Wikileaks spending rises to $500K in past 5 months, questions over donations promised to Manning

The support group for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the presumed leaker of those diplomatic cables who is currently in the brig in Quantico, claims funds solicited from the public by Wikileaks and Julian Assange on Manning's behalf haven't arrived. Snip:


Immediately following Bradley's arrest in late June 2010, the whistle-blower website Wikileaks publicly solicited donations specifically for Bradley's legal defense expenses. In July 2010, Wikileaks pledged to contribute a "substantial amount" towards Bradley's legal defense costs. Since Bradley's selection of David Coombs as his civilian defense attorney in August 2010, the Bradley Manning Support Network has unsuccessfully attempted to facilitate the pledged Wikileaks contribution

An email exchange posted on John Young's Cryptome site, for what it's worth, suggests that some of those funds are expected soon.

Related: this week in Wired: "WikiLeaks' expenditures have risen dramatically from a paltry $38,000 between October 2009 and July 2010 to more than $495,000 in the last five months, according to a foundation that manages most of the organization's donations."

Still no public visibility into the organization's sources of funding, or uses of those funds, but the foundation managing much of that promises to release information by the end of this month.


          1. Did I miss some awesome conspiracy unravelling, or are Assange and Manning still two separate people?

          2. nope, that was all me. And quite right to call me on it. I read one but heard the other.

            That said, Manning, also, HAS seen a courtroom, which is what I meant anyhow (though not this morning, quite right). Saying otherwise is not productive, accurate, or an attempt to further honest conversation.

            as for the money, if WL are open about it sometime in the next year, I think that is fine. Yielding your privacy to your opponents -during- court proceedings is an unnecessary handicap on your defense. I argue that secrecy on their part is still useful while these two are currently in jail and facing charges.

            Afterwards I would hope for transparency, and I have seen nothing indicating it will not be forthcoming, and so I will call people out who – independent of evidence or a conviction – degrade those Davids currently facing Goliaths.

            Conflating their right to legal secrecy in the face of overwhelming legal force with the likelihood that their due process rights will be infringed in the name of the same idea (“secrecy”), as a response to their both sides acting within the law and their own best interests, is willfully ignorant of not only the legal process – but also the rights, the responsibilities, and the intelligence of the actors.

            Deciding that you should just throw up your hands is defeatist and say something dumb to derail a conversation you can;t keep up with an admission of your own limited ability to understand. Saying something know-it-all-ish AND defeatist… is trolling.

            I’m the first to admit when it’s pointed out to me that I have made a mistake or said something truly dumb. See above.

  1. Well, it’s not like the government would keep it from getting to help him, right? :P
    I can forgive them for not being as transparent too when several government officials are calling for them to be executed, while letting torturers and killers go free.

  2. While I’m going to wait to hear more about what wikileaks plans to do and how much of this delay is simply due to being attacked (illegally and otherwise) by little things like the largest superpowers in the world. Being in an environment where you’re being attacked by the filthy richest corporatist elite in the world is a massive undertaking to survive much less function in.

    Nonetheless, I’m glad people like Xeni are holding wikileaks feet to the fire on this until an explanation and/or help is funneled to Manning.

    Speaking of which… I’m going to give what I can and I encourage anyone else who still believes in supporting courageous whistleblowers in the face of tyranny, torture and murder:

    How to donate to Bradley Manning’s defense

  3. It costs a decent amount to hire all of those lawyers across the world. Seems like there’s a different one speaking on Assange’s behalf in a different country with every news release. Still, I look forward to the release of the promised accounting info.

    1. No.

      If the Wired report is accurate (and I’m understanding it correctly), the legal fund to pay lawyers for Assange’s personal defense on the rape charges is *separate* from the main Wikileaks fund in question. In other words, the $500K wasn’t used to pay those high-priced lawyers.

      The jump in expenditures is said to be due to salaries now being paid to staff. If $500K went to pay, say, 30 people, that’s one situation; if it’s paying three, that’s another.

      The financial disclosures were expected months ago. It would be to Wikileaks’ benefit to do that soon.

      1. “The financial disclosures were expected months ago. It would be to Wikileaks’ benefit to do that soon.”

        I think they would have released the information already if it made them look good. You get the feeling there’s something they don’t want you to see.

  4. If they’re spending money raised specifically for Manning’s defense on marketing for Assange, that’s pretty much evil.

  5. Glenn Greenwald tweets:
    “A major story brewing is the cruel, inhumane treatment – torture – to which Bradley Manning is being subjected: more to come shortly.”

  6. You get the feeling there’s something they don’t want you to see.

    You also don’t get the feeling there’s something they don’t what the United States government to seize?

    That’s right… give the state-sanctioned torturers benefit of the the doubt while never giving the whistleblowers an inch. Is that how it works?

      1. So what you’re saying is that there are legitimate reasons for keeping certain information secret?

        Yes, I am.

        I’m sorry if that causes you so much cognitive dissonance that you shit your pants. Run to the bathroom, quick.

          1. I’m rolling my eyes

            Ouch… pain… hurts… can’t… deal…

            One can’t possibly want more transparency & whistleblowing in government (especially when it helps to expose war crimes) and still think there are ever any legitimate reasons on the planet for keeping any information secret. Those two things cannot exist together!

            So… did you pass out after your eyes rolled?

          2. Since a vast, vast majority of the leaks have nothing to do with war crimes, your case isn’t as strong as you would like it to be.

            There is a legitimate need to have frank and private discussions in diplomacy.

            Principles be damned, let emotion rule the day!

            Re: Ugly Canuck
            “”set rules”?
            You mean write laws?

            Wikileaks has not been writing any laws: that’s what governments do.”
            You don’t have to have a law for there to be a rule, dude. They expect governments to live up to their requirements, but offer no accountability of their own.

          3. “They expect governments to live up to their requirements, but offer no accountability of their own.”

            To whom does a private organization which has broken no laws owe “accountability”?

            For Wkileaks are a private outfit.

            And the “requirements’ that people expect their Governments to “live up to” are not just floating around in space – they are ALWAYS enshrined in the Constitution and Laws of those entities, or they simply do not exist.

            What law requires Wikileaks to be accountable to you, in anything?

            What law requires Fox News
            to be accountable to you, in anything?

            Because those organizations are both subject to the same laws. Except one sells shares to the public, I think….

          4. “What law requires Wikileaks to be accountable to you, in anything?”

            How many times do I have to say it? It’s not an issue of law. Law isn’t the only principle out there. Why are you so fixated on law?

            And the U.S. Constitution works in the exact opposite way you say all Constitutions work. The U.S. Constitution exists solely to tell our government what it can do. The Bill of Rights was a political ploy, it was really unnecessary. Except that it turned out to be incredibly necessary because of the 1804 Supreme Court. There’s even a specific amendment in the Bill of Rights that says “if it ain’t here, you can’t do it.”

          5. Yeah, like they cannot pass any law which abridges the freedom of the press…I think I understand that part.

          6. Since a vast, vast majority of the leaks have nothing to do with war crimes, your case isn’t as strong as you would like it to be.

            So where’s your threshold for a strong? What percentage of war crimes, corruption, deaths, suffering, etc. matches the ratio you desire?

            You know, there more I read your posts… the more I get the feeling you could actually care less about state-sanctioned torture, corruption, etc.

            You seem much more obsessed with the details of how the crimes came to light than any focus on the crimes themselves. You’re walking the corporatist media talking points line without a wobble.

            Have you tried thinking for yourself, lately?

            They expect governments to live up to their requirements, but offer no accountability of their own.

            Oh, gawd… if you only saw the irony in your statement there. Then again, if you could see it, you’d never make such an inane statement in the first place, would you?

          7. You’ve just defeated wikileaks with the sheer force of logic.

            Everyone, go about your business again.

    1. Umm, no. Hypocricy is hypocrisy. Wikileaks is setting the rules they expect others to live by, but as of yet refuse to live by themselves. They promise to, but passively refuse to.

      1. “set rules”?
        You mean write laws?

        Wikileaks has not been writing any laws: that’s what governments do.

        1. “You should know better than anyone.”

          Yeah, whatever. Expecting consistency in behavior from wikileaks is the exact definition of hypocricy.

          All you offer are ad hominem attacks and platitudes. I’m done talking about this with you unless you can bring something other than fallacy.

          1. Okay, now you’re just trolling. I’m holding you to your statement that you’re done talking about this. Why don’t you take a nice pie break?

      2. Wikileaks isn’t calling for total transparency in EVERYTHING.

        What they’re saying is that governments, elected and hired by us should be transparent in their actions. They’re not supposed to be our oppressors, but our spokesmen and consultants.

        Until Wikileaks works for YOU then why should they be transparent in their finances? Or anything? They have no duty to you; your government does.

        That’s not hypocrisy, that’s you not understanding the argument.

  7. Wiki-leaks still looks hypocritical. You can’t be a beacon for change if your own organization is steeped in the same secrecy you protest. I don’t care if there is a definite moral and urgent case against the government, that is NOT a viable excuse for holding yourself to a different standard then you hold others.

    1. This is a silly objection, because the whole idea is to protect the anonymity of whistleblowers. Wikileaks would be completely impossible without that.

      It’s reasonable to have greater expectations of government, which acts in our name, than we do of organizations like wikileaks, which have specific objectives and operational considerations. That said, Wikileaks accepts donations, so it would be nice to see some more transparency regarding how those donations are spent.

      1. Nobody is forced to donate…and people have ensured that even should you wish to, you can’t via Visa, Mastercard or Paypal anyhow.

      2. I am glad someone here admits that there are pragmatic considerations with regards to secrecy, at least now the discussion can be framed appropriately.

        Though if Wiki-leaks were strictly a “whistle-blower” site then why the massive dumps of data. Surely they could have been more journalistic about it, right?

        Wiki-leaks could have parsed the data and either released the pertinent information in article format or strictly released just the cables that contained the information that need to be accounted for.

        Either way, people shouldn’t give Wiki-leaks a free pass just because they agree with Assange’s politics. Assange should be held accountable to his word just as much as any other public figure.

          1. Don’t be so presumptuous.

            Never mind the fact you completely ignored my point.

            Why so much data? Yes the MSM are partners with Wiki-leaks. I am questioning why Wiki-leaks after passing the information on the the actual journalists then dumps most of the rest of the data with only minor redactions.

            I naturally question things.
            Does the intent of the original leaker have an import?
            Did PFC Manning really think the data was just going to be dumped or that he might be a modern day Deep-throat? Does that matter to you? Assange burned his source badly; that fact is sorely missing from the discussion. No one seems to care about the actual leaker, its all about the guy who the data was passed to, do you not find this somewhat circumspect? Is that good journalistic behaviour?

            All this leads me to question Assange’s true intent. (See Also: “enfant terrible”)
            Is Wiki-leaks real purpose just to prove that they can and will compromise the integrity of other organizations (Government and Corporation alike). Whenever they feel it is the proper time? Yet somehow, at the same time, they should somehow remain inviolable to the same? Either way scepticism should rule.

          2. “Assange burned his source badly; that fact is sorely missing from the discussion.”


            You seem to have access to information of which I am unaware, and to which I don’t have access – if that piece of information REALLY counts as a “fact” to you.

            I mean, WHAT do YOU know about Assange’s relations, if any, to “his” source? And more importantly perhaps…HOW would you know that?

            Perhaps you should be testifying before a Grand Jury somewhere…

          3. Point taken, looks like I was wrong, according to Wikipedia Manning got burned by Lamo.

            I still hold on my previous point though. Assange and the the entire Wiki-leaks organization should be held to the same level of accountability as they themselves hold other organizations.

          4. Worry thyself not, little Goblin: rest assured that more powerful spirits than thee shall labour to ensure that some people (ie Wikileaks) have cross’t every T and dottid. every eye, and that those people have lived, and yet do live, like unto Angels in their purity and goodness: for they labour in the hope that, by their exposure of any flaws they may find, the words and deeds of those whom they so closely examine shall be cast into the dust, and returned to oblivion.

            No no little Goblin: worry thyself not.

          5. Assange and the the entire Wiki-leaks organization should be held to the same level of accountability as they themselves hold other organizations.

            If you’re referring to the United States government here, then that bar is set very low. I actually think they should hold themselves to a much higher standard than the U.S. government and, overall, they certainly already have.

            But, at the same time, shoving all your assets and whistleblowers’ necks right into the government guillotine is simply retarded. I wish more of you could understand this situation and nuances.

            I’d love to see your whistleblower organization. It’d be destroyed before it started.

  8. I wish I could say I was surprised at this turn of events, but I’m not. For an organization supposably dedicated to radical transparency, they’re an incredibly opaque organization. WikiLeaks lost credibility to me when they highly trumpted their release of the heavily edited video “Collateral Murder” which showed the Apache helicopter machine gunning the van in Iraq. Now it is true, they also released the raw footage, but the raw footage showed exculptory material, material that interfered with the narative WikiLeaks was wanting to promote. In this sense Jullian Assange is only marginally better than that douchebag James O’Keefe.

    Jullian Assange is promoting an agenda. What exactly that agenda is, I’m not entirely sure. Damaging (at least) the United States government appears to be part of it. (Why isn’t he doing this to say China or Iran, probably because he doesn’t have the documents.) However, for all the showmanship he’s got very little. The diplomatic cables he released don’t say anything that wasn’t already available. The Russian government is a mafia? No! North Korea is opaque? Wow! The Arab Middle East are worried about Iran, but don’t want say anything publicly about it, and are “willing to fight Iran until the last dead American?” Say it ain’t so! Next he’ll be telling us that Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca has gambling in the back room.

    Personally, I think Jullian Assange’s agenda is promote Jullian Assange.

    Jullian Assange says “Trust me.”

    I say “No.”

    1. Well you are always free to ignore or disagree with the press….

      The lack of trust and critical thinking you evince ought to be extended to all media outlets, all advertising, all salemen, and all Government pronouncements too.

      So…excellent! Keep up the critical thinking!

      You have provided me with convincing evidence of another success for Wikileaks in stirring critical thought – perhaps one which they themselves did not anticipate.

      A beneficial organization, however you slice it.

  9. Money donations are the real indicator of just how much actual, genuine public support Wikileaks currently has, and the answer is: Not much. On the scale we’re talking, relative to the amount of news coverage and global impact Wikileaks has had, $500K is nothing. At an average of $10 per donor, that’s only 50,000 people in the world willing not just to give lip service on behalf of Assange, but actually back Wikileaks up with their own money. For comparisons’s sake, Boing Boing has about 1.5 MILLION regular visitors and 4Chan has about 4 MILLION. So clearly the vast majority of them aren’t supportive of Wikileaks in a real substantial way. By contrast, a Kickstarter project recently raised $500K in donations… to turn an iPod into a watch. Last year, WikiPEDIA raised nearly $500K in donations IN A SINGLE DAY, and $7.5 million overall:

    Wired buried the lede here. The big story isn’t that Wikileaks saw an increase in donations. The big story is that at its maximum height of prominence, Wikileaks couldn’t raise enough to support the massive legal fees, infrastructure costs, and other expenses that they’ll surely face now.

    1. What part of “no using VIsa. Mastercard or Paypal to donate to Wikileaks” do you not understand?

      Think that might have something to do with donations drying up?

    2. Because people always line up to donate money to what will probably be shortly declared an international terrorist organization.

  10. Manning burned himself by telling someone not implicated in the crime about the crime, namely Adrian Lamo, who snitched.

    Wikileaks can’t be expected to protect sources from themselves.

  11. Don’t think Bradley’s gonna be staying at Ellingham Hall. He’s just the little dipshit that’s making Assanage such an awesome rock star.

  12. Why are fans of Wikileaks ignoring the fact that these cables were sent to Wikileaks by Manning? What, do you think that your hero Assange,

    *Mission Impossible tune*

    Broke into a megasupersecret facility and hacked the Gibson, captured the “paradigm-changing” cables and escaped in a blaze of glory, and…




    I read promises made by Assange and Wikileaks to help Manning. What does it say about you when you renege on a promise to look after the very whistle-blower that made YOU a hero? Manning is rotting in a jail somewhere, while everybody is rushing to defend Assange. All the media whores of the world gang up to raise $(£?)200k to bail out Assange, but raising money for Mannings’ defense?… “What?.. Who’s Manning?! I’m just here for the photo-op!”

    Fuck that. I really hope they extradite Assange to Sweden so he can stand trial. If he’s innocent, he has nothing to worry about. Sweden is not a Banana Republic, and despite what all the Wikileaks fans think, they do have a somewhat just legal system (unless you’re an immigrant from a non-Western country, but Assange is white, so no worries there).

    1. what does it say about you when you renege on a promise to look after the very whistle-blower that made YOU a hero?

      Maybe it says you’re someone who is under siege from illegal attacks from the world’s largest super power. But, you don’t seem to have very much indignation for that kind of stuff.

      I wonder how long and how well you’d hold up there, buddy? I suspect you’d fold in dust rather quickly, my indignant friend.

      1. And there is no other way for you to defend your hero Assange without being obnoxious and presume the worst about people who don’t agree with you? Keep to the discussion, there is no need to presume that I couldn’t “hang in there” when you don’t know jack shit about me, and when you don’t NEED to know jack shit about me.

        If I can prove to you that I can endure torture or 24hrs isolation in a lit room for X number of days, will you shut the fuck up? No, you won’t. So HOW are your presumptions and personal attacks on others contributing to the discussion? Seriously, your behavior is at best the one of a borderline maniac.

        So, instead of being the worst and most obnoxious incarnation of a Wikileaks-fan, why don’t you just tell me how being “under siege” by the “world’s largest super power” allows you to renege on promises? I still don’t understand how.

        1. Wait a second…what right do you claim to be able to hold other people to their promises made to somebody else (ie NOT you)?
          And precisely whose promises, which promises, are we talking about here?

          The ones underpinning a conspiracy case?

          Aaah conspiracy charges, the ancient tool of tyrants. Sweet!

        2. why don’t you just tell me how being “under siege” by the “world’s largest super power” allows you to renege on promises? I still don’t understand how.

          Statements like that only confirm my suspicions you couldn’t handle such forces levied upon your person.

          Hell, you can’t even handle me without having a nervous breakdown.

    2. They’ve already pretty much said that they have little interest in dealing with him and will pass him to whomever wants him.

      Or do you think it’s a happy little coincidence that this case has been reopened after complete dismissal just as he pisses someone off that has far too much power?

      You really ACTUALLY think anyone wants Assange for rape charges? Really?

      We’re not even talking conspiracy here, this is just common sense.

  13. You’re right, everybody. I would totally run the risk of imprisonment, torture and assassination to steal a couple hundred thousand dollars. What is wikileaks hiding???1?

  14. “Ugly Canuck”:

    Ah, there are two of you. Very well, with you both being given a long leash by the moderators, there is no other way other than accepting it. One man’s troll is the other man’s truthsayer. :)

    I guess we’ll get into moral values, ethics, principles, etc. As a news provider, and journalist, there are things people expect of you. First and foremost: Don’t lie. If you lie, you’re not a news provider, but merely a propaganda machine. If you have lied unknowingly, you must declare this and redact the information.

    So, if you make a promise, by the same rules of ethics, you must keep it. For example, if you promise to keep your sources secret, you must keep your sources secret. If your source is outed, and you have (which you don’t need to, but you have) promised to help fund the legal defense of the source, you must keep your promise. Because if you break this promise (and, once again, you didn’t need to promise), what other promises could you break? A tiny whiff of doubt… I guess you haven’t noticed how fast the news about Wikileaks reneging on their promise to help Manning is being aggregated right now. This is harder to defend than the rape-case as Assange himself went on a tirade against Kevin Poulsen and Adrian Lamo for snitching on Manning. Then he promised that Manning would receive monetary help from Wikileaks. It’s all out there. No need to revise history and claim that there were no promises.

    Some claim that Wikileaks won’t admit that Manning is the source of these cables, as they claim that it won’t help Manning’s case. Even if you don’t admit that, it won’t help. There is proof out there that Manning leaked approximately 250k diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, thanks to Adrian “The Rat” Lamo. No, I think the reason Wikileaks won’t admit Manning as a source is to not be dragged into this case themselves. As you say, they fear to be dragged into a conspiracy charge. So I guess that’s the reason, right? So Assange can live for another day to be an “International Man of Mystery” and bask himself in the glory of the popculture spotlights. Everybody else with an ounce of principles, with some morals, wouldn’t have given a damn about conspiracy charges.

    No, the news will aggregate and potential whistle-blowers will doubt them. More and more people will doubt them. They won’t listen to any “I was under siege by a super power”, “I’m busy because I am wrongfully accused of rape”, “I don’t know Manning”, “My dog ate my homework”, “Yadda, yadda, yobba”. Watch and see. Doubt is like slowly spreading virus.

    I personally think that Manning should have sent the stuff to John Young at He has a track-record of keeping his promises and being under constant siege by this super power, while LIVING within the borders of that super power. And he’s an old fox that doesn’t have an iota of media-whoreness in his body, and he’s smart enough to keep his dick in his pants. Kudos to people like John Young.


    Yes, I had a nervous breakdown. You cracked me. If nobody can handle your obnoxious drive-by ad hominem attacks, they can never handle torture or similar treatment. Your mother would probably agree with me, and you better give her nice Mother’s Day gifts every single year for everything you have put her through, or maybe still are.

    You still don’t contribute to the discussion, and I’m forced to bow down to your awesomeness and cowardly ignore you from now on.

    1. I’m forced to bow down to your awesomeness and cowardly ignore you from now on.

      You’re finally making sense.

    2. 2 of us?

      Jeez, I hope not.

      I see your point, I think: a matter of personality, and of promises rumored to exist and rumored to be broken, or betrayed. A question of betrayal , and of personal flaws.

      I don’t know anything about anybody personally involved in any of this.

      But to me, that is precisely why the presumption of innocence remains so very strong: because I know nothing about these people.

      I always doubt the truth of what people say, when people say bad things about other people. That goes for anybody saying anything : Governments, women, spies, locked-up facing trial accused traitors, US politicians, cypherpunks, everyone.

      You’re all gonna have to persuade me: that Mr assange and that Wikileaks are “criminal”, in the sense of causing harm or injury, rather than constitutionally-untested provisions of the espionage Act.

      That what has happened here has been in any way physically injurious to the USA, or physically beneficial to another country.

      For it appears that the cables are the real deal, eh?
      I assume that all competent spooks have them already: why not the public at large, too?

      You know, guys like me, who’ve indirectly paid for this stuff with taxes over decades?
      I mean, once the secrets already out – and they are – what the hell? Why not look at it?

      What do I, why should I, care as to Mr Assange’s personality? Whether it be good or bad? As far as I’m concerned, he’s just a reviled publisher, like Al Goldstein.

      It’s the information revealed itself that’s of interest to me FWIW: as evidence as to what the god-dam politicians are doing behind our backs – so that we can get some kind of un-messaged and un-massaged info, raw info, concerning what they are doing, what they are thinking, and what they have done, behind closed doors.

      We’ll judge it for ourselves, thank you very much.

      A final thought: outside the borders of the USA the contents of these cables are simply NEWS.
      In the USA, they are GOVERNMENT SECRETS.

      I find it intriguing how information can change character, based upon what are purely legal, purely human, purely political constructs.

      From my point of view, the secrets in these cables are out, and speaking practically, that’s that. The USA Government ought to just hold its nose, ignore it, and move on in a dignified silence.

      And of course hold on a little tighter to the secrets which it may yet still have.

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