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Monday, February 14, 2011

Private Bradley Manning - The Forgotten Man

Private Bradley Manning surely didn’t think about the consequences of what he was doing when he stole 250,000 classified US documents. Now his supporters have told the ABC’s Four Corners the US government is pressuring him to implicate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Now we find out that there was heated debate within WikiLeaks regarding the dire consequences it would have for Manning – they knew full well what would happen to him. He was betrayed by former computer hacker Adrian Lamo who befriended the young private. Boston researcher David House is a member of Manning's legal advocacy team and is concerned for his health. His conditions at the Quantico military brig outside Washington are deplorable and his state of mind has deteriorated so badly over time that he believes he must be undergoing torture.

Former WikiLeaks insider Daniel Domscheit-Berg is portraying himself as the voice of reason and told the Four Corners program he was "devastated" at the news of Manning's arrest and questioned the decision to release the cables in the first place. "If the cables had not been published, there would've been no proof that anyone had given the material to a different entity," Mr Domscheit-Berg said. "So from my perspective, what should have happened with these cables, for the sake of Bradley Manning, would have been to just keep them back as long as possible until you find out what is happening with him before you publish them”.

Domscheit-Berg went on "All this hype about WikiLeaks and Julian's problems in Sweden, what are these problems compared to the trouble this private is in?" He said that Manning was one of the greatest heroes for freedom of information of our time. "Everyone should be talking about Manning and not about Julian's trouble in Sweden or in Great Britain or wherever."

Assange maintains WikiLeaks does not know the identity of it sources. They have so far donated $15,000 to Manning's legal defence, but Assange would not comment on what the organisation was doing now to support Manning.

Must see - Four Corners tonight 8.30 ABC1