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The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 179 | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

The WikiLeaks News & Views Blog for Wednesday, Day 179

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:  The Thursday edition of this blog.

9:20 We covered the Assange/Ellsberg teleconference for Manning earlier today (see below) but here's Mike Calderone's lengthier report at Huff Post.

3:10  In answer to my query, @WikiLeaks feed at twitter confirms that it was indeed Assange in the PBS chat (see below) and that a second question or statement by him was "torched."  I am seeking more on that.

2:45  Wow, now Assange, or someone claiming to be him (but sounds credible) has joined in the PBS online chat on last night's WikiLeaks program.  He writes,  "Why did Frontline not do basic fact checking on the false and libelous statement 'Julian said 'Informants deserve to die'?  This has had substantial re-reportage based on its airing by Frontline. Its speaker, David Leigh is well known to be locked into tawdry personal vendetta against WikiLeaks (as any check of his twitter feed davidleigh3 would show). The statement has been repeatedly denied by me, is the subject of pre-litigation legal action and two Spiegel reporters who were at the table, John Goertz and Marcel Rosenbach (the only independent witnesses) deny it. Is this Frontline's standards for journalism? Similarly, Why did Frontline present Daniel Domschiet Berg's claims about WikiLeaks content sales as credible, when two thee prior accusations (in relation to Aftonposten, Aftonbladet and Al Jazeera) have been demonstrated to be wholesale inventions?"

The creators of show then replied:  "We did talk with others about David Leigh’s allegation. Several people confirmed that you had initially wanted to publish all the Afghan War Logs without redacting names. We also allowed you to deny the charge. As for content sales, you mentioned in your interview that you had explored financial incentives to improve the reception of the Collateral Murder video." This, of course, does not address the alleged "lie" of Leigh's statement. 

2:05  David House apparently  just showed up at the online Frontline chat to respond to charges by Manning's dad (see below).  House, or someone claiming to be him, typed: "This is David House. You say I was using Bradley for 15 minutes of fame... this is very hurtful and surprising to hear. In earnest, on what basis do you make the remark?"   Manning's father then responds:  "Please clean your own house. Bradley told us. If you do not belive me ask him" And House replies to that: "I highly doubt that; Bradley asked me to return before you removed me from his visitor list. Thanks for the response, though, Brian."

2:00 Some interesting, if sometimes wild,  claims in online chat at PBS featuring creators of last night's WikiLeaks program.  So far: 1) they say they okayed Assange taping their full interview (he put it up on WikiLeaks sites before show aired) and are not surprised he hated the show, as he made up his mind before hand  2)  Bradley Manning's dad says he kicked Manning friend and frequent visitor David House off the visitor's list at Quantico because he doubted his motives, thought he was just trying to "suck up" info from Bradley and was just out for his "15 minutes" of fame  3) Brian Manning also claimed that protests by House and many others were not the main reason for his son's transfer to Leavenworth -- but rather (this is news to us) pressure from the UK government after it emerged that Bradley had UK citizenship.

 

1:40  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.

1:35  My Nation colleague Kevin Gosztola gives me this report on today's Support Manning teleconference:  "Manning Support Network reports legal expenses at least $170,000. Support network has managed to raise $137,000 to put into a legal trust for Manning. 

"Daniel Ellsberg argued most journalists look at case of Bradley Manning and think law was broken. 'That’s wrong.'  The legal situation is 'murky and uncertain.'  He noted the Obama Administration is trying to use the Espionage Act as if it is an Official Secrets Act (what exists in the UK).

"Julian Assange called the past year a 'year of journalistic miracles' and the ' most important year since World War II'  for journalism. He described how WikiLeaks has been troubled by the treatment of Manning. Manning was under intense pressure to comply with interrogators. The government was trying to use a 'sledgehammer'  to 'crack a nut.'  But, Manning like all heroes,  apparently did not crack.

"Jesselyn Radack, with the Government Accountability Project, outlined the difference between 'whistleblowing' and 'leaking.'   Valerie Plame’s identity was 'leaked'  whereas Manning’s alleged release of information was 'whistleblowing'  because Manning sought to expose war crimes. Under the Military Whistleblower Protection Act, he would be covered, as it allows for disclosure of war crimes.... Ann Wright, retired colonel and former diplomat stationed at the US Embassy in Afghanistan, expressed her concern with how the military might use their authority over personnel to do a court martial to undercut protections Manning should be afforded." 

10:40  The Atlantic reviews the reactions, including mine,  to the Frontline show.

8:15 Martin Smith doing live chat at PBS Frontline site about last night's program at 1 pm.

8:10  Cables show Pakistani military in training getting schooled in....anti-Americanism.

8:05  WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs wins 2011 Amnesty International award

7:40  My review of last night's Frontline yawner on WikiLeaks: "No Meat, Just a Goldfish."  And WikiLeaks has posted correspondence between an Assange associate and Frontline producer about the ground rules for his interview -- see very bottom of this page.  My Nation colleague Kevin Gosztola has his own review here.

7:30  The 14 oddly missing Guantanamo files 

12:05 More from the Pakistan Papers: U.S. deeply tracks Pakistan's nuclear weapons program, despite assurances.

12:00  Bradley Manning's friend David House tweets about the Frontline show (see below):  "This year I've been calm despite being stalked, surveilled, bribed, detained, & having my computer seized, car towed, and friends punished....  The first substantive anger I felt throughout these months arose tonight after watching the stridently propagandized @frontlinepbs special....Indignation is the only orienting sense after gawking through the twisted pro-Washington hallucination called WikiSecrets."

From late Tuesday

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."

 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.

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.

  Day 2 of the El Salvador cables.

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

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