A district judge in Kansas just granted Chelsea Manning's request to formally change her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning from Bradley Edward Manning. The ruling will force the Army to change the Wikileaks source's name on official records, though she'll still likely be kept in a men's prison unit.
Pfc. Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning, 25, was convicted of a host of charges, including espionage, over his leak to Wikileaks in 2011 of hundreds of thousands of classified documents, and faced up to 90 years in prison. In a hearing before his sentencing he apologized for his actions, saying "I'm sorry that my actions hurt people."
Journalists are generally human disasters: stimulant-addled, barely-functional hoarders unable to focus on anything other than scrabbling after the next story with an addict's claw-handed fury. I type this encased in the stale, coffee-stained shirt that proves it. Journalists, in other words, are the people least likely to spend time setting up arcane email encryption technology that could very well prove of no use to them. And yet they are among the people who could benefit the most.
Today the Daily Beast reported that an intercepted conference call between “more than 20 al Qaeda operatives” led nearly two dozen U.S. embassies scattered across Southwest Asia and North Africa to shut down over the weekend, a precautionary measure that American officials later extended through August 10. Based on testimony from three unnamed U.S. officials, reporters Eli Lake and Josh Rogin say al Qaeda lieutenants in Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Egypt and Islamic Maghreb discussed vague plans of attack with al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri and the terrorist group’s Yemeni leader, Nasser al-Wuhayshi. One of the unnamed officers compared the call to a meeting of the “Legion of Doom.”
Now that Wikileaks has devolved into a glorified travel agency for Edward Snowden, it's easy to forget the actual value it demonstrated from about 2006-2010, before Julian Assange drove it into a brick wall. Today, the defense's star witness in Pfc. Bradley Manning's trial, Harvard professor Yochai Benkler offered a powerful argument for why Wikileaks mattered, and why we still need something like it.
Today marks the eighth day of Bradley Manning's court-martial for leaking more than 700,000 United States government documents to Wikileaks. Although the 25-year-old former Army intelligence analyst has confessed to disclosing classified information, including diplomatic cables and war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, Manning has not pled guilty to his most serious allegation, “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense that could result in a life sentence.
Last week, it seemed that the San Francisco LGBT Pride Committee was planning this year’s march with an enormous set of ovaries. As the Bay Area Reporter wrote, "Pride's electoral college, which is made up of former grand marshals, has selected Army Private First Class Bradley Manning as its choice for grand marshal. Manning has admitted to leaking 700,000 classified U.S. government documents to WikiLeaks and is facing court-martial.”
Yesterday, 25-year-old former Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning admitted he gave all those documents to Wikileaks and attempted to explain why he did it. In the Wikileaks debate Manning is typically cast as either a a heroic whistleblower or a seditious traitor, or as a confused kid acting out in an emotional tantrum. What's remarkable about Manning's own account is how it fits none of those characterizations. We see Bradley Manning the curious analyst become Bradley Manning the world's most famous leaker through a very personal relationship with Wikileaks that is inseparable from his own motives and psychological situation.
Wikileaks has become a symbol for the radical, some say dangerous, new future of information distribution. But the story of its biggest leaker appears to have started in a very old-fashioned way. Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old former Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking huge caches of documents to Wikileaks, said in a hearing today that he initially tried to leak to journalists at the New York Times and Washington Post, and only turned to Julian Assange's shop after they didn't take him seriously.
Mark your calendars! Alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning has his first court date, 1 1/2 years after being imprisoned. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for December 16th, where his defense team will "evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government's case" against him, according to a blog post by his lawyer, David E. Coombs.
Months before he was accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, Bradley Manning had a series of instant message conversations with transgendered videoblogger Zinnia Jones. In newly-published logs of their conversation, Bradley Manning talks about his past struggles in the army, current relationship troubles and high hopes for the future.