U.S. Case Against Assange Hits Wall: Investigators Can't Find Contact With Manning

U.S. Authorities may have Bradley Manning--accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks-- locked up in brutal solitary confinement, and they may be desperately trying to build a major case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange based on his alleged contact with Manning. 

There's just one problem. That "contact" didn't actually happen, investigators on the case are finding.

The Wall Street Journal reports this morning

"New findings suggest Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst accused of handing over the data to the WikiLeaks website, initiated the theft himself, officials said. That contrasts with the initial portrait provided by Defense Department officials of a young man taken advantage of by Mr. Assange....

Further denting the push by some government officials to prosecute Mr. Assange, the probes have found little to link the two men, though others affiliated with WikiLeaks have been tied to Pfc. Manning, officials said".

This is a major blow to attempts to prosecute Assange which come directly from the U.S. Attorney General's office. If these findings hold true, other investigations against him would be based on more nebulous and dificult-to-prove "conspiracy" charges--that he was the head of an organization whose lower-level members did contact Manning. The most memorable of Manning's alleged leaks of course, is the horrifying footage of gunfire from a U.S. helicopter being aimed at what seemed to be civilians.

Still, don't expect the government to give up its efforts against Assange.




AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at February 9, 2011, 3:25am

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