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:
- 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.”
- Honor the First Amendment, and admit that Wikileaks did not commit a crime.