NYT: In Manning case, "Jailers Become the Accused"

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." Read the rest

Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing: live-blogging, live-tweeting, and live-sketching

Bradley Manning (by Clark Stoeckley)

Kevin Gosztola is liveblogging the pre-trial hearing of suspected Wikileaks source Bradley Manning at Ft. Meade.

Also in the courtoom, the Guardian's Ed Pilkington, and Arun Rath of Frontline/PRI's The World, both of whom live-tweeted the proceedings today.

Artist Clark Stoeckley (@WikileaksTruck on Twitter) is also present, and is live-sketching. I like his coverage the best.

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Judge considers unusual plea deal for accused WikiLeaks source Manning

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.

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Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, and new Julian Assange book

Democracy Now has an interview with Julian Assange, speaking from inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been holed up for about six months.

Julian Assange speaks about his life inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London

"It’s a little bit like being in a space station. I have been in solitary confinement and this isn’t comparable to the difficulties in prison. I have complete control within a small environment and it enables me to do what is most important, which is to protect my work from the attacks it is under." From Julian Assange speaks out about living in a one-room embassy refuge with a mattress on the floor and a blue lamp to mimic daylight, your Daily Mail headline of the day. Read the rest

Assange: "You can't ground Spider-Man"

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.

Assange has to take what limited options he has at this point, I understand, but Ecuador's president is something of a fair-weather friend to whistleblowers: ask Aliaksandr Barankov, the ex-Belarus financial crimes prober whose amnesty is being revoked after a recent visit to Ecuador by Lukashenko.

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More on Wikileaks, Assange, and the UK Supreme Court ruling

The highest court in the UK ruled yesterday on a 5-2 majority that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on accusations of rape and sexual assault.

I spoke about the UK court ruling on The Madeleine Brand Show, and you can listen here.

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Julian Assange to host Wikileaks TV show on Kremlin-funded Russian cable network

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.

More: NYT Media Decoder blog, Moscow Times, LA Times.

(Original Images: REUTERS) Read the rest

Assange: Wikileaks will suspend publishing, financial blockade has "destroyed" 95% of income

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.

Wikileaks solicits donations here, with the video above and a message reading: "Censorship, like everything else in the West, has been privatized."

More: Journalism.co.uk, Telegraph UK, BBC News, Associated Press via NYT, and Gawker. Read the rest