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Posted by wmmbb in Human Rights.

There is no link that apparently can be found by US authorities between Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.

If true this confirms what Assange has stated. Furthermore, the suicide watch placed over Manning was order by the Base Commander acting beyond his authority.

Jim Miklaszewski, NBC’s Chief Pentagon Correspondent is the source. The unnamed officials in his report denied that Bradley Manning had been held in solitary confinement and tortured without due process. There is no evidence given to support the proposition. Of course, it sounds as it it perfectly acceptable to use torture provided those practices are accompanied by due process. This insider link without attribution is not a leak.

There is probably a blinding obvious reason, not not clear to me, as to why this set of information has been released. Has for some reason, perhaps like Paul on the road to Damascus they have seen the light, and the US Military will forswear lying and adopt the principles of democratic accountability and transparency? Or what other bureaucratic purpose could be obtained by this self revelation?

Juan Cole observes:

The admission appears to close off the most plausible legal strategy for the US to prosecute Assange. Since there is no Official Secrets Act in the United States, it is not clear that it is illegal to possess or to pass on classified documents. Manning himself would have broken a contractual obligation as a US government employee if he leaked classified documents, but civilians who received such documents are difficult to prosecute.

Assange, in London, is fighting extradition charges initiated by Sweden on grounds of minor sexual misconduct (not rape as is usually alleged in the US press). His lawyers have expressed fears that if the UK acceded to the Swedish request, its conservative government would promptly hand him over to the US, which would attempt to execute him for espionage.

The USG admission today undermines that legal strategy, since it is an announcement that Washington has no grounds to prosecute for conspiracy to commit espionage.

One can only hope that the end of the US efforts to link Manning to Assange will lead to an end of the abusive terms of Manning’s pretrial detention at Quantico’s brig.

Who know why this has occurred. It seems to me a person with military training might well understand the foolishness of overexposure and the merit in those circumstances of a tactical retreat. There will have to be charges laid against Bradley Manning and he would then be brought before a military tribunal, and then the failure to press charges within a reasonable time, and the treatment will at issue. The other option is for Bradley Manning to press charges against his captors (I suppose – although there is some question that is a practical option given the case would probably have to made through a Washington DC area court).



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