Wikileaks, which became famous thanks to the leakage of military and diplomatic cables by Bradley Manning, is suddenly slow about helping the whistleblower.
When Manning was arrested Wikileaks made a big splash saying that it would contribute financially to Manning’s defence. After all, any money the group was making was thanks to him placing his life on the line to give them the cables.
Unfortunately, according to Wired, Wikileaks has been less than forthcoming with the cash.
A spokesman for the Bradley Manning Support Network said Wednesday that the group had still not received money that WikiLeaks pledged in July.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson publicly claimed last week that WikiLeaks had contributed “a substantial amount of money” to Manning’s defence.
When she was contacted by the Washington Post about the money, Hrafnsson said that “there had been a misunderstanding” and that $20,000 would be distributed to Manning’s defence immediately by the nonprofit Wau Holland Foundation, which manages the majority of WikiLeaks donations.
Apparently the cheque is still in the post.
But the cash is well short of the $50,000 that the Bradley Manning Support Network was expecting from WikiLeaks. Manning’s defence attorney, David Coombs, has agreed to defend the soldier for a flat fee of $100,000, and WikiLeaks was expected to pay half of it.
A spokesman for the Manning defence fund said that he understood the difficult situation WikiLeaks currently faces. But there was a pressing need to meet Bradley Manning’s legal defence.
Some of Manning’s supporters had donated to WikiLeaks on the assumption that they were going to contribute to Bradley’s defence, and they want to know if the money was reaching its intended destination, Paterson said.
WikiLeaks led a prominent fundraising campaign on Manning’s behalf following his arrest last May
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed he had hired three U.S. criminal-defense attorneys to defend Manning, and his group appealed to supporters to provide money to cover the cost of sending attorneys to the Middle East to meet with Manning. For some reason Manning had to end up hiring his own laywer.
Wikileaks had not told the world how much it raised for Manning as the detailed report of its contributions and expenses that was expected in August never arrived.
Assange said at a press conference in Geneva in November that his group had been advised not to talk about funding Manning’s legal team any more.