U.S. soldier Manning could break silence as WikiLeaks trial nears end

U.S. soldier Manning could break silence as WikiLeaks trial nears end
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U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (R) departs the courthouse at Fort Meade, Maryland, in this July 30, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Gary Cameron/Files

By Ian Simpson

Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:02am EDT

(Reuters) – U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, convicted of providing secret files to WikiLeaks in the biggest data breach in U.S. history, could break a long silence on Wednesday as the sentencing phase of his court-martial wraps up.

Manning, 25, faces up to 90 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 files, battle videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, a pro-transparency website.

Chief defense attorney David Coombs is expected to conclude his case for a lenient sentence on Wednesday after calling a dozen witnesses. Judge Colonel Denise Lind could sentence Manning immediately after the defense finishes at Fort Meade, Maryland.

Manning, a slightly built soldier, has said almost nothing since the trial began under an international spotlight on June 3. His attorneys kept him off the stand, and he has sat silently at their side, sometimes resting his chin on a fist.

The former junior intelligence analyst could end that silence on Wednesday when his attorneys read a statement to the court, a military spokesman said.

Its content is unknown. It would be the first time Manning has spoken publicly at length since late February, when he read a 10,000-word statement in a pre-trial hearing.

The Crescent, Oklahoma, native said then he had hoped to spark a public debate about U.S. foreign and military policy by releasing the data to WikiLeaks, while serving in Iraq.

COLLATERAL MURDER

The material that shocked many around the world was a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Baghdad. A dozen people were killed, including two Reuters news staff, and WikiLeaks dubbed the footage “Collateral Murder.”

Lind, the judge, convicted Manning of 20 charges, including espionage and theft, on July 30. He was found not guilty of the most serious count, aiding the enemy, which carried a life sentence.

Prosecutors argued that Manning was an arrogant soldier who aided al Qaeda militants and harmed the United States with the release of the documents.

His attorneys have countered that the Army ignored his mental health problems and violent outbursts and that computer security at Manning’s base was lax. They contended that Manning, who is gay, was naive but well-intentioned and suffering from a sexual identity crisis in Iraq.

Manning, described by his superiors as an Internet expert, faces the prospect of decades of monotonous prison life – with no online access – once he is sentenced. He likely will serve his time at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Whatever Manning’s sentence, Lind has reduced it by 112 days because of harsh treatment after his arrest in May 2010.

The trove of documents from Manning catapulted WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, into the world spotlight. Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for more than a year to avoid sexual abuse allegations in Sweden.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler)

Source: Reuters
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The Prince and I: Sid Harth
1 post by 1 author

navanavonmilita
7/26/10

The Prince and I: Sid Harth

http://navanavonmilita.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/the-prince-and-i-sid-harth/

The Prince and I: Sid Harth

Whistleblower Blasts Wikileaks: ‘Irresponsible’ to Publish
Intelligence, Says It Enlisted Soldier as ‘Personal Shopper’ for
Secrets
July 26, 2010 9:17 AM

The former hacker who turned in the soldier suspected of handing
military secrets to Wikileaks had some harsh words for the
organization on “GMA” this morning.

“Wikileaks has acted in a tremendously irresponsible fashion and…they
took advantage of systems that were put into place for the purpose of
intelligence sharing, for the purpose of making sure that all elements
of national security both at home and abroad had access to the
information they needed in order to do their job,” Adrian Lamo said.

Private Bradley Manning, under suspicion since May for leaking other
intelligence, had previously contacted Lamo apparently telling Lamo
that he gave a significant amount of classified information to
Wikileaks.

Lamo said he turned Manning over to the Pentagon in an effort to keep
the reports from becoming public. But considering the sheer volume of
information that came to light yesterday, Lamo says Manning could not
have acted alone.

“I do not believe that private manning had the technical expertise
necessary to communicate this amount information to the outside world
without being detected on his own,” he said. “And I don’t believe he
operated without guidance, rather I think it’s more likely that he was
a personal shopper for classified data for the Wikileaks apparatus.”

Lamo echoed the Obama administration’s claims that the leaked
information could harm national security and put lives at risk.

“It has harmed what is most important to our intelligence community
and that is our ability to trust the people we put out there to do
critical and sensitive jobs,” Lamo told me.

“It’s almost inconceivable to me that this could not result in harm to
both security and actual real life people because it is easy to hear
‘national security’ and think that it is a…buzz word but at the end of
the day it is about people,” Lamo said.

New York Times reporter Eric Schmitt, who had early access to the
reports via Wikileaks, insists the paper removed any sensitive
information that could have jeopardized operations.

“We worked very closely in this case with the White House and in fact
the white house praised us for our efforts and due diligence going
through this” he told me on “GMA.”

The intelligence reports fills in missing details of the war in
Afghanistan, from previously undisclosed heat-seeking missiles to
perhaps the most significant allegation that Pakistan’s intelligence
agency –supposedly an American ally — is actually working against the
United States.

“I think the most striking revelation here is even more detail about
the complicity, the apparent complicity of the Pakistani spy service,
the ISI, with militant groups including the Afghan Taliban, that are
coordinating attacks inside American and coalition forces,” Schmitt
said.

Watch my interviews here:

–George Stephanopoulos

July 26, 2010

Who is Manning the Afghanistan War?: Sid Harth

Bunch of war room strategists deep down the labyrinths of Pentagon’s
bomb proof underground vaults. They are pushing soldiers, tanks, oops,
I mean thanks, gratitudes to Taliban warriors who get paid as if they
were owners of Afghanistan.

Did I spill some as yet unknown secret of America’s policy to
manipulate Taliban warlords by tons of American dollars? Did I violate
any American law or laws that are inviolable?

Come on guys. Give it a rest. What soldiers in Afghanistan do is none
of your or mine business. They are tired of throwing punches at this
imaginary boogie man. They want to get out of that unholy mess of a
country. It is not a country. It is a den of vipers.

President Hamid Karzai, himself is a puppet of bunch of warlords. His
selection, not election is done by them warlords in Jirga. A
traditional system of chosing the head of the political establishment.
There is no democracy in Afghanistan. There never was and there shall
never be.

They are mountaineers. They rule by their ancient laws. Not by modern
western laws of democracy. Afterall, it is their country. How they
managed to bury Soviet Union is also not a secret. They were armed to
teeth by American might. They learned to use ultra modern weapons.
They learned to use technics, modern technics, from American trainers.

They have plenty of time. All the time in the world to get what they
want. America, on the other hand, has very little time left to
maneuver themselves out of that ghastly place.

Better start packing. You ain’t gonna win that war in million years.
That ain’t no secret either. I know it and Afghanistan Machiavellian
warlords know it. Do you want to know how I know it?

Why, I wrote the book.

http://navanavonmilita.wordpress.com

…and I am Sid Harth

Posted by: Sid Harth | July 26, 2010 at 09:41 PM

George’s Bottom Line

Reporting and Analysis from Anchor of Good Morning America and ABC
News Chief Political Correspondent

George Stephanopoulos is anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He is
also the network’s chief political correspondent, reporting on
political and policy stories for all ABC News broadcasts and
platforms.

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…and I am Sid Harth

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