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Entries in Bradley Manning (3)

Sunday
Aug042013

Bradley Manning's Mother Gives First Interview Since Wikileaks Arrest

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Susan Manning, the mother of U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, spoke out in her first interview since her son's arrest, published Sunday by the Daily Mail.

Manning was arrested in 2010 for allegedly supplying Wikileaks with hundreds of thousands of secret military documents.

In the Daily Mail article Susan Manning and her sister Sharon Staples revealed details about Manning's childhood and personal life, as well as their first reactions to seeing him in the press.

"For a second, I thought, what the hell is Bradley doing on the telly? Then I sat down and listened to what he was being accused of," Staples said.

Manning most recently appeared in court July 30, during which he was found guilty of more than 20 crimes but acquitted of the charge of aiding the enemy.

For Manning's mother, the acquittal provides a glimmer of hope. "Never give up hope, son. I know I may never see you again but I know you will be free one day. I pray it is soon. I love you, Bradley and I always will," Susan Manning said.

Manning could face up to 136 years in prison.

The sentencing hearings are set to continue until August 23.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Aug192012

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Calls on President Obama to End 'Witch Hunt'

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared Sunday for the first time since he took refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, calling for the release of Bradley Manning, who is accused of leaking documents to the whistlebowling website, and urging President Obama to "do the right thing" and end the "witch-hunt" against WikiLeaks.

For the past two years, Assange, 41, has fought extradition efforts to send him to Sweden, where he faces questioning over alleged sexual assaults against two women. The Australian has said he fears Swedish authorities will hand him over to U.S. officials.

Ecuador granted Assange political asylum Thursday, but he has been threatened with arrest if he leaves the country's 10-room London embassy, where he has been holed up for the past two months.

Appearing on a balcony, Assange read a prepared statement to more than 200 supporters, reporters and dozens of British police.

"I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks," Assange said. "The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters."

Assange called Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier who is accused of passing classified material to WikiLeaks, "one of the world's foremost political prisoners."

"If Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all," Assange said. "Bradley Manning must be released."

On Wednesday, Manning had entered his 815th day of detention without a trial. The legal maximum is 120 days, Assange said.

During his brief remarks, Assange also thanked Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa for "the courage he has shown in considering and granting me political asylum."

In an address last week, Correa discussed the decision to grant Assange political asylum.

"We've never said that Julian Assange shouldn't answer to the Swedish justice system nor contribute to the investigation into these supposed crimes," he said.

"What we have always asked for is a guarantee that there won't be a second extradition to a third country, as that would put at risk Mr. Assange's life and freedom," he said.

Correa also responded to what he called a "threat" sent in a letter from the British government, which said officials could lift the embassy's diplomatic status, allowing officers to enter the embassy and arrest Assange.

The UK's Foreign Office later told the BBC the letter had been sent to clarify "all aspects of British law that Ecuador should be aware of."

Correa stood his ground and fired back in his weekly address.

"Who do they think they're dealing with?" he said. "They don't realize Latin America is free and sovereign. We won't tolerate interference, colonialism of any kind."

For the time being, Assange remains safe in the confines of the embassy, which is considered Ecuadorean soil, however in order to reach the country, he will have to make it to an airport and board a flight to South America, all while evading arrest by British police.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May252011

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Claims 'Dramatic Increase' in Whistle-Blowers

LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Wednesday called the nearly year-long detention and forthcoming government prosecution of Army Pvt. Bradley Manning an attempt to "terrorize whistle-blowers," but that it has failed to have a chilling effect.

The Pentagon has accused Manning, who has been held in a military brig since May 26, 2010, of supplying hundreds of thousands of secret government documents to WikiLeaks. He is expected to be formally charged this summer and possibly tried in the fall.

"There is no doubt the U.S. government has tried to terrorize whistle-blowers into not revealing important information to the public," Assange told reporters on a conference call from his house arrest in the United Kingdom, where he's awaiting trial on sex-crimes charges.

Asked by ABC News if that effort had scared off potential sources from sharing materials, Assange said the opposite was true.

"Courage is contagious. We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of sources willing to come forward," he said without elaborating. "Fear no doubt is also restraining their activities...But there is an increased supply of materials coming to us."

While Assange denies knowing the source behind the controversial WikiLeaks documents, he has defended Manning as a victim of alleged government repression and mistreatment.

Assange said Manning's case and U.S. government threats to prosecute WikiLeaks have not slowed expansion of the organization. WikiLeaks now has partnerships with more than 73 media organizations worldwide to disseminate and publish controversial information from secret government cables in more than 50 countries, Assange said.

"In the last month in English alone there have been over 8,700 articles written about our materials," said Assange. "We're expanding our network of cooperative institutions by approximately four per week and going into publishing."

The website, which was founded in 2006, has so far selectively released around 12,000 of more than 250,000 secret documents in its possession.

Assange also credited WikiLeaks work with triggering a "year of miracles for journalism" that has enhanced the transparency of the U.S. and foreign governments and contributed to the democratic revolutions sweeping across the Arab world.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio