Investigators Find No Direct Link Between Bradley Manning and Julian Assange

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

Jim Miklaszewski, Chief Pentagon Correspondent for NBC News, reported on Monday that investigators have not been able to find a direct connection between Bradley Manning, the army private suspected of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, and Julian Assange.  Last month, Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, told MSNBC that he was not sure that Manning was the source for the leaked documents that were posted on his site.

According to Miklaszewski, U.S. military officials have said that investigators have determined that Manning allegedly downloaded thousands of documents to his own computer unlawfully and then passed them on to an unauthorized individual. There is, however, no evidence that Manning passed the documents directly to Assange. “That’s not how our technology works, that’s not how our organization works,” Assange said. “I never heard of the name of Bradley Manning before it appeared in the media.” Assange has also claimed the allegations that WikiLeaks had conspired with Bradley Manning were “absolute nonsense.”

 If it is true that the U. S. government has no proof of a direct link between Pvt. Manning and Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald believes this leaves the Department of Justice with two options:

  1. Prosecute Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange for receiving and publishing classified information—which Greenwald says is not a crime in the United States “and could not be prosecuted as one without criminalizing much of investigative journalism.”
  2. Honor the First Amendment, and admit that Wikileaks did not commit a crime. 



Glenn Greenwald

51 thoughts on “Investigators Find No Direct Link Between Bradley Manning and Julian Assange”

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  2. You are most welcome, AY…

    Another bit of news from the Government Accountability Project (Whistleblower News)

    The New York Times: No Jail Time in Trial Over NSA Leak
    July 15, 2011

    Summary: National Security Agency whistleblower and GAP client Thomas Drake, who was prosecuted under the Espionage Act by the Department of Justice for retaining (not leaking) classified information, was sentenced to one year of probation plus community service this past Friday. This sentence is a far cry from the 35 years in prison Drake faced before the case against him fell apart last month.

    At the sentencing, the judge praised Drake’s years of public service and rebuked the government for its handling of the case.

    Key Quote: But Judge Bennett reserved his strongest condemnation for the Justice Department, saying the two and a half years that elapsed between the search of Mr. Drake’s home and his indictment in 2010 was far too long.

    The visibly angry judge said that Mr. Drake had been through “four years of hell” and that the dragging out of the investigation — and then the dropping of the major charges on the eve of trial — was “unconscionable.”

    “It doesn’t pass the smell test,” he said.

  3. One lives to be of service, Blouise.

    However, my service is likely to be limited today. After this cup of coffee, I’m going back to bed. Buddha Has the Flu. meh.

  4. “Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks’ alleged source, faces 22 new charges

    The Army has brought new charges – including one that carries the death penalty – against Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, a former intelligence analyst accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks.

    But prosecutors would not seek Manning’s execution if he were convicted of the capital offense of “aiding the enemy,” officials said Wednesday in a statement that outlined the 22 charges.

    Though the statement did not specify the enemy, Manning, 23, is accused of giving documents to WikiLeaks that related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that U.S. officials have asserted could put soldiers and civilians at risk.”

  5. From WSJ (2/9/2011)
    Assange Probe Hits Snag
    Inquiry Suggests WikiLeaks Founder Didn’t Induce Soldier to Leak Documents

    U.S. investigators have been unable to uncover evidence that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange induced an Army private to leak government documents to his website, according to officials familiar with the matter.

    New findings suggest Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst accused of handing over the data to the WikiLeaks website, initiated the theft himself, officials said. That contrasts with the initial portrait provided by Defense Department officials of a young man taken advantage of by Mr. Assange.

    Further denting the push by some government officials to prosecute Mr. Assange, the probes have found little to link the two men, though others affiliated with WikiLeaks have been tied to Pfc. Manning, officials said.

    For the U.S. to bring its preferred case against Mr. Assange of inducing the leak, it would have to show that the WikiLeaks founder specifically encouraged Mr. Manning to hand over the documents, which included thousands of State Department cables, as well as low-level intelligence reports on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  6. Kucinich Requests To See Bradley Manning, Soldier In Solitary Confinement For Alleged Leaks


    Now, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates inquiring about Manning’s condition, protesting the Army’s treatment of him and requesting a visit with the imprisoned solider. In the letter, Kucinich writes that, if Manning is need of mental health treatment, the “Army must end the extreme conditions of” his confinement or at the “very least…explain the justification” for taking such extreme measures during his imprisonment:

    Now, reports indicate that the Army has taken Pfc. Manning, a soldier with documented mental health problems, and confined him under conditions that are almost guaranteed to exacerbate his mental health problems. If true, the Army’s treatment would obviously constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    If these reports are true, the Army must end the extreme conditions of Private Manning’s confinement, and provide him with the mental health treatment that the Army recognized he needed even before his deployment to Iraq. At the very least, the Army must explain the justification for confining someone with mental health problems under conditions that are virtually certain to exacerbate those problems and explain the danger he now presents that only these extreme conditions of confinement can avoid.

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