Wikileaks‘ lawyers have been trying to make contact with the US State Department and Department of Defense over the last few days, reports the BBC. Julian Assange, the spokesperson and one of the brains behind the whistleblowing site, told the BBC he believed it is important to have a channel open.
Asked about his concerns of measures taken by the US against the site, Assange said that Wikileaks had at first been receiving mixed signals from the US authorities, however they had seemed to clarify. He thought the United States understood that it must obey the rule of law. Assange held a press briefing yesterday ahead of a presentation in Brussels given for the liberal democratic fraction (ALDE) in the European Parliament.
Bradley Manning, a soldier serving in the US Army’s intelligence unit, was arrested last month after being ratted out by a publicity-seeking hacker called Adrian Lamo. Lamo assured Manning total confidentiality under California state laws, as he is a journalist. On top of it all, Lamo said he was an ordained minister and could treat Manning’s online chats as a confession, Salon reporter Glenn Greenwald revealed last Friday. Manning trusted Lamo and spoke freely and openly. Lamo later on met with the police and reported Manning.
He also contacted Wired editor and former hacker Kevin Poulson, with whom Lamo has had a long-standing relationship. Lamo gave Poulson the entire chat log and Poulson reported on the case in an exclusive article on his Threat Level blog he writes for Wired. It could be assumed by the cynical that Lamo reported Manning in order to grab headlines.
Wired still has not released the entire chat log and so has not been able to clarify the involvement of its editor Poulson in the case. It would be a major embarrassment to the magazine if Poulson were to have had any hand in reporting a source to the state, instead of protecting it.
Any involvement on side of Poulson would also put an end to his career, as no reputable news outlet, be it online or print, would touch a journalist who turns a whistleblower over to the police. Except with barbeque tongs maybe, after he is well done.
Manning confessed to Lamo he had leaked the now notorious video showing an Apache gunship crew kill two Reuters journalist and murder further Iraqi civilians in Baghdad.
It is also alleged that Manning leaked a video of the airstrike on Garani, a village in Afghanistan. The airstrike killed over 100 civilians, most children. Wikileaks plans to release the video in the near future.