Army private Bradley Manning pleaded guilty on Thursday to 10 of the 19 total charges made by the US that he leaked unprecedented amounts of classified material to Wikileaks, the anti-secrecy organization run by Julian Assange.
Manning entered a not guilty plea to the government's more serious charge of "aiding the enemy," which carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. In a statement before the military court today, Manning said he leaked the classified information to "spark a domestic debate."
Ed Pilkington at the Guardian reports Manning first contacted the Washington Post about providing them with some of the classified material while he was on leave in January 2010; the the woman who answered the phone said the "paper would only be interested [in the documents] subjected to vetting by senior editors."
At the Huffington Post, actor and activist John Cusack has a conversation with George Washington Law School professor and constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley, and Kevin McCabe, a pal of Cusack. The three discuss "WikiLeaks' impact on transparency, the government's response, and the comparison to the Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg."
The New York Times finally gets around to covering the Bradley Manning hearings at Fort Meade, MD. The accused private faces a life sentence if convicted on charges he supplied WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of confidential military and diplomatic documents.
But for now, his attorney "has grilled one Quantico official after another, demanding to know why his client was kept in isolation and stripped of his clothing at night as part of suicide-prevention measures." — Xeni
The Associated Press has details on the unusual plea deal being considered in the case of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of passing classified documents to Wikileaks.
On Thursday, a military judge, Col. Denise Lind, accepted the terms under which Private Manning would plead guilty to eight charges for sending classified documents to WikiLeaks.
The judge’s ruling does not mean the pleas have been formally accepted. That could happen in December.
But she approved the language of the offenses to which Private Manning would admit, which she said would carry a total maximum prison term of 16 years.
Private Manning made the offer as a way of accepting responsibility for the leaks. Government officials have not said whether they would continue prosecuting him for the other 14 counts he faces, including aiding the enemy. That offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
A Reuters piece on the ongoing Julian Assange Ecuador Asylum Saga, with a focus on the freedom of speech and press transparency issues that make Ecuador an odd place for a whistleblower to seek asylum right now. Not that America or the UK are much better. But it seems that Assange and Correa have bonded over a shared loathing of "big media organizations," as Assange put it, and "false stereotypes" of "courageous journalists and news outlets," as Correa (who has led attacks against media in Ecuador) put it.
Wikileaks announced this week that house-arrested frontman Julian Assange would host a new television interview series with "in-depth conversations with key political players, thinkers and revolutionaries from around the world." The theme, according to the announcement: "the world tomorrow."
Today, news that the network involved is none other than RT, the Russian cable television outlet founded by the Kremlin in 2005, which remains funded by and effectively under the editorial control of the Russian state. If you thought Assange's story already read like a pulp spy novel, none of this should be particularly shocking.
In a hyperbolic news release at RT.com, the network today revealed that the program will be filmed at the rural British manse where Assange has been residing under house arrest for more than a year while he fights extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual assault. The first episode will be shot "just a week before Assange's Supreme Court hearing in the UK."
And at the end of that RT announcement: “Details of the episodes and the guests featured are secret for now.” Secret. LOL.
In a press conference today, Julian Assange announced that WikiLeaks will temporarily suspend all publishing activities to "ensure future survival." A financial blockade against Wikileaks by payment processing services and credit card companies has "destroyed" 95% of the project's revenue, Assange said, costing “tens of millions of dollars” in lost funding.