News Archive - 2013-07 (July 2013)

2013-07-01 Over 1,000 Marched for Bradley Manning

July 1, 2013

CONTACT: Bradley Manning Support Network Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628,

Over Thousand Marched in Bradley Manning Support Contingent at SF Pride 2013

SAN FRANCISCO - July 1 - Over 1,000 supporters of openly gay whistle-blower, PFC Bradley Manning, marched in the Bradley Manning Support Network contingent in the SF Pride Parade today. The anchors of KOFY TV's live coverage noted that it was the largest non-corporate contingent in the Parade, second only to Google overall.

The contingent featured former military strategist Daniel Ellsberg who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. Ellsberg, adorned with a pink boa, rode on a pickup truck declaring Bradley Manning "The People's Grand Marshal."

The contingent featured dozens of supporters riding aboard a trolley car, the Brass Liberation Orchestra marching band, and a synchronized dance group doing a routine to Michael Jackson's "They don't care about us". High above Market Street, an airplane dragged a banner reading "Our LGTBQ Hero - Bradley Manning".

Among the marchers was SF Pride's legal counsel, Brooke Oliver, who recently resigned after 15 years because of the SF Pride Board's handling of the Manning debacle. Bevan Dufty, former SF Supervisor and now the mayor's point person on homelessness, stepped down as a Grand Marshal, also because of the Pride Board's actions. Community activists and leaders spent two months battling with SF Pride insisting that Manning be reinstated as a Grand Marshal after the Pride Board rescinded his honor.

Organizations including the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, SEIU Local 1021, and Global Exchange also showed support for Manning in their contingents. New York City, Seattle, Chicago, and Minneapolis also had Manning support contingents in their Pride parades yesterday.

Hundreds of supporters later packed the Roccapulco night club for an after party fundraiser for Manning's legal fees.

This is the third consecutive year that the Bradley Manning Support Network and Courage to Resist has organized a Manning contingent in the SF Pride Parade, but this year's numbers far surpassed the previous two.

2013-07-03 MasterCard breaks ranks in WikiLeaks blockade

It's now possible to donate to WikiLeaks with MasterCard and Visa.

WikiLeaks press release Wednesday July 3, 17:00 UTC

MasterCard has broken ranks in the US-linked banking blockade against WikiLeaks.

For almost three years, US financial giants VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, the Bank of America and Western Union have been engaged in an unlawful banking blockade against WikiLeaks. The blockade started in December 2010 in response to the start of WikiLeaks' publication of US diplomatic cables.

Now, one of the financial companies involved in the blockade, MasterCard International, has backed down and reversed its position. WikiLeaks was notified of MasterCard International's change in position by VALITOR, the Icelandic partner for VISA and MasterCard.

On April 24, 2013 WikiLeaks and DataCell won a lawsuit, which had been running for two years, against VALITOR for breach of contract and blockading WikiLeaks donations at the behest of VISA and MasterCard. The Icelandic Supreme Court ordered VALITOR to recommence processing donations to WikiLeaks.

VALITOR complied and reopened its payment gateway, but gave formal legal notice that it would terminate its contract and re-close the gateway on July 1, 2013, citing a unilateral termination clause in the contract.

VALITOR has now fully reversed its position and announces it will honour the contract with DataCell and process payments to WikiLeaks.

In a letter from VALITOR´s lawyers, VALITOR relates how it sought the opinions of MasterCard International and VISA on the proposed July 1 cut-off. In its response MasterCard made clear to VALITOR that it no longer desires to blockade WikiLeaks. VISA has not responded.

Donations by credit cards to WikiLeaks through are therefore fully reinstated as of Monday, July 1, 2013.

Other financial companies have not yet retracted their illegal blockade on WikiLeaks, including PayPal, Western Union and Bank of America.

The Supreme Court decision in Iceland was in favour of WikiLeaks and DataCell, but it did not include damages - deemed a separate issue under Icelandic law. A court claim for compensation is currently being prepared. Damages are estimated at 9 billion Icelandic krónur (€55.9m or US$72.7m).

To donate to WikiLeaks by bank transfer or using other methods, please see:

For further information see:

Donate to WikiLeaks:

2013-07-04 Bluffdale: The NSA Utah supercomputer data centre

The Salt Lake Tribune published an in-depth look at the NSA Bluffdale data centre, one of six such centres in the US which will go operational soon.

"In many ways, the new Utah Data Center is the quintessential black box", wrote the SLT. "The Utah Data Center spans 1 million square feet, with a 100,000-square-foot, raised-floor area divided into four separate data halls, each holding what the NSA calls "mission-critical" computing servers and data-storage capacity."

"The entire facility is heavily fortified by a robust security perimeter, its own police force, intrusion-detection systems, backup generators with three days of fuel storage and a structure designed to withstand major physical attack."

"It will need an average of 65 megawatts of electricity to run what several NSA equipment suppliers say will be among the most sophisticated supercomputers and largest reserves of data storage on the planet."

"I always build everything expandable", said Harvey Davis, NSA director of installations and logistics.

The NSA will use Cray XC30 series supercomputers. Some of these computers can also be deployed at Ft Meade.

"While the extreme scaling Cray XC30 supercomputer is a transverse air-flow liquid-cooled architecture, the Cray XC30-AC air-cooled family provides slightly smaller and less dense supercomputing cabinets with no requirement for liquid coolants or extra blower cabinets."

Development of the XC30 series was financed in part by the US Department of Defense. Speeds are up to 100 petaflops, one thousand trillion calculations per second, or three times faster than the world's currently fastest computers. This is enough computer power to track the movements of every human on Earth in real time and also enough to break advanced encryption algorithms, according to NSA whistleblower William Binney.

"The magnitude of the agency's data storage reserves at Bluffdale all but defy comprehension", wrote the Salt Lake Tribune.

2013-07-04 NSA Fallout: German Furore

"The fallout has been immense over revelations that US intelligence agencies systematically spied on EU officials as part of their far-reaching surveillance programs", reported German Spiegel Online. "German commentators on Monday say that Washington must explain itself."

Secret documents obtained by Edward Snowden and seen in part by Spiegel confirm that the NSA bugged the EU's diplomatic representation in Washington, New York, and Brussels, and show the significant extent to which Germany has been a target of the NSA's far-reaching spying activities.

Senior EU and German officials voiced their consternation on Sunday and Monday, with several calling for a suspension of negotiations over the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement.

The German Federal Prosecutors Office is looking into whether the NSA violated laws aimed at protecting German citizens.

The German media also reacted strongly.

Süddeutsche Zeitung:

It apparently falls to the United States intelligence agencies, primarily the NSA, to confirm all the prejudices about Americans held by much of the world. As it stands, the NSA not only egregiously spied on individual countries but also bugged and recorded the offices of the EU.

Frankfurter Allgemeine:

One has to ask whether the leaders of the intelligence agency haven't lost their marbles. Viewing EU officials as a legitimate target is more than just the unfriendly act of an apparatus that knows no boundaries and views itself as beyond the purview of policy and the courts.

Die Tageszeitung:

The outrage among politicians is huge, with complaints ranging from 'unacceptable' and 'appalling' all the way to 'a major scandal'. As indeed they should. But the question remains: What planet are these people living on?

Bild Zeitung:

Nearly everything can be rationalised in the time of global terror: telephone surveillance on millions of respectable people - reading their emails, their Facebook chats... But it is inexplicable that US intelligence agencies wiretapped and investigated supposedly friendly governments, the EU's diplomatic representation, and possibly the German chancellor.


The damage caused by the revelations about US intelligence methods is significant - and it is growing day by day... One of President Obama's central promises has been to 'restore America's moral standing' after the arrogance and recklessness of the Bush era. But the president is further away from this goal than ever.

2013-07-04 NSA Fallout: German Prosecutors Investigating

The German Federal Prosecutors Office is looking into allegations that the NSA conducted massive spying against German citizens. A first formal complaint has already been lodged in one city, reported Spiegel Online.

A spokeswoman at the office told Spiegel that all available and relevant information about PRISM, Tempora, and Boundless Informant is currently being reviewed, and added that further criminal complaints will likely be lodged.

Spiegel reported that the spying by the NSA was much more widespread than previously believed. Secret NSA documents show that authorities systematically monitored and saved a large share of Internet and telephone connection data. Internal NSA statistics show that around 500 million communications connections in Germany are monitored monthly by the agency. The NSA also classifies Germany as a "target" for spying.

Criticism has also been leveled at Britain, whose GCHQ Tempora programme has in part been directed at Germany. Minister for Justice Sabine Leuthheusser-Schnarrenberger complained that she received only "three meagre sentences" in reply to her queries, and added that the reply could not contain the scandal.

German officials were invited to a video conference with Britain on 1 July.

The NSA revelations are creating difficulties for the reelection campaign of Angela Merkel. There are calls to even investigate the criminal behaviour of Britain's GCHQ, and Social Democrat chairman Sigmar Gabriel demanded that German prosecutors travel to Moscow to speak with Edward Snowden.

The first step has to be that prosecutors travel to Moscow to depose Mr Snowden as a witness. If they come away with the impression that he is a reliable witness, then admitting him to the witness protection program must be considered. All we have to do is let our legal system do its work. I expect this from our government.

Angela Merkel supposedly spoke directly with Barack Obama on Wednesday evening, and the latter promised to organise "high level meetings" to discuss the situation.

Merkel has consistently come out against US spying, comparing it to Cold War tactics.

2013-07-04 NSA: Further EU Fallout

"Europeans are furious", reported Spiegel Online. "Revelations that the US intelligence service National Security Agency (NSA) targeted the European Union and several European countries with its far-reaching spying activities have led to angry reactions from several senior EU and German politicians."

"We need more precise information," said EU Parliament President Martin Schulz. "But if it is true, it is a huge scandal. That would mean a huge burden for relations between the EU and the US. We demand comprehensive information."

"If these reports are true, then it is abhorrent", said Luxembourgian Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn.

The US justifies everything as being part of the fight against terrorism. But the EU and its diplomats are not terrorists. We need a guarantee from the very highest level that it stops immediately.

German Minister for Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger:

It defies belief that our friends in the US see the Europeans as their enemies.

Elmar Brok, chairman of the EU Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee:

The spying has reached dimensions that I didn't think were possible for a democratic country. They have completely lost all balance. George Orwell is nothing by comparison.

Manfred Weber, deputy head and security expert for the European People's Party:

It is unacceptable when European diplomats and politicians are spied on in their day-to-day activities. Our confidence has been shaken.

German EU MP Markus Ferber:

A democratic constitutional state that uses Stasi methods sacrifices all credibility as a moral authority.

Former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt:

This is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately.

German Green Party representative in the European Parliament Jan Philipp Albrecht:

This is meltdown of the constitutional state.

Green Party floor leader in European Parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit:

A simple note of protest is not enough anymore. The EU must immediately suspend negotiations with the US over a free trade agreement," he said. "First, we need a deal on data protection so that something like this never happens again. Only then can we resume negotiations.

2013-07-04 Pilger, Stone: 'Global gangsterism', 'A world in danger'

Denying Bolivian president Evo Morales air space was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world, writes John Pilger. Oliver Stone says the world is in danger with the tyranny of the US.

Global gansterism

Imagine the aircraft of the president of France being forced down in Latin America on "suspicion" that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an epic scale.

The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales's plane - denied airspace by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to "inspect" his aircraft for the "fugitive" Edward Snowden - was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.

The French - having squealed about Washington spying on their every move, as revealed by Snowden - were first off the mark, followed by the Portuguese.

Pilger shows the media no mercy.

Those paid to keep the record straight have played their part with a cat-and-mouse media game that reinforces the Godfather's lie that this heroic young man is running from a system of justice, rather than preordained, vindictive incarceration that amounts to torture - ask Bradley Manning and the living ghosts in Guantánamo.

Historians seem to agree that the rise of fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy. The parallels today are very different, but the Damocles sword over Snowden, like the casual abduction of Bolivia's president, ought to stir us into recognising the true nature of the enemy.

A World in Danger

Oliver Stone blasted Barack Obama for his "George Bush-style eavesdropping techniques", calling them a "disgrace".

To me, Snowden is a hero, because he revealed secrets that we should all know, that the United States has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment. He should be welcomed, and offered asylum, but he has no place to hide because every country is intimidated by the United States. ... Everyone in the world is impacted by the United States' Big Brother attitude toward the world.

"The world is in danger with our tyranny", Stone said.

2013-07-05 European green parties unite in support of Snowden

The green parties of France, Germany, Norway, Finland, and the UK have united in their support of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, urging the EU to grant him a safe haven.

The French Europe Écologie Les Verts has demanded that President François Hollande grant Snowden political asylum.

Europe Écologie Les Verts and all its French and European parliamentarians solemnly request the President of the Republic and the government to grant political asylum to a man who not only had the courage to reveal the existence of an illegal surveillance, but has to know the magnitude which extended to the offices of the European Union at the United Nations and Brussels.

In a speech on 28 June, Tom Koenigs of the German Alliance 90/The Greens expressed thanks to Edward Snowden.

Thanks to him, we know how the NSA and GCHQ systematically spy on us with their PRISM and Tempora programmes.

In Germany, we believed that the era of total surveillance was over, and the machinations of Stasi were relegated to the past. But since 6 June 2013, since the day when the Guardian and the Washington Post first reported on PRISM, we know that our informational rights are in danger. The threats are coming not only from rogue states and terrorist groups but also from our allies. These monitoring programmes undermine the liberal order of our democracy. Citizens lose confidence in their governments.

Germany should offer asylum to Edward Snowden. Such an offer would be a commitment to freedom and human rights in the private sphere and on the Internet.

Norway's Miljøpartiet De Grønne petitioned the government to reconsider the earlier decision regarding Snowden's asylum application, and will stand with sister parties in Germany, France, and Finland to welcome Snowden as a hero.

Finland's Vihreät (The Greens) openly welcomed Snowden to their country.

Mr Snowden, Finland has the closest border with Russia and we, the Finnish Greens, welcome you here. The Finnish Green Party leader, Minister Ville Niinistö, in his response to the Young Greens' demands for granting the asylum, deemed it possible. He also stated that the way in which this situation will be globally treated will set the precedent for future debates and practices of data protection and freedom of speech.

Furthermore, both German and French Greens support that you should be granted asulym within the EU - after all, you have done a great service to the European Union, thank you.

Natalie Bennett of the United Kingdom's Green Party has called on the EU's diplomatic leader to act to find US whistleblower Edward Snowden a place of safe asylum.

The UK, and many other European states, have whistleblower legislation that explicitly protects individuals who speak out about wrongdoing, and it is clear that Mr Snowden, were he a national of those states, would be eligible for that protection. Additionally, European states owe him a debt for exposing the action that the US was taking against them.

The United States should be treating Mr Snowden in this manner, but given this seems unlikely, the European Union and individual EU states, as beneficiaries of his revelations, have a responsibility to act in ensuring his security.

The normal requirement for someone being in the country in which they are requesting asylum should clearly be waived in this case. Mr Snowden should be given a chance to peacefully and safely reveal further information, and to rebuild his life in a safe haven, whether in Europe or outside it.

2013-07-05 Maduro offers Snowden asylum

Speaking at a televised parade celebrating Venezuela's independence from Spain on 5 July 1811, President Nicolás Maduro announced he will offer asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to the young American, Edward Snowden, so that in the fatherland of Bolivar and Chavez, he can come and live away from the imperial North American persecution.

Snowden is believed to still be in Moscow with WikiLeaks associate Sarah Harrison.

Maduro had earlier rejected a request from the US for Snowden's extradition.

The government of the United States presented to our foreign ministry, as we were flying in, a scrap of paper requesting the extradition of the young Snowden. They do not have the moral right to request the extradition of a young man who is only warning of the illegalities committed by the Pentagon and the CIA and the United States. As head of state, I reject any request for extradition. They are simply disregarding bilateral agreements.

2013-07-05 Sweden, UK block EU talks on US espionage

Sweden and the UK have blocked talks between Europe and the US on the surveillance scandal. The talks, due to begin Monday, will now be limited to the more abstract issues of privacy and PRISM. A second working group, to be set up to confront the US with the most recent developments, had the support of the entire EU save Sweden and the UK, who both used their veto to prevent its formation.

Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt was contacted yesterday evening in an attempt to get Sweden to reconsider. The attempt failed.

The UK is also under considerable pressure ever since their GCHQ "Tempora" project was revealed. And Sweden, long posing as a neutral country, broke ranks with the other member states and came out on the side of the US.

Recent revelations of surveillance of the EU parliament itself, as well as the debacle over denying transit to Bolivian president Evo Morales, have caused rifts in the EU. Most member states expressed rage against the superpower, but the French and Germans are also in uproar over the British, and the French have also been found to be running a comparable surveillance programme of their own.

More to the Assange Story, More to Sweden

People seem to finally understand there's more to the "Assange in Sweden" story than the accusations of sexual misconduct, and that the judicial process can in fact be managed by the US. From a comment by "Drewv" at the Guardian article on the topic:

This affair suggests that people were right to see the Assange arrest warrant as being orchestrated by the US, with Sweden in a deviously subservient position. It increasingly looks like those who claimed at the time that Sweden cared only about the rape charges, have some apologizing to do.

The relationship between Sweden of the Bildt era and the US puts things clearly in context. Sweden acceded to the MPAA in prosecuting The Pirate Bay, despite prosecutor Håkan Roswall already having investigated the matter, and concluding that the BitTorrent site broke neither Swedish nor European law.

Sweden passed the notorious FRA act (aka "Lex Orwell") which became the most repressive law of its kind in Europe.

Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt gave the keynote at the recent NATO summit, despite Sweden not belonging to NATO.

The diplomatic correspondence found in Cablegate showed that Sweden had been given a "checklist" by the US embassy of measures that Sweden needed to implement so as to not incur sanctions.

PlusD showed that Carl Bildt has been a CIA informer since 1976.

Former justice minister Thomas Bodström himself signed the "temporary surrender" agreement with the US, something he later publicly denied.

The Swedish affiliation with the US goes across political party lines. Bildt and Reinfeldt are conservatives and dedicated to dismantling the famous welfare state model, but Bodström is from the party that created it. But most of the influence of the US is seen in right wing politics. The international arm of the GOP has been in contact with Reinfeldt since the 1980s, helping him win chairmanship of his party's youth movement over a more liberal candidate. Karl Rove and Carl Bildt have been friends for thirty years. And Karl Rove is an official adviser to Bildt's and Reinfeldt's political party.

2013-07-05 WikiLeaks and DataCell sue Visa/Valitor for 9 billion ISK

Now that the extralegal financial blockade of WikiLeaks is collapsing, with an Icelandic supreme court ruling on its illegality and both MasterCard and Visa ending their legal fights, WikiLeaks and payment processor DataCell are turning the tables and suing Visa and Valitor for damages. The amount sought is Íkr (Icelandic krónur) 9,000,000,000.

Plaintiff lawyer Sveinn Andri Sveinsson for WikiLeaks and DataCell says the amount is based on estimates from Veritas, and that the minimum acceptable amount is €15.5 million.

Approximately €50 million is being asked for lost contributions to WikiLeaks, €2.5 million for lost fees to DataCell, €2.5 million for lost revenues to DataCell, and €2.2 million in interest.

Valitor lawyer Sigurður Guðjónsson stated, incredibly enough, that DataCell and WikiLeaks haven't suffered financial loss because of the blockade, as there have always been other means to donate - as if the whole idea with the blockade, one of several repressive measures lobbied by US congressmen Joe Lieberman and Peter King, was pointless.

But a quick look at WikiLeaks donation history of course indicates otherwise. And per the WikiLeaks website:

The attack destroyed 95% of our revenue. The blockade came into force within ten days of the launch of Cablegate as part of a concerted US-based, political attack that included vitriol by senior right wing politicians, including assassination calls against WikiLeaks staff. The blockade is outside of any accountable, public process. It is without democratic oversight or transparency.

Now that the blockade has been lifted, at least as regards MasterCard and Visa, why not consider a contribution?

2013-07-06 Swedish media hid news of US spy probe veto

Sweden used a veto to stop the EU from asking critical questions of the US about the superpower's extensive espionage programme, a matter the Swedish media chose to not report to their readers.

Of the 28 EU member states, Sweden was supported only by Britain in their opposition to the critical Friday proposition. The two groups that had already been commissioned to investigate US espionage will now be disbanded.

When Swedish reported on the vote early Saturday morning, reporter Henrik Brors chose not to mention that Sweden used their veto to kill investigations, reporting falsely that Sweden and the UK were "the member states who opposed it to the end".

Swedish SvD were also late in telling the truth, giving in first when readers of the international media contacted them in protest.

The talks with the US were supposed to concern all forms of espionage, an attempt to ease transatlantic tensions brought on by recent revelations. But now the talks will be limited to a discussion of how PRISM affects personal integrity.

German Spiegel published additional information obtained from Edward Snowden last week on how the US spied on EU offices in Brussels and Washington DC, and also conducted espionage in Germany, France, and other EU countries. It is precisely this new information that the EU now may not, as of the Friday vetoes by Sweden and the UK, discuss with the US.

An attempt was made late Thursday evening to discuss the matter with Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, but the attempt failed.

The EU Commission had already begun the formation of two expert groups to probe into NSA espionage and to elicit clarifications from the US. The groups will now be disbanded.

2013-07-06 Venezuela, Nicaragua offer asylum to Snowden

Both Nicaragua and Venezuela have now offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has already reject the US request for the rendition of Snowden.

Maduro spoke before a televised parade celebrating the country's independence day.

The government of the United States presented to our foreign ministry, as we were flying in, a scrap of paper requesting the extradition of the young Snowden. They do not have the moral right to request the extradition of a young man who is only warning of the illegalities committed by the Pentagon and the CIA and the United States. As head of state, I reject any request for extradition. They are simply disregarding bilateral agreements.

Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega has now stepped up as well. Ortega said Nicaragua had received an asylum request from Snowden and the president gave a guarded acceptance.

We are an open country, respectful of the right of asylum, and it's clear that if circumstances permit, we would gladly receive Snowden and give him asylum in Nicaragua.

South America is still seething after the airplane of Bolivian president Evo Morales was blocked from entering the airspace of several US allies in Europe. Uruguayan president José Mujica:

We are not colonies anymore. We deserve respect, and when one of our governments is insulted we feel the insult throughout Latin America.

South American leaders met on Friday to discuss the diplomatic scandal caused by the US brazenly violating the Vienna Convention. Present at this meeting were Bolivia's president Evo Morales and vice-president Linera, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa, Argentina's president Cristina Kirchner, and a senior representative of Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff.

2013-07-07 Snowden's chances for asylum growing

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has now been offered asylum in three American countries: Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. He has applied for asylum in six additional countries, according to WikiLeaks. And his chances for reaching a safe haven are growing further because of US interference in the process, according to Michael Bochenek, director of law and policy at Amnesty International.

"Interfering with the right to seek asylum is a serious problem in international law", Bochenek told the Guardian.

It is further evidence that he has a well-founded fear of persecution. This will be relevant to any state when considering an application. International law says that somebody who fears persecution should not be returned to that country.

Meanwhile, Spain provided the first formal acknowledgement that the diversion of the air force jet of Bolivian president Evo Morales was linked to the US hunt for Snowden. Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Garcia-Margallo:

They told us that the information was clear, that he was inside.

Garcia-Margallo however did not reveal who "they" were or if he'd been contacted by the US.

Offer from Spanish ambassador

A Spanish diplomat vehicle with licence WD-22 did however turn up at the Vienna airport the night Morales arrived.

According to Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Patiño, the Spanish ambassador to Austria told Morales that his country would allow the presidential jet into Spanish airspace if it could be inspected. Morales rejected the offer.

Bochenek commented that the US hunt was turning the Snowden story into a global saga.

In PR terms, opinion here and elsewhere in Latin America has shifted precisely because of the appearance of interference with other governments' decision-making processes.

Being in a country not a requirement for asylum

Bochenek further clarified that Snowden could be granted asylum without setting foot in the country granting him asylum - that's a convention that can be ignored.

It's true that a lot of states have that as a rule in their own domestic requirements, but it is not required by international law.

And placing Snowden on an Interpol "red flag" list is an advisory only.

Transit through Cuba?

A possible route for Snowden from Moscow to Venezuela would be through Havana, and although the Cubans have not yet formally declared they would grant him transit, they have expressed sympathy for his situation and accused the US of trampling on the sovereignty of other nations.

2013-07-07 Snowden: Everyone's in bed with the NSA

Germany, Britain, Sweden: these countries and more have been "in bed" with the NSA for a long time, according to whistleblower Edward Snowden and Rick Falkvinge.


Today Spiegel published an interview with Edward Snowden, conducted by Laura Poitras and Jacob Appelbaum via encrypted email before Snowden left Hawaii. The interview reveals further secrets about the extent of US surveillance, and suggests that US allies are sometimes more extreme than the US.

Snowden's comments undermine the rhetoric of German chancellor Angela Merkel who has repeatedly expressed outrage at what she calls the "Cold War tactics" of the US.

"They are in bed with the Germans, just like with most other Western states", Snowden says of the NSA.

Other agencies don't ask us where we got the information from and we don't ask them. That way they can protect their top politicians from the backlash in case it emerges how massively people's privacy is abused worldwide.

Germans are particularly sensitive about eavesdropping because of their experiences with the Gestapo and with the Stasi.

United Kingdom

Snowden described the British GCHQ Tempora programme as a "full take".

It sucks up all information, no matter where it comes from and which laws are broken. If you send a data packet and it goes through Britain, we'll get it. If you download anything and the server is in Britain, we'll get it.


Today Rick Falkvinge offered an explanation for why Sweden chose to veto the EU probe into the surveillance scandal: Swedes are giving massive amounts of Russian Internet traffic to the NSA.

Putting it all together, Sweden is wiretapping Russia for the NSA, and has been doing so since the FRA law took effect in Sweden. The FRA agency is continuously wiretapping Russia based on the agreement signed in April 2007, and sharing the data with the NSA.

In this context, it is no coincidence that Sweden and the UK, as the only two European countries, recently chose to block EU investigations into US wiretapping of European officials and industries.

2013-07-08 UK news site censors discussion of Sofia Wilén

Someone's panicking. Late on Saturday 6 July 2013, the Independent published an article by Archie Bland: "In depth: Julian Assange and Edward Snowden - enemies of the state take flight" about the legal and physical limbo both find themselves in as a result of their whistleblowing and publishing activities. Disqus comments were open underneath the article and throughout the day on Sunday readers engaged in a lively discussion.

As is usual with any article mentioning Julian Assange, in amongst that discussion was much back-and-forth on the merits of the Swedish investigation into allegations made against him in August 2010 - including, significantly, the lab results from Sweden's National Laboratory of Forensic Science, or Statens kriminaltekniska laboratorium (SKL), newly published for the first time in English at the Assange in Sweden website: Assange in Sweden: The Lab Results.

And then, around 7.30pm Sunday and 220-plus comments in, the entire comments section suddenly vanished. Not just a few rogue or offensive comments here and there, but the entire Disqus interface had been removed, leaving a gaping expanse of white space beneath the article. Clearly, something had got the lawyers at the Independent spooked, but what was it?

One reader figured out it might have something to do with that lab report, which the original poster had re-posted no less than three times in the comments thread in an effort to keep it in view. Suspecting that such blatant censorship may have been forced by the fact that deleting the individual comments discussing the implications of the forensics report would look too obvious - there were too many of those - and that the Independent might have received a formal take-down notice, they quickly copied it to an unrelated article about Snowden and Assange in another news outlet.

Guess what? The Independent newspaper today had an article about the plight of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. They had a lively Disqus comments discussion going - 200+ posts - which has suddenly been REMOVED in its entirety. Gone, completely! I suspect this removal has something to do with the fact what was being discussed was this below:

You may be interested in reading this - the forensic lab results from the Swedish investigation of allegations against Assange, translated into English for the first time:

assangeinswedenbook[dot]com/2013/07/01/the-lab-results/ - (replace that [dot] with a . first)

Pay special attention to the very last paragraph, and then *think* very hard about how this ties in with the formal witness statements from both women - who accused Assange of doing what exactly, and when. The names given in square brackets here ARE correct. Now, what does this story of two women turning up at a police station together and a warrant being issued for "double rape" BEFORE either had sat down to give an "official" statement look like to you?

For the avoidance of doubt, I'll spell it out. What this lab report shows is that one of the women has told two different stories - of not seeing, but hearing, a condom being damaged ("a sound like pulling on a balloon... the room was dark at the time") vs later saying it was all about a penetration attempt without a condom when she was not fully awake after breakfast and after returning to bed, having sex one more time with a condom half-on then dozing off a bit (and not mentioning in her "official" statement - or to any of her friends in THEIR statements to police - anything AT ALL about the incident of the damaged condom in the night, but still producing a fragment with Assange's DNA on it to be sent to the lab); and the other woman has produced a "deliberately torn during sex" "used" condom with no DNA - not male, not female either - on it.

I encourage everyone to read this source document - it shows BOTH women handed in "torn" "used" condom evidence - one with no DNA at all on it; one, a fragment of condom with a man's DNA on it (which matched that taken from the woman) along with a story about hearing, not seeing, a condom being "damaged" in the dark of night. Mysteriously, there is nothing WHATSOEVER about this in her formal statement or in that of any of her friends who gave statements to the police - and draw your own conclusions.

And what conclusions can be drawn from the fact that the Swedish prosecutor had this lab report weeks before she wrote out an extradition request for Assange? What conclusions can be drawn from the fact that the UK High Court judges also saw this lab report, but mentioned nothing about its most disturbing findings in their judgment turning down Assange's appeal against extradition?

Next, the hunt was on to find out where such a take-down notice - if indeed that was the cause of the removal - could have come from. It seemed unlikely that the readers' conversation would have fallen foul of the UK's laws against the public naming of alleged rape victims. The names Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén had not been mentioned a single time in the entire discussion, so notorious are they now that "the women" is all that's needed to let everyone know who they're talking about. And the link to the Assange in Sweden: The Lab Results article - which did include the women's names - wasn't of the click-through variety. The Independent has its Disqus set up to pre-moderate any comment containing a url, so readers would have to copy the given url to a browser address bar and restore it to its original format before they could access the offending site. Was that sufficient to have the Independent cave in to legal threats? It hardly seemed probable.

Nor could the material properly be deemed sub judice. As we've been told on umpteen occasions, Assange "has exhausted all legal recourse in the UK", his extradition appeal having already been through the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land. So, no possibility of being sub judice there then. From a UK perspective, Assange is only wanted for questioning in a preliminary investigation in its early stages in a foreign jurisdiction. The case is so weak most Swedish jurists who've reviewed the case material say it could never actually reach the courts; it simply isn't strong enough. And Assange is now a political refugee living in Ecuador (strictly speaking). All told then, it looks like there is never going to be a trial. Aside from all that, since when could publication in the UK be counted as sub judice on the faint possibility of a trial in the courts of another nation? Wouldn't that be a sign that sovereignty has broken down entirely within Europe as a result of the shadow from across the Atlantic? Perhaps we're not quite there yet.

The Independent claims to operate a fairly relaxed post-moderation policy, though it mutters darkly "There are also other methods, by the way, with which we shall excise the idiocy of the spammers", and its UGC (User Generated Content) policy specifies it will summarily remove legally troublesome comments, although it doesn't say whether it will take the initiative to pre-emptively do so or whether it would wait for a lawyer's letter to arrive.

Perhaps most intriguing in all this is the belief amongst some Flashback investigators that there was direct coordination between the UK newspaper and Swedish lawyer Elisabeth Massi Fritz over her 23 May 2013 press release on behalf of her new client, Sofia Wilén. There were in fact two press releases: one, understandably holding back a little, aimed for Swedish domestic consumption, followed by a no-holds-barred version for the international market. Except that Flashback had noticed from the documents' metadata that the dates had been switched, and that it was, in reality, Ms Fritz' (or her office junior's or an outside journalist's, who knows?) more outré declamation that had been penned first. Had Massi Fritz' PR campaign been intended to target an international audience all along?

Other clues seemed to bear this out. Certain embarrassing gaffes had been trimmed from the second (now first) version: a reference that the preliminary investigation should be carried out "promptly and in a customary way according to our Swedish judicial system" - laughable in the face of Marianne Ny's refusal to do anything (or say a word about it) since 2010 - was still there in the Independent's version of the presser, although the article was published the day after the toning-down. Not so its other rather more revealing gaffe - that "My client has the right to her day in court for the rape she's reported to the police", which didn't chime too well with the story put about by Anna Ardin and Sofia Wilén that they only went to the police to ask for advice about HIV testing.

Elisabeth Massi Fritz is Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's "family" lawyer, let's not forget, so had this international PR effort received official sanction or support? Was Sofia Wilén's demand via her lawyer that Sweden pressure a sovereign nation to bring about her 'right' to her day in court really a government-led attempt to do the same, disguised as the pleadings of someone "left with deep scars" by the "violation" she'd suffered? Who does Sofia Wilén speak for? Maybe just Sofia Wilén, but she does seem to be remarkably well-connected to be able to speak so loudly.

When news first broke in March 2013 that one of Julian Assange's accusers had made an urgent application to the court for permission to change her counsel, everyone had assumed the complainant in question was Anna Ardin. The reason given was that Claes Borgström spent too much time speaking to the media, although a more plausible one might be the need to get rid of a lawyer whose reputation lay in tatters post-Thomas Quick's acquittal on all eight murder convictions his defence counsel (Borgström) had helped facilitate. Claes Borgström, for his part, seemed quite relaxed - relieved, even - at the sacking, and countered that his client had actually badgered him to do much of the media blitz. Naturally, everyone assumed Ardin.

It wasn't until Claes Borgström submitted his final bill for his services on behalf of this client - a paltry $17,406 of taxpayers' money - that everyone realised that the 'Complainant A' he was talking about was Sofia Wilén. That's not all they realised. According to Claes Borgström's invoice, Sofia Wilén had been re-interviewed by police - "interrogated" in Borgström's words - seven times following her initial (unsigned) statement to Irmeli Krans on 20 August 2010, including the day after police received the above forensics report back from the lab. Moreover, the very next day Mats Gehlin decided to get a statement from the last of Sofia Wilén's witness friends, Marie Thorn (Witness 'I' in the police protocol). It seems he particularly wanted to talk about the various SMS texts and phone calls between Sofia and her friend where matters pertaining to Wilén's motives were "jokingly" discussed - going to the newspapers, being contacted by a US newspaper, and making lots of money. All jokes, you understand, to support a friend through her distress - and all made in the best possible taste. But one SMS stood out, apparently - at least it did for Mats Gehlin after he'd reviewed the findings of the forensics report:

The chief interrogator asked about the SMS message when [Witness I] wrote that they have to figure out a good plan of revenge.

Which brings us back to the mysterious removal of the Disqus comments section, with its extensive discussion of the Swedish forensics report, from the Independent last Sunday, and who might be responsible. Elisabeth Massi Fritz' work ethic is unlikely to extend to working on a Sunday, but Wilén herself is known by Flashback to maintain an obsessive vigilance about online references to herself, quickly acting to ensure anything she doesn't like gets taken down. Especially stuff as revealing as the Independent readers' comments, many of which spelt out in no uncertain terms exactly what the forensics report showed Sofia Wilén had done on that fateful day in August 2010. What's surprising to Flashback, however, isn't the speed with which material on Sofia Wilén gets removed from the Internet, it's the extent of the tight control she seems to enjoy over information about her.

What does censorship signal?


2013-07-12 Snowden statement at Sheremetyevo

Edward Joseph Snowden delivered a statement to human rights organizations and individuals at Sheremetyevo airport at 5pm Moscow time today, Friday 12th July.

The meeting lasted 45 minutes. The human rights organizations included Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and were given the opportunity afterwards to ask Mr Snowden questions. The Human Rights Watch representative used this opportunity to tell Mr Snowden that on her way to the airport she had received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked her to relay to Mr Snowden that the US Government does not categorise Mr Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law. This further proves the United States Government's persecution of Mr Snowden and therefore that his right to seek and accept asylum should be upheld. Seated to the left of Mr. Snowden was Sarah Harrison, a legal advisor in this matter from WikiLeaks and to Mr Snowden's right, a translator.

Transcript of Edward Joseph Snowden statement, given at 5pm Moscow time on Friday 12th July 2013. (Transcript corrected to delivery)

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates.

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive, pervasive surveillance. While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see, somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most basic notion of justice - that it must be seen to be done. The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: "Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring."

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for justice.

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression. The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of the principle of non-refoulement - the Law of Nations. It has threatened with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military allies to ground a Latin American president's plane in search for a political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy asylum.

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression, countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations, including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future. With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela's President Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen, however, some governments in Western European and North American states have demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

2013-07-15 Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Swedish sociology professor Stefan Svallfors revealed on Twitter yesterday that he has contacted the Nobel Committee in Norway, nominating Edward Snowden for the Peace Prize.

Svallfors' original Swedish language letter can be found at the news site of Västerbottens-kuriren. A rush translation follows.

To the Norwegian Nobel Committee:

Dear committee members!

I propose that the Peace Prize for 2013 be awarded the US citizen Edward Snowden.

Edward Snowden has - in a heroic deed and at great personal cost - revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance for which the US government has used electronic communications worldwide. By shining a light oh this surveillance programme - which is conducted in conflict with national legislation and international agreements - Edward Snowden has helped make the work a little bit better and safer.

Through his personal efforts, he has also shown that individual citizens can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms. This is an important example as ever since the Nuremberg trials of 1945 it's been clear that the dismissal "I was only following orders" can never be used as an excuse for acts that violate human rights and freedoms. Despite this, it's highly unusual that individuals demonstrate the insight into their personal responsibility and the courage Edward Snowden has demonstrated in his exposure of the US surveillance programme. For even this reason he is an especially valuable candidate.

A decision to award the 2013 Peace Prize to Edward Snowden would, beyond being well motivated in itself, also help salvage the Peace Prize from the disrepute it suffered through the hasty and poorly considered decision to grant the 2009 award to US president Barack Obama. Such a decision would show the committee are prepared to stand up in defence of human rights and freedoms even when such defence is regarded unfavourably by the world's dominant military power.


Stefan Svallfors
Professor of Sociology, Umeå University

According to the will of Alfred Nobel, a prize is to be given to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies, and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

2013-07-15 Manning supporters hopeful for dismissal of major charges


Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

Bradley Manning supporters hopeful for dismissal of major charges

On Monday, July 15, military judge Colonel Denise Lind will hear oral arguments regarding four defense motions to dismiss major charges against U.S. Army whistle-blower PFC Bradley Manning. Proceedings begin at 3:00 PM, at Fort Meade, MD.

The government rested its case on July 2, at which point the defense filed motions for Judge Lind to direct not-guilty verdicts for charges that Manning "aided the enemy," committed computer fraud, and stole government property. An intelligence analyst in Iraq, Manning passed documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks in 2010, hoping to expose war crimes and spark public debate and reforms.

In each motion, defense attorney David Coombs lays out the ways in which the government's own witnesses failed to confirm the prosecution's arguments set forth in opening arguments.

"We're expecting a significant legal victory next week," said Jeff Paterson, project director for the Bradley Manning Support Network. "The Government's incompetent over-prosecution has been a welcome surprise."

Prosecutors spent weeks attempting to portray Manning as a reckless soldier who knew that by passing documents to WikiLeaks he was passing them indirectly to al Qaeda. But they failed on every front in proving their charge. Harvard Law professor and widely cited WikiLeaks scholar Yochai Benkler testified that it wasn't until overblown government rhetoric that WikiLeaks was ever associated with terrorism. At the time of these releases, it was a widely praised, legitimate journalistic outlet and whistle-blowing resource.

"We've now seen the evidence presented by both sides, and it's abundantly clear that the charge of 'aiding the enemy' has no basis. The government should withdraw that charge," said Widney Brown senior director for international law and policy at Amnesty International, in a statement released by the human rights organization on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Government's computer fraud charges hinge on the use of a specific program, Wget, to argue that authorized access was exceeded. Coombs explains, "There is not one case-not one-where any court in this country has premised criminal liability on a theory akin to the one the Government is advancing today." Additionally, the Army acknowledges destroying the evidence of the Acceptable Use Policy that Manning allegedly signed.

Regarding the charges that Manning stole Government property, Coombs explains, "The Government in this case did not charge that PFC Manning stole or converted "information" or "copies"; instead it charged that he stole or converted "databases". Such a distinction is not, in any way, a semantic one.... Since the Government has introduced no evidence that PFC Manning stole or converted the databases in question, he must be found not guilty." He adds that the Government should not now be allowed to correct their error at this late hour.

Even if most of these major charges are dismissed, Manning has taken responsibility for providing WikiLeaks with the documents in question. Those lesser charges alone carry a possible 20-year prison sentence; however, Judge Lind will be under no obligation to impose any punishment. This means the upcoming 2-3 weeks of testimony and arguments regarding sentencing are critically important to Manning's future.

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-17 Exchange: Edward Snowden, Senator Gordon Humphrey

Gordon Humphrey served in the US Senate for 12 years and was a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. The exchange below was shared with Glenn Greenwald.

Mr. Snowden,

Provided you have not leaked information that would put in harms way any intelligence agent, I believe you have done the right thing in exposing what I regard as massive violation of the United States Constitution.

Having served in the United States Senate for twelve years as a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, I think I have a good grounding to reach my conclusion.

I wish you well in your efforts to secure asylum and encourage you to persevere.

Kindly acknowledge this message, so that I will know it reached you.


Gordon J. Humphrey
Former United States Senator
New Hampshire

Mr. Humphrey,

Thank you for your words of support. I only wish more of our lawmakers shared your principles - the actions I've taken would not have been necessary.

The media has distorted my actions and intentions to distract from the substance of Constitutional violations and instead focus on personalities. It seems they believe every modern narrative requires a bad guy. Perhaps it does. Perhaps, in such times, loving one's country means being hated by its government.

If history proves that be so, I will not shy from that hatred. I will not hesitate to wear those charges of villainy for the rest of my life as a civic duty, allowing those governing few who dared not do so themselves to use me as an excuse to right these wrongs.

My intention, which I outlined when this began, is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them. I remain committed to that. Though reporters and officials may never believe it, I have not provided any information that would harm our people - agent or not - and I have no intention to do so.

Further, no intelligence service - not even our own - has the capacity to compromise the secrets I continue to protect. While it has not been reported in the media, one of my specializations was to teach our people at DIA how to keep such information from being compromised even in the highest threat counter-intelligence environments (i.e. China).

You may rest easy knowing I cannot be coerced into revealing that information, even under torture.

With my thanks for your service to the nation we both love,

Edward Snowden

2013-07-18 Glenn Greenwald interview at Harper's

Harper's published an insightful interview with Glenn Greenwald yesterday on the evolving PRISM story. It's very much worth a read.


Greenwald began his career in journalism in 2005 with Unclaimed Territory while still working as a lawyer in New York. Salon picked up the blog in 2007. Since then Greenwald's gone over to the Guardian, and in December last year was contacted by Edward Snowden. Alex Mierjeski spoke to him on the phone for Harper's.

Not for profit

Greenwald points out at the end of the interview that Snowden had every chance to profit by his leaks but chose not to do so.

If you talk to Snowden, what he'll say is, "Look, I'm not trying to destroy the surveillance state." If he were, he could've done so many things: he could have sold the documents for millions of dollars to China or Iran; he could have passed them on covertly; he could have dumped them all on the Internet. What he's trying to do is enable a democratic debate.

Snowden sent Greenwald an anonymous message back in December 2012.

I and a few other people have some things that you’d be interested in. The problem is we can only communicate with you by encrypted email, so do you have PGP encryption?

Greenwald never got PGP installed, so Snowden, after posting a "how-to" for PGP at YouTube and still not getting Greenwald to install PGP, turned to Laura Poitras.

I'm going to give this stuff to you and then get Glenn involved.

Snowden was most interested not in the response of the Obama administration which was considered a given, but in the public's response. So they discussed together how they would get the public's attention to engage a real debate.

What the Obama Administration was going to do was pretty predictable. We knew they were going to accuse him of being a traitor, to depict him as fleeing to China, as having endangered the people to terrorists. They do the same thing in every single case.

Greenwald expounds a bit on the nature of power and the allergy of those in power to transparency. "People in power don’t want to be checked", Greenwald says.

It's just a natural instinct for people in power to want to hide what they do, because secrecy is the lynchpin for abuse of power, and transparency is the antidote to it.

"They want you to be scared"

Greenwald understood that giving Snowden the support he needed would take a lot of courage.

I definitely knew it was going to take a lot of resolve, right? Because the government relies on this climate of fear. They want you to be scared. But this is what I've been working for ever since I started writing about politics and doing journalism. So I was pretty resolved that I wasn't going to let fear impede what I did. I had to commit to doing it in a really aggressive and adversarial way.

But the thing that really focused me was seeing how courageous Snowden was. I mean, here's this twenty-nine-year-old kid who has made a conscious choice to subject himself to a substantial risk of being in prison for the rest of his life, and yet he never evinced even a molecule of remorse or regret or fear. He was completely convinced and tranquil about the rightness of his choice. That kind of courage is contagious.

The worst is yet to come

Greenwald still hasn't gone through all the materials from Snowden.

I still haven't gone through all of it, but even though I had been writing for the past four years about how the NSA was building this completely unaccountable and sprawling surveillance system, seeing the truth of it - the hardcore reality of it in their documents - was kind of shocking, I have to say. And I really believe that the most significant revelations are yet to come... The stuff that has shocked me the most is the stuff we haven't even written about.

Not the same as wiretapping

Greenwald points out that the PRISM scandal is global, unlike the wiretapping scandals of the Bush years.

What makes this different is the scale, combined with the complete secrecy. So if you're all of a sudden learning that the government is collecting everyone's phone records - local, national, and international - and having all these murky agreements with the world's main mechanisms of communication - Facebook and Google and Skype - you get the feeling that you don't have any kind of democratic accountability. Everything they're doing of great significance has been completely hidden from you.

This really erodes trust in political institutions. It makes people question the true nature of the society in which they're living and the kind of government that they have.

There's a big difference between tethering phone records and tapping into the Internet, because telephones are almost an obsolete technology at this point. Tapping phones seems familiar to people, whereas the Internet, from the start, promised that you could be anonymous. This is where people explore their internal lives and push the boundaries of what's acceptable. The things they do that they like to hide, they tend to do on the Internet.

Read the complete interview at Harper's.

2013-07-18 Manning trial judge won't dismiss "aiding the enemy"

Colonel Denise Lind, judge for the court-martial of Bradley Manning, today denied defence requests that the charges "aiding the enemy" and "computer fraud" be dropped. Lind ruled that the government had presented "some evidence" to support the charges.

The government's claim that Manning was aiding the enemy is based on Manning knowing that the leaked information would be seen online by members of al-Qaeda.

Manning has stated that he leaked the material to provoke public discussion about what he considered wrongdoing by US troops and diplomats.

Freedom of the Press Foundation cited a similar case from 2004 when airplane mechanic Thomas Wilson's complaint to Donald Rumsfeld about shoddy equipment became first page news around the world - he too was, according to current thinking, "aiding the enemy".

We're digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass that's already been shot up... to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper vehicles to carry with us north.

The government's decision to prosecute Manning for "aiding the enemy" threatens to make public comments like Wilson's grounds for criminal prosecution, writes Ben Wizner of the ACLU.

The notion that Wilson and Rumsfeld broke the law by communicating this information to the media and thereby "indirectly" aiding the enemy is absurd - but no more so than the government's contention that Bradley Manning did so.

2013-07-21 Manning trial: Judge lets govt reopen case for baseless allegation


Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

Manning trial: Judge lets govt reopen case for baseless allegation

In an extremely rare, last-minute move weeks after the government rested its case, military judge Col. Denise Lind allowed prosecutors to expand their rebuttal case, making way for unsupported accusations against Pfc Bradley Manning. The late addition exceeded the usual limits of a simple rebuttal, once again raising supporters' and journalists' suspicions about the validity and fairness of the proceedings.

In a cynical move, the government prosecution recalled Specialist Jihrleah Showman, a former supervisor against whom Manning filed an Equal Opportunity complaint. Following Manning's complaint Showman was admonished for her use of homophobic language in conversation and workplace signage. In the years since, she has vied for media appearances augmented by her own vitriolic tweets attacking Manning as well as his supporters. Now, at the eleventh hour, she claims to recall a conversation with the 25-year-old Army private in which he allegedly shared anti-American opinions.

According to the defense, however, Showman is lending an intentional and inaccurate spin to comments Manning made regarding his refusal to follow any authority blindly as an "automaton" (in Manning's own words) so that they conform to the prosecution's characterization of someone disloyal to the United States.

Meanwhile, no other witness from the prosecution or defense argument has testified that Manning ever shared any anti-American sentiment. In fact, several witnesses have offered just the opposite. Lauren McNamara, with whom Manning chatted socially online, testified that he said her was "concerned about making sure that everyone, soldiers, marines, contractors, even the local nationals, get home to their families".

The alleged comments came during a routine one-on-one professional conference, the sort that superiors are instructed to document. Although Showman provided written documentation for other private conferences in the same time frame - apprising Manning of the unit smoking policy and the possibility of her recommending him for "soldier-of-the-month" - she failed to assign the same importance to these newly revealed comments until after Manning had been arrested on suspicion of sharing classified information with WikiLeaks.

Despite Showman's assertion she passed this hearsay commentary on to her own superior, then-Master Sergeant Paul Adkins, Adkins did not corroborate her version of events when he testified later that afternoon. After numerous sworn statements saying he could not recall Showman reporting such an incident, Adkins did eventually sign one written by his lawyer in June 2011 as part of an appeal his reduction in rank saying she had reported the incident and that he in turn reported it up the chain of command.

In his previous statements, Adkins himself wrote and signed statements that mention no comments from Manning of a disloyal or anti-American nature. Other superiors in Manning's chain, such as Chief Warrant Officer Kyle Balonek, testified he had never heard about this allegation, and that he would expect any incident of this sort to have been documented in writing.

This controversial testimony comes just after a defense motion articulating the prosecution's lack of evidence to support its "aiding the enemy" charge against Manning, and after several witnesses testified that Manning never displayed any anti-American sentiments.

Outraged by this shocking add-on to the prosecution's extensive five-week case - including testimony and cross examination of Showman herself - hundreds of supporters across the world are planning actions on July 27. In Washington DC, supporters will converge at Ft McNair Army base to appeal on Manning's behalf to the court martial convening authority, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan.

While it remains to be seen how much weight Col. Lind will place on this unconventional addition, in the court of public opinion it has largely weakened the prosecution's argument. Showman's latest testimony contradicts that of every other witness in this trial, including her own earlier statements. The proposition that Manning would be so open about his humanist philosophy and patriotism with friends and anonymous online chat-buddies only to confide in a homophobic army supervisor simply doesn't hold water for most listeners.

Showman's performance on the stand ultimately seemed reminiscent of testimony earlier this summer from convicted hacker and government informant Adrian Lamo. In online chats where Manning confesses his actions to Lamo, the latter asks if this might make Manning a sort of spy.

"I couldn't be a spy", replied Manning. "Spies don't post things up for the world to see."

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-23 Bradley Manning to Receive 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize

Bradley Manning Support Network


Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

July 23: Bradley Manning to Receive 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize

What: Tele-Press conference award ceremony with Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers) and Mairead Maguire (Nobel Peace Laureate)
When: Tuesday, July 23, 11:00 a.m. EST
Where: Via tele-press conference 855-212-0212, Meeting ID: 956-026-378#

The International Peace Bureau will announce the awarding of its 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Prize to Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, currently on trial and facing a life sentence for releasing classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks in order to promote "debates, discussions and reforms" concerning U.S. foreign policy.

The 25-year-old soldier has been nominated three consecutive years for the Nobel Peace Prize while in pre-trial confinement, nearly a year of which was spent in solitary confinement in conditions a United Nations torture investigator called "cruel, inhuman and degrading." The IPB, itself a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, believes Manning has "obeyed a higher moral law" in revealing vital information on war crimes.

Presenting the award and answering questions will be Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and 1976 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, IPB Secretary General Colin Archer, and Bradley Manning Support Network Director Jeff Paterson.

The presentation of this award comes shortly before Judge Col. Denise Lind is expected to make her ruling on Manning's guilt or innocence. The defense and prosecution will offer closing arguments for the merits portion of the court martial on Thursday, July 25 at the courthouse at Ft. Meade, MD. Judge Lind is expected to announce her verdict of guilt or innocence sometime between Friday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 31, when the sentencing phase will begin.

Founded in 1892, the International Peace Bureau, headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910. It was originally formed as an international federation of national peace groups and now boasts 300 member organizations. Every year since 1992 it has awarded the Sean MacBride Peace Prize, named for IPB's former President, who was an Irish Statesman, co-founder of Amnesty International, and a Nobel Peace Laureate himself (1974). The prize is awarded to an individual or an organization that has done outstanding work for peace, disarmament, and/or human rights.

2013-07-23 July 25: Closing arguments in Bradley Manning's trial

Bradley Manning Support Network

ADVISORY FOR: July 23, 2013

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

July 25: Closing arguments in Bradley Manning's trial

What: Court Martial proceedings for United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning
When: Thursday, July 25, 9:30am, EST. Credentialed media check in at 7am
Where: Magistrate Court, 4432 Llewellyn Ave, Ft. Meade, MD

On Thursday, the prosecution and defense in the case of WikiLeaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning will deliver their closing arguments before military judge Col. Denise Lind for the merits phase of the trial, which will determine his guilt or innocence for "Aiding the Enemy" and other major charges. Judge Lind will also rule on two remaining defense motions to direct a not-guilty verdict on charges of stealing government property.

Credentialed media are to arrive for the press pool escort onto the base between 7:00-8:00 a.m., by way of the Reece Rd & Annapolis Rd (MD 175) gate's visitor parking lot. Journalists without credentials from the Ft. Meade Public Affairs Office are permitted to cover these open sessions from the courtroom and spectator trailer at 4432 Llewellyn Ave. Closing arguments are expected to begin early in Thursday's morning session, immediately after Lind's ruling on defense motions.

Earlier this year, PFC Manning pled guilty to 10 lesser charges relating to misusing classified information, stating "I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information... this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy." Government prosecutors have continued to pursue 12 additional offenses including Aiding the Enemy, Espionage, and theft of government property.

According to the defense, Manning was focused exclusively on getting information to the American public and had no intent to aid America's enemies. The defense is expected to draw upon testimony from witnesses such as Harvard Law Professor Yochai Benkler, who explained the value of Manning's actions toward open journalism and democracy, and Lauren McNamara, who shared statements Manning made to her about the importance of saving lives and getting U.S. soldiers "home safe to their families."

The defense also challenges the government's assertion that Manning accessed or downloaded information that he was not already authorized to access.

Following closing arguments, the court will recess for Judge Lind to begin deliberating her verdict. She is expected to announce her decision prior to Wednesday, July 31, when the 2-3 week sentencing phase of the trial is scheduled to start.

2013-07-23 July 26: DC demonstrators confront WikiLeaks whistleblower Convening Authority

Bradley Manning Support Network

ADVISORY FOR: July 22, 2013

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

July 26: DC demonstrators confront WikiLeaks whistleblower Convening Authority

What: Demonstration at Ft. McNair, base of Convening Authority Maj. Gen. Buchanan
When: Friday, July 26, 3-5:30 PM. Rally at 3pm, March at 4:15pm.
Where: Event starts at 4th St and P St SW, Washington DC

Hundreds of supporters of Army whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning are demonstrating July 26, 3-5:30pm, at Ft. McNair, Washington D.C., the base of Convening Authority Major General Buchanan, who has the power to reduce Bradley's sentence. They're gathering shortly after the closing arguments of the guilt vs. innocence phase of Manning's trial to ask Maj. Gen. Buchanan to free the Army whistleblower. The event will include colorful banners, protest puppets, speakers from the veteran and anti-war communities, and an attempt to deliver a petition to Maj. Gen. Buchanan himself. Additionally, the US Peace Memorial Foundation will attend to present Manning with their 2013 Peace Prize.

Last Thursday, Amnesty International called Bradley Manning's prosecution a "travesty of justice". Manning is facing a life sentence for releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks because he wanted to promote "debates, discussions and reforms" concerning U.S. foreign policy. He has pled guilty to mishandling classified information, which carries up to a 20-year sentence, but he faces life in prison on charges of Aiding the Enemy, Espionage, computer fraud, and federal theft.

Meanwhile, Manning's trial in Ft. Meade, MD is set to enter a new phase: the defense and prosecution will make closing arguments on Thursday, July 25, and the sentencing phase is scheduled to begin July 31.

The military justice system dictates no minimum sentence, so as Convening Authority Maj. Gen. Buchanan has wide latitude to decrease a sentence. Supporters are hopeful he will take into consideration the fact that Manning was imprisoned three years before he was tried, including 9 months alone in a 6x8 ft cell, conditions which the judge determined to be "unlawful pretrial punishment" and which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden referenced in his pursuit of asylum. Additionally, many supporters cried foul at the judge permitting Manning's homophobic supervisor to testify last Friday for the prosecution, after they'd officially closed their argument.

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-23 July 27: Global actions for Bradley Manning as verdict looms

Bradley Manning Support Network

ADVISORY FOR: July 27, 2013

Contact: Emma Cape,

July 27: Global actions for Bradley Manning as verdict looms

Activists in more than 30 cities across the United States and the world will demonstrate their support for U.S. Army whistleblower Pfc. Bradley Manning on July 27, 2013, calling on Convening Authority Major General Buchanan to exercise his right to reduce Manning's sentence if convicted. Events will be held in major U.S. cities, across the UK and as far as Australia. Actions include theater, banner drops, flash mobs and demonstrations in front of U.S. embassies.

The international action, coordinated by the Bradley Manning Support Network, will come a day after a July 26 demonstration from 3-5:30 PM at Ft. McNair ( ) (4th St and P St. SW, near the Waterfront metro, Washington D.C.), where Convening Authority Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan himself is based.

Manning currently faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of documents to the website WikiLeaks in hopes of spurring "debates, discussion and reforms" concerning U.S. foreign policy. Manning's releases through WikiLeaks uncovered thousands of previously uncounted civilian casualties in Iraq, the U.S.'s lobbying against the minimum wage in Haiti, and a directive from U.S. State Secretary Hillary Clinton to spy on U.N. officials, among hundreds of other revelations.

Closing arguments for the guilt vs. innocence phase of Manning's trial will take place this Thursday, July 25. Judge Col. Denise Lind is expected to take the weekend deliberating on her verdict, with the sentencing phase of the trial expected to begin on July 31st.

Manning took responsibility for the releases in court on February 28, 2013, in a guilty plea to ten lesser offenses that could have put him in prison for up to twenty years. But the military is aggressively persecuting him in order to silence future dissent and sent a message against whistleblowing. Meanwhile, many people worldwide look to Manning as a hero for transparency and democracy; he is the 2013 winner of peace prizes from both the International Peace Bureau and the US Peace Memorial Foundation, and over 20 big name celebrities recently released a video ( ) that has garnered 500K views on youtube, calling for Bradley Manning's freedom.

Events registered at

Los Angeles, CA ( )

Solidarity Rally

Detroit, MI ( )

Bradley Manning Solidarity Rally

St. Louis, MI ( )

Bradley Manning Support Rally

Helena, MT ( )

Justice for Bradley Manning

Horsham, PA ( )

Support gay whistle-blower Bradley Manning

Berkeley, CA ( )

We Are All Bradley Manning

Tampa Bay, FL ( )

Flashmobs for Bradley!

Chicago, IL ( )

Free Bradley Manning

Phoenix, AZ ( )

Phoenix rally to stand with Bradley Manning

New Orleans, LA ( )

Free Bradley Manning (French Market)

Portland, ME ( )

Support Bradley Manning Rally

San Francisco ( )

We Are Bradley Manning Bay Area Benefit Show

San Francisco ( )

Free Bradley Manning Flash Mob

Seattle, WA ( )

Take action for Bradley

Fort Leavenworth, KS ( )

Ft. Leavenworth July 27th Solidarity Rally

New York City, NY ( )

#FreeBrad Support Event in Central Park

Boston, MA ( )

Solidarity with Bradley Manning Stand Out

Seattle, WA ( )

Take action for Bradley!

The Hague, Netherlands ( )

March for Bradley Manning

Paris, France ( )

Anti-War Vigil for Bradley Manning

Brussels, Belgium ( )

March for Bradley Manning

Berlin, Germany ( )

#PRISM #TEMPORA #INDECT Solidarität mit Edward #Snowden Bradley #Manning #freebrad #wikileaks

Minneapolis, MN ( )

July 27th Solidarity Rally for Bradley Manning

Oklahoma City, OK ( )

Rally and Vigil to Honor Truthteller Bradley Manning

Berkeley, CA ( )

Join CODEPINK Women for Peace to say "Free Bradley"

Vancouver, BC ( )

Rally and banner drop. (pdf poster)

Toronto, ON ( )

Toronto Believes in Bradley Manning and Peace!

London, UK ( )

Peaceful vigil in front of the Amnesty International Secretariat office

London, UK ( )

International Day of Action for Bradley

London, UK ( )

Vigil at St Martin in the Fields, London

Peterborough, UK ( )

Standout in Solidarity

Seoul, South Korea ( )

1 person protest in front of the US Embassy in Seoul

Haverfordwest, UK ( )

Join us in Wales to stand in solidarity with Bradley!

Perth, Australia ( )

Education and Awareness-Whistleblowers

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-25 July 26: DC rally to confront Bradley Manning's Convening Authority

Bradley Manning Support Network

ADVISORY FOR: July 26, 2013

Contact: Mike McKee, 215-888-1570

July 26: DC rally to confront Bradley Manning's Convening Authority

What: demonstration at Ft. McNair, base of Convening Authority Maj. Gen. Buchanan
When: Friday, July 26, 3-5:30 PM
Where: Event starts at 4th St and P St SW, near the Waterfront metro, Washington DC

As military judge Col. Denise Lind considers her final verdict in Pfc. Bradley Manning's court martial, hundreds of supporters of the Army whistleblower are demonstrating July 26, 3-5:30pm, at Ft. McNair, Washington D.C., the base of Convening Authority Major General Buchanan, who has the power to reduce Bradley's sentence. The event will include colorful banners, protest puppets, speakers from the veteran and anti-war communities, and an attempt to deliver a petition to Maj. Gen. Buchanan himself. Additionally, the US Peace Memorial Foundation will attend to present Manning with their 2013 Peace Prize.

Amnesty International recently called Bradley Manning's prosecution a "travesty of justice." ( ) Manning faces a potential life sentence for releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks because he wanted to promote "debates, discussions and reforms" concerning U.S. foreign policy. He pled guilty to mishandling classified information, which carries up to a 20-year sentence, but faces life in prison on charges of Aiding the Enemy, Espionage, computer fraud, and federal theft.

The defense and prosecution made closing arguments on Thursday, July 25, and the sentencing phase is scheduled to begin July 31.

The military justice system dictates no minimum sentence. Supporters are hopeful Maj. Gen Buchanan will consider the fact that Manning was imprisoned three years before he was tried, including 9 months alone in a 6x8 ft cell, conditions which the judge determined to be "unlawful pretrial punishment" and which NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden referenced ( ) in his pursuit of asylum. Additionally, many supporters cried foul ( ) at the judge permitting Manning's homophobic supervisor to testify for the prosecution, after it'd officially closed its argument.

View the event Facebook page. ( )

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-26 Free Barrett Brown: The right to link

Welcome to the age where copying and pasting a link can land you in jail. In a case that threatens the future of information sharing and journalism, Barrett Brown is facing up to 105 years in prison for sharing a link from one chatroom to another in the course of research he was doing as a journalist.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) published an article explaining that this prosecution is setting a dangerous precedent which could "criminalize routine journalism practices" and even the ability to freely share links.

Despite the fact that Barrett was not involved in the hacking of Stratfor, he's been charged with fraud and identity theft for merely pasting a hyperlink to leaked information.

Barrett never profited from the data contained in the link - in fact, he's on record as being opposed to the release of credit card information by hackers. Moreover, as Stratfor's CEO George Friedman relates, the FBI had already provided the credit card companies with a list of compromised cards, allowing customers to be notified and account numbers cancelled, over a week before Barrett is alleged to have shared the link with his fellow researchers.

The data included the firm's subscriber list, which showed how well connected they were within the intelligence industry, and a number of their surveillance activities were exposed by the release of email which were later published by WikiLeaks as the Global Intelligence Files - which has yielded numerous stories as a source for journalists.

We need to stop this before it goes any further.

Fight for the Future and Free Barrett Brown have teamed up to create a petition demanding Attorney General Eric Holder drop the 2nd and 3rd indictments against Barrett Brown - those threatening the right to link and reporter's privilege, respectively.

Click here to sign the petition to drop the charges against Barrett Brown.

Director, Free Barrett Brown

Subscribe to our mailing list. (Reply saying 'unsubscribe' to be removed.)

2013-07-28 DC: Protesters demand Buchanan free Manning

On Friday afternoon demonstrators marched and blocked the gates of Ft McNair in Washington DC at the office of Maj Gen Jeffrey S Buchanan, Convening Authority for whistleblower Bradley Manning's trial. They carried a large painted version of the van from the Collateral Murder video, a 60-foot US Constitution bearing a "classified" stamp, and both balloons and a 20-foot banner inscribed with the message "Maj Gen Buchanan, Do the Right Thing, Free Bradley Manning".

The event immediately followed closing arguments for the guilt vs innocence phase of Manning's legal proceedings, during which the defense argued that Manning is a whistleblower who rightly recognized the problem of unreasonable government secrecy. Today, July 27, activists in dozens of cities across the world are rallying in solidarity with the Ft McNair protesters, as part of an International Day of Action for Manning.

Campaign organizer Emma Cape, with the Bradley Manning Support Network, explained the significance of the movement to support Manning:

It's time we reclaim the word 'patriot'. The kind of patriot we need today is not someone who defends all of our country's history and actions, it's someone willing to stand up for our country's future, taking risks to ensure it's a just one. Bradley Manning is such a person.

Also speaking at the event were activists from Yemen and Iraq, veterans who served in Iraq and Vietnam, and a representative from the US Peace Memorial Foundation, which awarded Manning their 2013 Peace Prize.

Manning faces a potential life sentence for releasing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks because he wanted to promote "debates, discussions and reforms" concerning US foreign policy. He has pled guilty to mishandling classified information, which carries up to a 20-year sentence, but he faces life in prison on charges of aiding the enemy, espionage, computer fraud, and federal theft.

Maj Gen Buchanan is the new commander for the military district of Washington, so he's the "convening authority" in Manning's court martial. He will review the case as soon as the trial concludes, and he has the power to reduce any potential sentence Manning receives. Supporters of Manning hope Maj Gen Buchanan will take into consideration the numerous deprivations of the young private's due process rights, including the fact that Manning was held in torturous solitary confinement for nearly a year and detained for three years before his trial began.

Judge Denise Lind is expected to deliver a final verdict in the coming days, after which the sentencing phase of the trial will begin, with new witnesses, evidence, and arguments.

See professional-quality photos from the event here:

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-30 Bradley Manning Verdict Today 18:00 UTC

What: Military Judge Col. Denise Lind to read verdicts on 21 charges against US Army WikiLeaks whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning
When: July 30, 2013 at 1 PM ET (credentialed media arrive approx 11 AM)
Where: Ft Meade, Maryland, enter at intersection of Reece Rd and MD 175 (Annapolis Road)

In an ominous sign for Manning, military judge Denise Lind altered important charges last week in order to assist prosecutors ahead of verdict. In so doing, defense attorney David Coombs explained, "The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety. If the Government meant 'information', it should have charged information." Up until last week, Manning was charged with stealing entire databases. The Defense has no way to defend Manning against these new charges after the fact.

Army private Bradley Manning faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks, to expose U.S. criminality in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and further abuses around the world.

Never in the history of American military law has a person been charged with Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Law, "Aiding the Enemy," for providing information to the media in the public interest. However, Manning faces life in prison tomorrow if convicted of this charge alone-despite all evidence to the contrary.

"I believed that if the general public, especially the American public, had access to the information... this could spark a domestic debate on the role of the military and our foreign policy in general", Manning said in a February statement.

Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row.

Military justice mandates no minimum sentences; Manning's sentencing phase will begin in the coming days, with new witnesses, arguments, and evidence. This important phase is expected to last much of the month of August.

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

2013-07-30 European parliamentarians call for Manning's freedom

Seventeen members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have written a letter calling on US President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to free whistleblower Army Pfc Bradley Manning. The MEPs laud Manning for exposing "evidence of human rights abuses and apparent war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan" in accordance with international law.

Bradley Manning has already suffered too much, and he should be freed as soon as humanly possible", write politicians from Spain, France, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Ireland, and Ukraine.

In addition to the abuse Manning suffered, the MEPs specifically condemn the 'aiding the enemy' offense with which Manning is charged, a capital offence that "would set a terrible precedent".

"To consider releasing information about war crimes to the public to be 'aiding the enemy' would be a terrible setback for the defense of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law worldwide", said Marisa Matias of Portugal, explaining why she joined 16 other Members of European Parliament in signing the letter.

Manning faces a potential life sentence for passing hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents to the transparency website WikiLeaks, to expose US criminality in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and further abuses around the world. Manning pled guilty to ten lesser offenses that could have put him in prison for up to 20 years, but the prosecution is seeking a life sentence. The military judge in his trial is expected to deliver a final verdict tomorrow, July 30. The sentencing phase of the trial will follow that ruling.

Furthermore, "Army prosecutors closed their arguments in the case without having provided any real evidence that Bradley Manning aided the enemy, or that he intended to do so."

PFC Manning has said he felt that if the public had access to this information, this could 'spark a domestic debate' on US foreign policy 'as it related to Iraq and Afghanistan'. Far from being a traitor, Bradley Manning had the best interests of his country in mind.

Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row.

Contact: Gerry Condon, 206-499-1220

Alternate: Nathan Fuller

Read the letter in full here:

2013-07-30 Jonathan Cook reviews "We Steal Secrets"

Alex Gibney's film "We Steal Secrets" has been derided from the beginning and it met with disastrous results at the box office in the US. Gibney's attempt to market the film to an international audience fared no better.

But criticism of Gibney's film has heretofore concentrated on enumerating the bewildering number of instances of Gibney's sloppy research.

Now Jonathan Cook, the award-winning reporter who once exposed the hidden agenda of the Guardian, writes for Counterpunch, where he takes things a step further and accuses Gibney outright of deliberately misleading the public.

I have just watched We Steal Secrets, Alex Gibney's documentary about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. One useful thing I learnt is the difference between a hatchet job and character assassination. Gibney is too clever for a hatchet job, and his propaganda is all the more effective for it.

Cook sees two major flaws in the "documentary".

The first is that he grievously misrepresents the facts in the Swedish case against Assange of rape and sexual molestation to the point that his motives in making the film are brought into question.

But the most damning evidence against Gibney is his focus on a torn condom submitted by A to the police, unquestioningly accepting its significance as proof of the assault. The film repeatedly shows a black and white image of the damaged prophylactic.

The problem is that investigators have admitted that no DNA from Assange was found on the condom. In fact, A's DNA was not found on it either. The condom, far from making A a more credible witness, suggests that she may have planted evidence to bolster a case so weak that the original prosecutors dropped it.

There is no way Gibney could not have known these well-publicised concerns about the condom. So the question is why would he choose to mislead the audience?

But this, says Cook, is where Gibney steps into his own pathological fantasy world.

Gibney even allows a theory establishing a central personality flaw in Assange to be built around the condom. According to this view, Assange tore it because, imprisoned in his digital world, he wanted to spawn flesh-and-blood babies to give his life more concrete and permanent meaning.

Gibney is careful to take up most "major issues", making it harder to accuse him of distorting the record, writes Cook. But Gibney's dishonesty outside the rape allegations relates not to an avoidance of facts and evidence but to his choice of emphasis.

The Swedish allegations are viewed only in so far as they question Assange's moral character. No serious effort is made to highlight the enormous resources the US security state has been marshalling to shape public opinion, most notably through the media. The hate campaign against Assange, and the Swedish affair's role in stoking it, are ignored.

None of this is too surprising. Were Gibney to have highlighted Washington's efforts to demonise Assange it might have hinted to us, his audience, Gibney's own place in supporting this matrix of misinformation.

Gibney hides the "bigger picture" from the viewer because he himself has a part in it.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His new website is

2013-07-30 Manning judge alters charges to assist govt ahead of verdict

In an ominous sign for Army whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning, military judge Col. Denise Lind altered important charges last week in order to assist prosecutors ahead of her verdict, which is expected tomorrow at 1 PM ET. Defense attorney David Coombs explained, "The Government has pushed this case beyond the bounds of legal propriety. If the Government meant 'information', it should have charged information." Up until last week, Manning was charged with stealing entire databases. The defense has no way to defend Manning against these new charges after the fact.

The government switched its legal theory for three of the five theft charges against Manning, alleging now that Manning stole "portion[s] of" databases instead of the entire databases themselves. It also now contends that Manning stole the information contained within the records, despite merely charging him with stealing databases. This alteration is not semantic. Legally, it's substantially different than the original charges, and more to the point, it comes long after the government rested its case, precluding the defense from going back to question witnesses differently. Left with no other legal recourse, the defense has filed a motion for a mistrial on the theft charges.

"Because all of these critical 'clarifications' are coming after eight weeks of testimony, and because these offenses carry with them 50 years of potential imprisonment, and because the Defense was actually misled by the Charge Sheet, the Defense requests that this Court declare a mistrial as to the section 641 offenses," declared Coombs.

Under Rule for Courts Martial 915, a military judge may declare a mistrial when "manifestly necessary in the interest of justice because of circumstances arising during the proceedings which cast substantial doubt upon the fairness of the proceedings."

In addition to the theft charges, Manning faces a potential life sentence for charges of Espionage, Aiding the Enemy, and Computer Fraud, for passing documents to the website WikiLeaks. He said he released the files, which exposed war crimes and other abuses, to spark a debate about America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its foreign policy more generally.

Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three years in a row.

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628

The Bradley Manning Support Network is responsible for 100% of Manning's legal fees, as well as international education efforts. Funded by 21,000 individuals, the Support Network has mustered $1.3 million in Manning's defense.

2013-07-30 Manning verdict

FT MEADE - Judge Denise Lind today returned the verdict in the trial of Bradley Manning. Manning is found not guilty of aiding the enemy, but is found guilty on 19 counts, four of which were his lesser included pleas. He still could face more than 100 years in jail.

Prosecutor Ashden Fein pushed judge Lind hard in his closing remarks to convince her that Manning was "evil" and had released his data troves for the specific purpose of alerting al-Qaeda. A guilty verdict on that count would have meant the end of journalism as the world knows it.

Manning is found not guilty of violating the Espionage Act in leaking the Garani video, but guilty on six other Espionage Act counts, including his own pleas, and guilty on five counts of theft and four counts of embezzlement of government property.

He is found not guilty on only two of the 21 original counts.

Sentencing begins tomorrow when some 40 witnesses will be called, a process that could take the whole of August.

ACLU Statement

Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, issued the following statement.

While we're relieved that Mr Manning was acquitted of the most dangerous charge, the ACLU has long held the view that leaks to the press in the public interest should not be prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

Since Manning already pleaded guilty to charges of leaking information - which carry significant punishment - it seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future.

Amnesty Statements

Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty International, issued the following statement.

The government's pursuit of the 'aiding the enemy' charge was a serious overreach of the law, not least because there was no credible evidence of Manning's intent to harm the US by releasing classified information to WikiLeaks.

The government's priorities are upside down. The US government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence.

Yet they decided to prosecute Manning who it seems was trying to do the right thing - reveal credible evidence of unlawful behaviour by the government. You investigate and prosecute those who destroy the credibility of the government by engaging in acts such as torture which are prohibited under the US Constitution and in international law.

Since the attacks of September 11, we have seen the US government use the issue of national security to defend a whole range of actions that are unlawful under international and domestic law.

It's hard not to draw the conclusion that Manning's trial was about sending a message: the US government will come after you, no holds barred, if you're thinking of revealing evidence of its unlawful behaviour.

Amnesty UK added the following.

Amnesty believes it undermines accountability when the US government is so selective about who it chooses to investigate and prosecute. This is particularly true when they seem intent on punishing those who reveal unlawful government behaviour and protecting those who actually engaged in or ordered such behaviour.

CCR Statement

The Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement.

While the "aiding the enemy" charges (on which Manning was rightly acquitted) received the most attention from the mainstream media, the Espionage Act itself is a discredited relic of the WWI era, created as a tool to suppress political dissent and antiwar activism, and it is outrageous that the government chose to invoke it in the first place against Manning. Government employees who blow the whistle on war crimes, other abuses, and government incompetence should be protected under the First Amendment.

We now live in a country where someone who exposes war crimes can be sentenced to life even if not found guilty of aiding the enemy, while those responsible for the war crimes remain free. If the government equates being a whistleblower with espionage or aiding the enemy, what is the future of journalism in this country? What is the future of the First Amendment?

Manning's treatment, prosecution, and sentencing have one purpose: to silence potential whistleblowers and the media as well. One of the main targets has been our clients, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, for publishing the leaks. Given the US government's treatment of Manning, Assange should be granted asylum in his home country of Australia and given the protections all journalists and publishers deserve.

We stand in solidarity with Bradley Manning and call for the government to take heed and end its assault on the First Amendment.

Index on Censorship Statement

Index editor Sean Gallagher issued the following statement.

Manning is a whistleblower who leaked files in order to inform the world about what really happened during the Iraq War to no personal gain. Index condemns this verdict and calls on the US government to abide by its duty to protect whistleblowers who speak out in the public interest. We urge the court to show leniency when sentencing Manning tomorrow.

Article 19 Statement

Article 19, an organisation founded in 1987 and named after article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, called Manning a victim of state oppression.

Manning's conviction on 19 charges sets a terrible precedent against anyone who shines a light on serious human rights violations and war crimes. Instead of properly and impartially investigating such wrongdoing, the US government has imprisoned the messenger.

With the US getting away with this injustice, potential whistleblowers will remain silent, and other governments will feel able to crackdown on anybody who raises similar concerns about serious human rights violations anywhere.

Protecting whistleblowers that hold governments and institutions to account is central to protecting the right to freedom of expression under both the First Amendment of the US Constitution and under international law. Sadly in Bradley Manning's case, this military court has decided to ignore such guarantees and do away with justice.

President Obama should give Bradley Manning a full presidential pardon. If he does not, how will the US government hold its head high and tell other governments that they should protect freedom of information and free speech?

2013-07-30 Tonight: emergency protest for Bradley Manning in DC

Where: Dupont Circle, Washington DC, then march to White House
When: 8:30pm ET

Today, while whistleblower PFC Bradley Manning was acquitted of aiding the enemy, he was convicted of other major charges including espionage that could put him in prison for up to 136 years. Supporters argue that convicting someone of espionage for making information available through the press sets a dangerous precedent and instills a chilling effect on future potential whistleblowers. Manning's supporters are protesting in Washington DC this evening, rallying at Dupont Circle at 8:30pm ET and then marching to the White House.

The rally will feature puppets, a glowing 'Free Bradley Manning' sign, drums and other noisemakers, and a march to the office of President Barack Obama, who has attempted to prosecute more whistleblowers with the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined.

Manning was convicted of several counts of espionage, computer fraud, and federal theft. He was not convicted of espionage for releasing the 'Collateral Murder' video, which shows US Apache gunners killing Iraqi civilians and Reuters journalists. As Bradley's attorney David Coombs said after court today, "We won the battle, now we need to go win the war". The Bradley Manning Support Network plans to continue demonstrating and raising money for legal fees through the 2-4 week sentencing phase of the trial and the anticipated appeals process that will follow.

Tonight's event in DC is organized by the Bradley Manning Support Network, Veterans for Peace, and Codepink.

Contact: Nathan Fuller, 516-578-2628