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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 178 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Tuesday, Day 178

As I’ve done for nearly six months, I'm updating news and views on all things WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning all day, with new items added at the top. All times ET.  Contact me at epic1934@aol.com. Read about my books The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, and Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here.

UPDATE: Here's Wednesday edition of this blog.

10:40  My review of tonight's Frontline yawner on WikiLeaks: No Meat, Just a Goldfish.

8:00 True to from -- though you wonder why more people don't do this -- WikiLeaks has just "leaked" the full interview conducted by PBS Frontline's Martin Smith with Assange in advance of their show tonight.  Viewers can then judge what was fairly or unfairly discarded.  WikiLeaks states: "In the tape, Assange scolds Martin Smith for his previous coverage of Bradley Manning and addresses a number of issues surrounding the 1917 Espionage Act investigation into WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning.  The Frontline documentary will include footage of a number of individuals who have a collective, and very dirty personal vendetta, against the organization. These include David Leigh, Adrian Lamo, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Eric Schmitt and Kim Zetter. While the program filmed other sources, such as Vaughan Smith who provided a counter-narrative, these more credible voices have been excluded from the program presented to the US public."

7:00  For full background on Manning and Assange and more:  my book The Age of WikiLeaks in print or as an e-book, or  Bradley Manning: Truth and Consequences as e-book here and print here, both hailed by Glenn Greenwald, Dan Ellsberg,  Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman.

6:30  One year ago this week, Adrian Lamo was in the middle of his five days of "chatting" with Bradley Manning online, and now comes news from Wired.com that he has been summoned to Washington appear before the military prosecutors preparing Manning's courtmartial.   "I’m finally going to meet with the JAG officer to go over the preliminaries for the actual testimony and how they want to play out my role,” Lamo said. “It’s the first time I’ve met with them.”  Wired points out:The meeting is set for June 2nd and 3rd in Washington D.C., and marks the first outward sign that Manning’s court martial case is proceeding apace now that a lengthy inquiry into his mental health has concluded.

5:10  New concerns raised in UK  by leading MP, also Index on Censorship official, that Obama's now-famous statement at fundraiser "prejudiced" case against Manning.

4:55  Day 2 of the El Salvador cables.

4:30  That pro-Manning billboard we've mentioned before, for D.C. area, now fully funded.

2:25 PBS NewsHour interviews writer/narrator of Frontline's WikiLeaks program tonight.   Martin Smith (and see more quotes in item below) talks about impact of DADT making him "miserable" and  "disaffected and unhappy."  But adds that he "also had a conscience."   The NewsHour spot also has brief clip from program with Adrian Lamo interview. Smith is asked if Assange was "active or passive" actor.   He says this is "central question," but leaves it at that.

1:00 The "Takeaway" public radio show today interviewed Brian Manning, Bradley Manning's father.  He said his son was "not mistreated" overtly at Quantico, but later adds that he never spoke to his son there without a guard being present and video tape running (he has not yet visited him at Leavenworth)  Also says he's convinced his son is innocent.  "I've been in IT for over 30 years and I can't see that volume of information being taken out from under the noses...in small room with five people in it." Asked if he is political prisoner, he says, "Bradley has never had any political views.  I can't see how they can be attacking him on political grounds.....It sounds like they were looking for a scapegoat, and they found one." 

Martin Smith, the writer and narrator of the show, says in the same interview that the program  finds Assange's relationship with Manning "an open question."   As I've noted, from the chat logs, there's some indication there of a relationship "if not with Assange, then someone else at WikiLeaks."   If not "political," he adds, Manning does talk a lot in the logs (as I've stressed)  about doing "good," weighing risks and what should be done, and so on.   NOTE:  An earlier version of this blog post suggested that Smith in the interview said flatly that what Manning did was wrong.  Actually, this is a statement by Manning's father, if his son is indeed guilty.

11:45  Jessica Smith, marketing communications manager for Frontline, sent me this clarification for my comment below about Facebook postings missing for the weeks surrounding Manning's "chats" with Lamo: "In today’s post, you state 'Oddly, it is missing everything from the period when he was chatting with Adrian Lamo, although (also surprisingly) there is an update after his arrest.' This may be interpreted by your readers to mean that Frontline edited out material from this time period, which it did not.  Our editors published everything available on the Wall that was authored by Manning -- status updates, articles, pictures and 'likes' -- and the responses of his Facebook friends. We blurred the identities of those other than Manning posting comments or in pictures, as well as the names of people mentioned in the posts, with the exception of public figures and in several cases Manning's ex-boyfriend Tyler Watkins.  We did not alter the timeline."

10:00 Frontline, in advance of tonight's Manning/Assange episode, posts very lengthy, somewhat redacted and annotated version of Manning's Facebook postings from the months before his arrest -- and going back to 2007, suggesting this helps us know his mind.    Plenty of musings about his personal life, frustrations with military, along with lists of "likes" (Rachel Maddow Show, Michelle Obama, and so on).  Oddly, it is missing everything from the period when he was chatting with Adrian Lamo, although (also surprisingly)  there is an update after his arrest.  Some are questioning the journalistic ethics of posting all of this.  

9:55 NYT 's  James Risen subpoenaed again in hot leak case involving Jeffery Sterling: 

7:40  Frontline special on Manning and Assange airining tonight on PBS--but will be online before then, most likely.    Part V of my series on Bradley Manning, marking 1st anniv of his arrest and tomorrow's PBS program.  Do the chat logs provide evidence against Assange? 

7:35  How U.S. bungled Ecuador in attempt to step region's "pink tide" move to Left.

6:30  An extensive directory of "leak" sites, from WIkiLeaks spinoffs to mainstream media attempts and seemingly everything in between.

6:00  Preview of The Takeaway interview with Bradley Manning's dad  for first anniversary of his son's arrest.

12:05  NYT on the "super injunctions" and Twitter,  Manchester United star, and more, from UK.

12:00  New from Naomi Wolf: "We now live in a world in which men like former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who was investigating financial wrongdoing by the insurance giant AIG, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Strauss-Kahn — whose efforts to reform the IMF gained him powerful opponents — can be, and are, kept under constant surveillance."

From late Monday

Michael Busch with another good post on far-flung WikiLeaks fallout, this time on....Mauritania.

  Manning Support Network just announced a teleconference for this Wednesday, featuring Assange, Ellsberg, Greenwald, others, marking nearly the first anniv of his arrest in Iraq. 

ABC News: New cables push U.S. and Pakistan relations "to the brink."

The plot thickens, as EFF and ACLU ask, who ratted out WikiLeaks

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