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Excerpt: "If the Obama administration wants Private Bradley Manning convicted for releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks, federal prosecutors first must disclose proof that the soldier's action did harm to national security."

Bradley Manning center, stands before Army Judge Col. Denise Lind with his defense team. (illustration: via AP)
Bradley Manning center, stands before Army Judge Col. Denise Lind with his defense team. (illustration: via AP)

Military Judge Wants Proof That WikiLeaks Documents Damaged National Security

By Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky, AllGov

27 June 12

f the Obama administration wants Private Bradley Manning convicted for releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks, federal prosecutors first must disclose proof that the soldier’s action did harm to national security.

This week Col. Denise Lind, the military judge overseeing Manning’s trial ordered the prosecution to turn over “damage assessments” from the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Department and the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive that assessed the impact of the leaks.

The prosecutors must also itemize which documents they are sharing with the defense and which they are withholding. The order followed complaints by Manning’s defense team that prosecutors were withholding evidence that could help the accused.

Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, contends that the assessments will show the WikiLeaks disclosures had no major impact on U.S. national security and did not “aid the enemy” as the government alleges.

Manning is accused of turning over to WikiLeaks four sets of information: 1) 251,287 State Department cables; 2) 91,731 reports from the war in Afghanistan; 3) 391,832 reports from the war in Iraq; and 4) footage of an airstrike in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, that killed 11 people, including two Reuters journalists.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky

To Learn More:

Judge Orders Oversight in Bradley Manning Case (by Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service)

Wikileaks Suspect Wins Battle over US Documents (by Dan De Luce, Agence France-Presse)

Is Secrecy at Bradley Manning Court-Martial about Security or Embarrassment? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Who Did More Harm to American Security, Bradley Manning or Scooter Libby? (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

WikiLeaks Releases Video of Killing of Journalists in Iraq (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov) your social media marketing partner


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+34 # paulrevere 2012-06-27 21:50
not to be cynical here, but I wonder how long it will be before the judge is messaged about her continued career in the US military.
+12 # Majikman 2012-06-28 00:59
My response too, paulrevere, or somehow replaced.
+35 # mdhome 2012-06-27 22:09
I think they have no evidence of damage, but want to hang someone for the embarrassing comments in the leaked papers.
+10 # Capn Canard 2012-06-28 05:57
mdhome, yes. I would say that they want a pound of flesh for the sins of war and Manning is an easy target, low hanging fruit. The Obama administration' s prosecution is cowardly, it looks like a PR effort to keep up appearances, to look tough.
+41 # newsmom 2012-06-27 22:16
Thank goodness: a reasonable judge who apparently believe in justice. now let's see how strongly prosecutors share her commitment. there are those of us all along who has said that manning's "treason" was to embarass the U.S. without putting it in any true danger. julian assange is equally guilty of embarrassing us. and the trumped-up charges against him reflect collusion between the united states and sweden. both countries ought to be ashamed of themselves.
+6 # Babe 2012-06-27 23:22
The Military could claim that some of the diplomats' gossip that was leaked is a threat to the country, in that it made them appear frivolous or banal, and therefore other countries may not take them seriously; thus a "threat to our country." I would guess that the prosecution will strive to convey that line if they cannot find any outright sensitive secrets that were exposed.
+9 # fliteshare 2012-06-28 07:47
So the world found out that US diplomats call Vladimir a thug around the water cooler.
a) The Russian intelligence services were probably already aware of that.
b) Wanna bet there are some less than complementious descriptions floating around in the Kremlin regarding US presidents ?
The only thing that happened was that the general public got a look into the kitchen of international power politics. And it wasn't as nice a picture as diplomats had hoped for.
So what was the big deal here again ?
+3 # AMLLLLL 2012-06-28 13:18
Babe, it was still only 'Classified' information that was leaked here, which is less protected than 'Top Secret' information, such as the Pentagon Papers case in which Daniel Ellsberg was acquitted.
+23 # Dion Giles 2012-06-27 23:29
Would be nice if someone mouthing off about Manning compromising "national security" would come clean about what "national security" actually is. Is it a weasel term for imperial interests?
+31 # socrates2 2012-06-28 00:00
"national security," like Patriotism is the first and last shibboleth of a scoundrel whenever he is dragged into court.
By now anyone over 30 knows that "national security" as a legal-talisman is invoked to cover up government negligence, malfeasance, malpractice, theft, criminality and outright treason.
I seldom worry whenever any bureaucrat pulls out this phrase. It is an admission that he is in the wrong and does not want to be exposed.
It is jurists such as Judge Lind, possessed with a profound understanding of our Constitutional tradition and the rule of law, who deserve to sit on the Supreme Court instead of the current 5-4 ideological majority.
+27 # Old Uncle Dave 2012-06-28 00:06
I fully expect the prosecution to say that providing proof of damage to national security would damage national security.
+3 # lobdillj 2012-06-28 05:50
Quoting Old Uncle Dave:
I fully expect the prosecution to say that providing proof of damage to national security would damage national security.

This is EXACTLY what happened in the Sibel Edmonds case. Read the book "Classified Woman".
+2 # paulrevere 2012-06-28 08:00
Damn...I caught my whudoIdo?
+25 # de_rougemont 2012-06-28 00:56
I read one of the first memoes re Tunisia exposed by Wikileaks. It was entitled "What's Yours is Mine", written by the US Ambassador to Tunisia at the time. It was a masterful analysis of Tunisia's correuption at the time, but the only reason for the memo was to get some rich Frenchman's yatch returned that had been confiscated by the wife of the President of Tunisia. The memo is now deleted from the internet, to my knowledge. It was a perfect example of all that should truly embarrass US diplomats, but not endanger our security. This is symptomatic of all the "whistleblower" redefinition as "terrorists". We pay these idiots their 'salaries'. We should have knowledge of who they are representing. If that revelation is antethetical to US interests, it SHOULD be revealed. And Bradley Manning, far from being a weakling, has morphed through torture, etc into my "real" hero. He has never implicated Wikileaks throughout all that has happened to him. I am now really ashamed to be an American. The only bright light is this judge. Pray nothing happens to the judge!
+24 # fdawei 2012-06-28 01:51
How fortunate and how refreshing, that in the so-called "fog of war," replete with obfuscations and landmines, a bright light, a beam of hope, shines through with the courageous and reasoned Judge Col. Denise Lind leading the way.

Let's wish her Godspeed on her dangerous mission of Truth!
+16 # RMDC 2012-06-28 04:45
The real damage that Wikileaks did to the US is show the american people and the people of the would what a criminal gang of thugs the USG is. The USG wants more than anything to keep people stupid and mis-informed. Showing them a little bit of the truth is the damage Wikileaks did.
+11 # SueVan 2012-06-28 09:31
Congratulations Judge Lind.
+3 # grindermonkey 2012-06-28 11:20
It is probably worth considering these quotes regarding the government's position in Mr. Manning's "case":

A thirteenth-cent ury Persian-Tajik poet, Ibn Yamin[11] (ابن یمین فریومدی), said there are four types of men:[12]

One who knows and knows that he knows... His horse of wisdom will reach the skies.
One who knows, but doesn't know that he knows... He is fast asleep, so you should wake him up!
One who doesn't know, but knows that he doesn't know... His limping mule will eventually get him home.
One who doesn't know and doesn't know that he doesn't know... He will be eternally lost in his hopeless oblivion!

[T]here are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don't know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know, we don't know. -Donald Rumsfeld
+3 # aulstrue 2012-06-29 10:42
Injustice! Truth denied. But the thieves and traitors in government and big money commit crimes evident to everyone but they are still free, even encouraged. Free Brad, Julian. They are seeking truth and bringing it into the light, an act of investigative journalism. Such a shame most of our news is dictated and bottled with no value, no substance. We have every right and responsibility to know what our governments do in our name. In fact, it is most critical to keeping everyone accountable.
As they say while they spy on us, if you have nothing to hide...

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