US soldier Bradley Manning has been arrested on allegations of supplying classified information to Wikileaks, a website dedicated to protect and disseminate information and informers who have sensitive information to pass on to the public domain.
Photo courtesy: Wired
Specialist Manning who was at a base close to Baghdad has been put into pre-trial confinement in Kuwait for allegedly passing on classified video and also 260,000 diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Also, in the alleged leak is a video of a Baghdad helicopter strike. According to the Pentagon, investigations are on to assess the actual events and evidence of the case.
Bradley Manning was turned in last month after he shared the information about his actions in an online chat with a former computer hacker. He was soon arrested by the Criminal Investigation Division of the US Army at Forward operating Base Hammer, which is located 64 kilometres away from Baghdad.
In April, Wikileaks had released a video that Manning is alleged to have provided, footage of an Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad in which a number of people, including two employees of the Reuters news agency were killed. At the time Wikileaks attributed the sourcing of the video, which was posted on YouTube as well as on the website, to a number of military whistleblowers.
Bradley Manning has reportedly claimed to have passed on footage of an air strike in Afghanistan in 2009 to Wikileaks, together with classified army documents that list the Wikileaks website as a security threat and other classified US cables. The response from Wikileaks is that the allegations that they have received 260,000 classified US embassy cables are not correct. They also say if Specialist Manning is indeed the whistleblower, he should be considered a national hero.
The computer hacker, who turned Bradley Manning in based on their online conversations, said that it was because he considered that Manning’s actions were endangering lives and that he took the decision to turn him in.
Started in 2007, Wikileaks is a non profit organisation run by the famed Sunshine Press, which is backed and funded by human rights activists, investigative journalists and technologists and members of the public. Their aim is to work for transparency in government activities and support a free, unrestrained press. .According to Time magazine, this website could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.
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