Army Intelligence Officer Arrested On Suspicion Of Wikileaks Release
June 7, 2010
US (ChattahBox) – Federal authorities have arrested a U.S. Army intelligence analyst after learning that he had boasted to friends about sending in thousands of classified documents, as well as a now infamous combat video, to the website Wikileaks.
Wikileaks — for those of you living under a rock — is a website dedicated to releasing classified information given by journalists and individuals who fear recriminations, or being unable to have their voice heard. They take any number of government files, evidence showing illegal activity, and documentation verifying rumors.
They have been hailed as a source for the ultimate transparency, and decried as a dangerous source of what should be hidden information.
SPC Bradley Manning, a Maryland resident and U.S. soldier, became one of many to turn to the site with information to share.
Among that data was a combat video that showed soldiers in a helicopter attack shooting civilians back in 2007. On the video, they dehumanize the victims, making it sound more like a game.
The video made headlines and caused international outrage.
The source of the video was not known, but a former computer hacker who had spoken to Manning online turned him in to the State Department, claiming that he had taken credit for the leak during on of their conversations.
The whistleblower has been named as Adrian Lamo.
“I wouldn’t have done this if lives weren’t in danger,” Lamo said of his decision to turn Manning in.
“He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air.”
Two other videos were allegedly leaked by Manning, such as the 2009 Garani attack that claimed the lives of 100 civilians (mostly children in the village), as were 260,000 documents that he claims show “almost criminal political back dealings”.
A friend of Manning spoke of his reasons for releasing the information, and said it was a matter on conscience.
“He would message me, Are people talking about it?… Are the media saying anything?,” Tyler Watkins said.
“That was one of his major concerns, that once he had done this, was it really going to make a difference?… He didn’t want to do this just to cause a stir. … He wanted people held accountable and wanted to see this didn’t happen again.”
Manning is being held in Kuwait.