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: What Assange had given The Guardian was the Afghan war logs - a vast compilation of army reports from the war, stretching back to 2004.
More revelations would follow.
JULIAN ASSANGE (At press conference, October 2010): This disclosure is about the truth.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In late October, the Iraqi War Logs were published, detailing allegations of torture by the Iraqi Federal Police, and complicity in that torture by the US Armed Forces in Iraq.
JULIAN ASSANGE (At press conference, October 2010): And this is a list of reports with key words and contacts...
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The logs revealed the military’s own inside story of the wars, and for the journalists charged with sifting through the documents, it was a god-given gift.
DEAN BAQUET, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, NEW YORK TIMES: We always thought about the issues of what do we have in these documents that could jeopardise lives, so we had this serious, the moments of seriousness and we realised the gravity of it.
But we were also like kids in a candy store. I mean we had the greatest story, to my mind, of this era for a journalist, is the way, at least in the West, at least for the US, is the way September 11th has transformed American foreign policy.
Not only in the ways that are very noticeable, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in other ways too. And suddenly these journal- as journalists who’ve had to rely on third hand, fourth hand you know late night interviews with people who knew pieces of this, we had the whole story. So we were elated, of course we were.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The publication of the Afghan and Iraqi war logs made Julian Assange a global celebrity. But Private Bradley Manning was largely forgotten.
The soldier, on his arrest, had been charged with leaking more than 50 diplomatic cables to a person outside the Army. But the authorities who had Adrian Lamo’s version of the chat logs believed he had passed on 260,000 cables.
Just how seriously they viewed this leak became clear when Dean Baquet and his colleagues approached the White House to discuss redacting the cables before their publication last November, to ensure no lives were endangered.
DEAN BAQUET: We walked in with some cables just to show then what we had, and we walked in expecting you know maybe two or three people from the government and it was a packed conference room of people from the Defence Intelligence Agency, the State Department, the White House, and it was a tense discussion, it was very tense.
Initially it was they were making the argument that we, these are not things that should be made public. There were people in the room who said this would have a devastating impact on foreign policy. And we made the argument back for why we felt obliged to publish.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: What not been revealed until now is that within WikiLeaks itself there was also a fierce debate about whether it was in Bradley Manning’s best interests to publish the cables.
DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG: If the cables had not been published, there would’ve been no proof that anyone had given the material to a different entity. So from my perspective, whatever would’ve- should’ve happened with these cables, for the sake of Bradley Manning, would’ve been to just keep them back as long as possible until you find out what is happening with him before you publish them.
Because I mean, that’s just feeding, that’s just feeding allegations of spreading material to other entities, and that might mean new charges that have not come up at this point in time.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Did Julian Assange agree with you?
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Was there a discussion within WikiLeaks as to whether or not the cables should be published in the light of the charges that were laid against Bradley Manning?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Yes, we were concerned as to how that would possibly play into his case and we saw that his charges only included some 50 cables and so we're not sure whether that is related to the material that we’ve released but we could see that extra accusations would probably be made against him given that that he was the only name being floated around by the US Military.
(Excerpt from TV interview)
INTERVIEWER: There’s been this US intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning arrested, and it’s alleged that he confessed in a chat-room that he leaked this video to you, along with 280,000 classified US Embassy cables. I mean, did he?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well we have denied receiving those cables. He has been charged about five days ago with obtaining 150,000 cables and releasing 50.
INTERVIEWER: I mean if you did receive thousands of US Embassy diplomatic cables...
JULIAN ASSANGE: We would have released them.
(End of excerpt)
Because we don’t know who our sources are, we cannot be in a position where upcoming publications can be affected by taking hostages. That is, would be a very dangerous precedent to set.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But doesn’t that mean that those hostages, those potential sources themselves become, if you’ll forgive me, collateral damage?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well I mean if a particular government wants to engage in abusive action, it engaged in abusive action. But we have a promise to our sources that we will publish.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Julian Assange has asserted that the technology used by WikiLeaks prevents the organisation knowing the identity of its sources.
(Archive footage, Julian Assange at the Frontline Club in London, October, 2010)
JULIAN ASSANGE: I mean I had never heard the name Bradley Manning before I saw media reports about this, but given that this is a man who is now wrapped up in our publishing operations, whether he was a source or not, whether he was peripherally involved or directly involved, he is now in a position where he is in a prison cell, awaiting trial.
(End of archive footage)
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: If Adrian Lamo’s chat logs are genuine, Bradley Manning knew the man he was talking to was Assange.
But according to Daniel Domscheit-Berg, it’s quite plausible that Julian Assange did'nt know the soldier’s identity.
DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG: They could’ve talked without exchanging their names, or Bradley Manning wouldn’t have necessarily told Julian his name. I’m not aware of what has been discussed or if anything at all had been discussed, so I can’t really comment on that.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged correspondence): Hilary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and finds an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format to the public...
(Archive footage, November 2010)
HILLARY CLINTON, US SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States strongly condemns the illegal disclosure of classified information. It puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems…
(End of footage)
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: What has angered the United States Government more than anything is the wholesale leaking of the State Department’s diplomatic cables. Opinions differ as to how much damage this has done.
JOHN BELLINGER, FMR LEGAL ADVISOR, US DEPT OF STATE: The government overall is horrified. This is sort of the worst crisis in release of leaks of government documents I think in history and for the State Department it’s really almost apocalyptic to have 250,000 cables lost.
It affects our relations with every country in the world and puts sources of information, not only government sources but human rights activists and dissidents and others, at great risk.
ALAN RUSBRIDGER: I think the interesting thing is that nobody at the end of it can really point to any danger. I mean everyone was saying that the sky was going to fall in, that that people would be killed, that that states would never be able to speak, but none of that happened and now in fact the State Department is tacitly admitting that that actually they can’t point to any harm.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Ironically, this gigantic leak of diplomatic cables was only made possible by the US Government’s decision post 9/11 to bring in a policy of greater information sharing, in the wake of the intelligence failures that allowed Al Qaeda’s attacks to occur.
The new strategy meant that a lowly Private stationed in Iraq was able to access enormous databases of secret and classified material.
That policy was called Net-Centric Diplomacy.
KEVIN POULSEN: Net-Centric Diplomacy put the bulk of US State Department cables on the military’s private intranet, its classified network called SIPRNet, where it could be accessed by hundreds of thousands of people in the US and at foreign bases and posts. And that is what Manning apparently took advantage of.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Given this unparalleled access, Private Manning is believed to have breached security on the SIPRNet computer with almost farcical ease.
(Sound of Telephone by Lady Gaga)
Lady Gaga played a starring role, according to the chat logs, as Manning downloaded a quarter of a million diplomatic cables.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged conversation): I would come in with music on a CD-RW labelled with something like "Lady Gaga"... erase the music... then write a compressed split file no-one suspected a thing.
Listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga’s Telephone while exfiltratrating possibly the largest data spillage in American history.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Private Manning’s brief Army career had been a troubled one. He’d been disciplined more than once and appears to have been suffering great emotional stress.
But he says the turning point for him came when he watched a group of detainees he’d been told to investigate being taken by the Iraqi Federal Police, almost certainly to be tortured.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged conversation): Everything started slipping after that... I saw things differently.
I had always questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth but that was a point where I was a *part* of something... I was actively involved in something that I was completely against…
DANIEL ELLSBERG: What we’ve heard from the people he unburdened himself to, Adrian Lamo, in the chat logs, was that his motives sound exactly like mine. He said, I was actively participating in something I was totally against.
(Speaking to an assembled audience): Why is the Obama administration so particularly sensitive about these releases?
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Daniel Ellsberg is Bradley Manning’s most prominent American supporter and America’s most famous whistleblower.
Forty years ago, he leaked the Pentagon Papers, revealing the duplicity with which successive American Presidents had waged the war in Vietnam.
But by leaking them, like Bradley Manning, Daniel Ellsberg risked being sent to jail for life.
DANIEL ELLSBERG: In my case, it was when I finally came to see, late in the game, in 1969 when I looked at the origins of the war in the Pentagon Papers and realised that it had never been legitimate, that it had never been a legitimate basis for our killing Vietnamese, that I began to see all that killing as murder.
And murder it seemed to me was something that had to be stopped, even if it put me in prison to do it. I would say that Bradley Manning has shown a willingness to give his life, his freedom, a life of freedom, for his country. And you can’t be more patriotic than that.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Daniel Domscheit-Berg has fallen out with Julian Assange and left WikiLeaks. He believes that taking on the US was always Julian Assange’s priority.
DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG: I think he was aiming at taking up the biggest fight possible, and that fight was by taking up a fight against the United States maybe in that case, as the biggest political player in the, in the sphere. And that has some megalomaniac tendencies.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Is that your ultimate aim now, to radically change the behaviour of the world’s superpowers?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Yes that’s correct. We all, we are all too well aware of the abuses by not just superpowers, but other powers and by companies.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: So are you a revolutionary?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Well we’ll see. If we end up with a decent revolution then perhaps others can make that judgment.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Stephen Yates is a former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney. He wants the United States to hit back hard against Private Manning and Julian Assange.
STEPHEN YATES: I consider it to be an act of political warfare.
The acts appear to have been done by some US citizens, including a member of the US military who is subject to all the penalties attached to that office, but others have been foreign nationals and when foreign nationals gather illegal, classified information and disclose it to try to influence US policy, that is espionage.
JOHN BELLINGER: The US Government’s challenge in this case will be to show that what Mr Assange was doing was not classic journalism and press but in fact really theft of government property in a way that’s not protected by the First Amendment.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: To date, there is no evidence that Julian Assange directly helped Bradley Manning extract the files.
Adrian Lamo says Bradley Manning did receive help but he isn’t saying from whom.
ADRIAN LAMO: A third party with whom I had interaction subsequent to my interactions with Bradley Manning indicated that they gave Bradley Manning assistance in setting up encryption software but that, that in and of itself is not a criminal act.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Who is that third party?
ADRIAN LAMO: Well, they’re a private citizen and I would hesitate to draw undue attention on to them because in this case the good of the one does outweigh the good of the many.
DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG: Lots of people were coming and asking how they could upload material to us. That’s- you could tell them how to safely use a computer and maybe how to encrypt information, so that certainly was done. But I think that is- that is pretty much valid. That’s the same thing as a journalist would tell you, that you shouldn’t write your sender’s address on a brown envelope or something like this.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Adrian Lamo’s word appears to have been accepted by the military investigators who arrested Private Manning. But within the hacker community he hails from, he is treated with far greater scepticism.
KEVIN POULSEN: In the early 2000s he hacked large corporations and a couple of media outlets, including The New York Times. And unlike most computer criminals, he was very public about it.
KEVIN MITNICK, MITNICK SECURITY CONSULTING: Adrian is a kind of guy that loves attention and he loves to read about himself in newspaper articles and magazines and online blogs and it seems that he goes out of his way, and even subjecting himself to Federal prosecution by, he used to do this, you know, break into computer systems and go to the press and tell them about it so they could write about it and it would be available on the internet.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Kevin Mitnick is himself a former computer felon. He is also a friend of Kevin Poulsen and Adrian Lamo.
KEVIN MITNICK: I call into question the authenticity of those chat logs. Because I know his personality, then I call into question, well if he is the sole person that had access to these chat logs, could’ve he modified them so he would have a great story to tell, so he would attention? I don’t know.
It’s, you know, it’s really hard to come up with the answer because I simply do not know.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But you think it’s possible?
KEVIN MITNICK: Oh absolutely possible.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Did you modify the chat logs in any way?
ADRIAN LAMO: Absolutely not. The chat logs were vouched for in a sworn deposition which I gave under penalty of perjury and every line remains as it was spoken.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Doubt has also been cast on Adrian Lamo’s state of mind when he says he was chatting with Bradley Manning. Shortly before, he’d been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
KEVIN POULSEN: He’d been picked up by the police for behaving oddly, and he spent, he spent some days in a mental, you know, in a hospital, where they diagnosed him as having Asperger’s Syndrome.
KEVIN MITNICK: So here we’re dealing with somebody that may have been mentally unbalanced at the time of these chats with these chates, alleged chats with the soldier, so it’s all very murky, you know it’s, you know, who do you trust?
JULIAN ASSANGE: Mr Lamo is a convicted felon who just three weeks before making these statements was in a psychiatric hospital. Wired Magazine worked with that individual to bring out that story. I have no idea as to how credible that story is but certainly it comes from a source which has no credibility at all.
ADRIAN LAMO: Mr Assange is certainly entitled to his opinions. I make no denials about the fact that I am a convicted felon or that I have spent time in a psychiatric institution for Asperger’s Syndrome, a syndrome, which I should add, does not affect the ability of its sufferers to recall facts. I should note that Mr Assange is also a convicted computer criminal so we have that in common. Perhaps one day we can get together over beer and discuss it.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: While the claims and counter-claims continue to rage over the chat logs’ legitimacy and Julian Assange’s involvement, Bradley Manning remains locked up inside this US Marine Corps base outside Washington.
When he joined the military, Private Bradley Manning took an oath of allegiance to his country which his accusers say he betrayed. Following his arrest in Iraq, he was moved here to Quantico where he remains a maximum custody detainee in a cell measuring six feet by 12.
Bradley Manning’s supporters want to know why he’s been locked away in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day without a trial taking place. They argue that his incarceration here is tantamount to torture.
DAVID HOUSE, 'BRADLEY MANNING SUPPORT NETWORK': From meeting with Bradley, from getting to know him and from watching his state degrade over time, the only conclusion I can reach is that this is torture.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: David House is a computer researcher at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He first met Bradley Manning last May at a hacker space he’d founded in Boston.
He’s now the only friend allowed to visit Bradley Manning regularly, and travels to see him at Quantico twice a month.
DAVID HOUSE: Bradley Manning, you hear him coming from a long way away. He has to come from the other side of the brig and you hear the chains. He’s unable to exercise, he’s kept in his cell for 23 hours a day and the only exercise he gets is walking around an empty room in chains.
I went and saw him again in December, this last December, and it was completely alarming this transition that had happened to him. He was ashen faced, had huge bags under his eyes and he had trouble keeping up with topics of conversation, something that had never been a problem for him.
So it’s this confinement, this solitary confinement has really taken a huge toll on him definitely.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Since his arrest Bradley Manning has been held in conditions which, his supporters argue, are designed to break him, and lead him to co-operate with the agencies who are investigating Julian Assange and his part in the leaks.
JULIAN ASSANGE: If the allegations against Bradley Manning are true, he is the United States’ foremost political prisoner. The increase in the severity of his treatment according to my legal advice is an attempt to pressure him into trying to embroil us in some sort of espionage related challenge.
KEVIN MITNICK: I was held in solitary confinement back in 1988/1989 by the Federal Government as a national security threat because a federal prosecutor had told a judge that I could whistle into a telephone and launch a nuclear weapon.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Kevin Mitnick is another former hacker who fell foul of the law. He is under no illusions as to why he was held in solitary confinement – and what effect it had on his case.
KEVIN MITNICK: What the governent did is they stuck me in solitary confinement to one, punish me and two, get me to cooperate so they wouldn’t have to really try the case. And it was extremely effective and after eight and a half months of sitting in a room for 23 out of 24 hours a day, I just signed the deal.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: So they want him to do a deal? They want him to turn the tables on Julian Assange?
DAVID HOUSE: I think that’s completely correct. It’s like a sledge hammer trying to crack a very small nut. The US Government is just trying to put immense pressure on him in order to get him to crack open.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The pressure now being applied by US Intelligence agencies, not just to Bradley Manning, but to supporters like David House, is intense.
DAVID HOUSE: I think the US Government is trying to take down the WikiLeaks organisation at all costs and they are willing to embroil any individuals who get in their way, legitimate legal advocates or not, in order to do so.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Last June, federal agents came knocking on David House’s front door.
DAVID HOUSE: At one point in this conversation one of the gentlemen said flatly whilst staring me directly in the eyes, if you can keep your ear to the ground on this thing there might be a very large cash reward in it for you. It’s very alarming to me. I mean I didn't think the US Government offered bribes to people.
BRADLY MANNING (Answering machine): Hi, you’ve reached Brad Manning at my deployment phone number.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: This is the only known recording of Bradley Manning’s voice, taped when on deployment to Baghdad.
BRADLY MANNING (Answering machine): Please leave a message or call me back later. Thank you.
PROTESTORS (Chanting): Free Bradley Manning.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: It’s the voice of a man who, following his arrest, has now been silenced by the American military.
PROTESTORS (Chanting): Free Bradley Manning.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Bradley Manning’s fate is now extremely uncertain. If the charges against him are upheld in a court martial, he could face up to 52 years in prison.
But David House is confident this will not happen.
DAVID HOUSE: I think that Bradley has a very large base of support in the US and internationally. Many Americans believe he’s a very principled young man and if the alleged leaks from him did happen, many Americans are willing to stand up and say this was something that was done with our best interests in mind. This was a move towards transparency, a move towards open government and we respect this young man.
I think with all these voices joining in unison for his defence and support, there’s no way he’s going to be in prison the rest of his life.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: On America’s Fox TV, the right wing commentators don’t hold back in discussing Julian Assange’s future.
FOX TV COMMENTATOR: This guy’s a traitor, a treasonous, and he has broken every law of the United States. The guy ought to be - and I’m not for the death penalty, so if I’m not for the death penalty there’s only one way to do it - illegally shoot the son-of-a-bitch.
FOX TV COMMENTATOR 2: This little punk. Now I stand up for Obama, Obama if you’re listening today, you should take this guy out, have the CIA take him out.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Even within the more politically considered circles of Washington, there is a strong commitment to nail Julian Assange.
STEPHEN YATES: We may need to detain Mr Assange if he will not cease and desist from further disclosures. That’s his choice. If he will not cease, then I think that we may have to consider extrajudicial measures in order to detain him and stop him from proceeding.
JOHN BELLINGER: He would not be sent to Guantanamo, he would not be treated as an enemy combatant. If he were charged he would be charged under federal criminal statutes, prosecuted in federal court and if he were ultimately convicted, would be held in a federal penitentiary.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: This courthouse in Washington is where a sealed indictment will be drawn up by a grand jury sitting in secret, if the United States government decides it has built a sufficiently strong case against Julian Assange to warrant his extradition to America.
But after falling out with The New York Times, he won’t be able to count on their support.
DEAN BAQUET: It’s been an uncomfortable, tense, sometimes toxic relationship. He doesn’t like us; we cover him aggressively. We think he’s one thing, we think he’s a source, a public source not an anonymous source; he thinks he’s a journalist. So no it’s been a tough relationship.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Julian Assange argues that he is a journalist, entitled to the same protection under the First Amendment as any other publication.
And he says he isn’t finished yet.
JULIAN ASSANGE: I am a publisher and we’re a publishing organisation. I invented and created a structure to do not just a Pentagon Papers but to do the Pentagon Papers we hope for every country in the world every year.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Julian Assange now lives under a curfew imposed by the courts, in a country house in the Norfolk village of Ellingham, north-east of London.
Every afternoon he is driven to a nearby village to sign on at the local police station.
He has signed a deal worth $1.5 million to write his memoirs - money he says he needs to pay for his fight to avoid extradition to Sweden.
The world’s attention is on Julian Assange and not on Bradley Manning.
DANIEL DOMSCHEIT-BERG: All the fame and all this hype about WikiLeaks and Julian and Julian’s problems in Sweden, I mean what are these problems in Sweden compared to the trouble that this Private is in? I mean this person who potentially is, I think, one of the biggest heroes for freedom of information in our time. So how does that relate?
There’s no relation in between these two things anymore. So that’s what I don’t get. Everyone should be talking about Manning and not about Julian’s trouble in Sweden or in Great Britain or wherever.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged conversation): God knows what happens now hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. If not... than (sic) we’re doomed as a species. I will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: One thing is for sure, Julian Assange’s fate is inextricably linked with Bradley Manning’s.
And the two men, whether they ever communicated or not, share a common idealism.
BRADLEY MANNING (Actor voiceover of alleged conversation): I want people to see the truth... regardless of who they are... because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.
JULIAN ASSANGE: That truth provides an historical scaffold, a true scaffold on which a real state can be built, on which societies can be built.
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: If he could speak from his cell to the rest of the world, what would he say now?
DAVID HOUSE: Pay attention.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Well there’s no doubt WikiLeaks is going to continue to demand our attention for a long time to come. Incidentally we asked the US Government to participate in this program. It declined.
[End of Transcript]
Return to program page: »"The Forgotten Man"

Bradley Manning ' The forgotten man'

Sunday, February 20, 2011

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Bradley Manning 'IF he did it, why he did it' Bradley Manning has the purest of souls...

To see why that's so, just recall some of what Manning purportedly said about why he chose to leak, at least as reflected in the edited chat logs published by Wired:

Lamo: what's your endgame plan, then?. . .

Manning: well, it was forwarded to [WikiLeaks] - and god knows what happens now - hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms - if not, than [sic] we're doomed - as a species - i will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens - the reaction to the video gave me immense hope; CNN's iReport was overwhelmed; Twitter exploded - people who saw, knew there was something wrong . . . Washington Post sat on the video… David Finkel acquired a copy while embedded out here. . . . - i want people to see the truth… regardless of who they are… because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public.
if i knew then, what i knew now - kind of thing, or maybe im just young, naive, and stupid . . . im hoping for the former - it cant be the latter - because if it is… were fucking screwed (as a society) - and i dont want to believe that we’re screwed.

Manning described the incident which first made him seriously question the U.S. Government: when he was instructed to work on the case of Iraqi "insurgents" who had been detained for distributing so-called "insurgent" literature which, when Manning had it translated, turned out to be nothing more than "a scholarly critique against PM Maliki":

i had an interpreter read it for me… and when i found out that it was a benign political critique titled "Where did the money go?" and following the corruption trail within the PM’s cabinet… i immediately took that information and *ran* to the officer to explain what was going on… he didn’t want to hear any of it… he told me to shut up and explain how we could assist the FPs in finding *MORE* detainees…
i had always questioned the things worked, and investigated to find the truth… but that was a point where i was a *part* of something… i was actively involved in something that i was completely against…

And Manning explained why he never considered the thought of selling this classified information to a foreign nation for substantial profit or even just secretly transmitting it to foreign powers, as he easily could have done:

Manning: i mean what if i were someone more malicious- i could've sold to russia or china, and made bank?

Lamo: why didn’t you?

Manning: because it's public data

Lamo: i mean, the cables

Manning: it belongs in the public domain -information should be free - it belongs in the public domain - because another state would just take advantage of the information… try and get some edge - if its out in the open… it should be a public good.

That's a whistleblower in the purest and most noble formdiscovering government secrets of criminal and corrupt acts and then publicizing them to the world not for profit, not to give other nations an edge, but to trigger "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms."  Given how much Manning has been demonized -- at the same time that he's been rendered silent by the ban on his communication with any media -- it's worthwhile to keep all of that in mind.

But ultimately, what one thinks of Manning's alleged acts is irrelevant to the issue here. 

 The U.S. ought at least to abide by minimal standards of humane treatment in how it detains him. 

 That's true for every prisoner, at all times. 

 But departures from such standards are particularly egregious where, as here, the detainee has merely been accused, but never convicted, of wrongdoing.

  These inhumane conditions make a mockery of Barack Obama's repeated pledge to end detainee abuse and torture, as prolonged isolation -- exacerbated by these other deprivations -- is at least as damaging, as violative of international legal standards, and almost as reviled around the world, as the waterboard, hypothermia and other Bush-era tactics that caused so much controversy.

What all of this achieves is clear. 

 Having it known that the U.S. could and would disappear people at will to "black sites," assassinate them with unseen drones, imprison them for years without a shred of due process even while knowing they were innocent, torture them mercilessly, and in general acts as a lawless and rogue imperial power created a climate of severe intimidation and fear. 

 Who would want to challenge the U.S. Government in any way -- even in legitimate ways -- knowing that it could and would engage in such lawless, violent conduct without any restraints or repercussions?  

That is plainly what is going on here. 

 Anyone remotely affiliated with WikiLeaks, including American citizens (and plenty of other government critics), has their property seized and communications stored at the border without so much as a warrant. 

 Julian Assange -- despite never having been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime -- has now spent more than a week in solitary confinement with severe restrictions under what his lawyer calls "Dickensian conditions." 

 But Bradley Manning has suffered much worse, and not for a week, but for seven months, with no end in sight. 

 If you became aware of secret information revealing serious wrongdoing, deceit and/or criminality on the part of the U.S. Government, would you -- knowing that you could and likely would be imprisoned under these kinds of repressive, torturous conditions for months on end without so much as a trial:  just locked away by yourself 23 hours a day without recourse -- be willing to expose it? 

That's the climate of fear and intimidation which these inhumane detention conditions are intended to create.
* * * * *

Bradley Manning: The EVIL of Obama and his torture machine...

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