Convicted leaker Army Pfc. Bradley Manning acknowledged Wednesday that by leaking tens of thousands of pages of classified documents he "hurt people and hurt the United States."
"I understood what I was doing was wrong but I didn't appreciate the broader effects of my actions," he said during his sentencing hearing at Maryland's Fort Meade. "I only wanted to help people, not hurt people."
The former Army intelligence analyst was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of classified documents and videos to WikiLeaks. The counts against him included violations of the Espionage Act. He was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges against him, and he could face up to 90 years in prison if the judge imposes the maximum sentence.FULL STORY
[Updated at 1:35 p.m. ET] Pfc. Bradley Manning, after pleading guilty to half of the 22 charges against him in a case of document leaks to WikiLeaks, has explained in court why and how he leaked classified material.
In an hourlong statement in court, he said he passed on what "upset" or "disturbed" him but nothing he thought would harm the United States if it became public.
[Posted at 12:48 p.m. ET] Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty Thursday to half of the 22 charges against him, but not the major one, in what the government says is the largest leak of classified documents in the nation's history.
The Army intelligence analyst is accused of stealing thousands of classified documents while serving in Iraq. The material was then published online by WikiLeaks.
The group, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information through its website, has never confirmed that Manning was the source of its information.FULL STORY
Ecuador has granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Pati√Īo said Thursday.
The UK, meanwhile, has said it will not grant safe passage out of the country to Assange, who has been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London.
Assange has been holed up at the embassy since petitioning for asylum in June. He is seeking to avoid being sent to Sweden over claims of rape and sexual molestation, and said he fears that if extradited, Swedish authorities could hand him over to the United States.
Assange was arrested in Britain in 2010 because Swedish authorities wanted to question him about the allegations. Two women have accused Assange of sexually assaulting them during an August 2010 visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents. Assange denies the allegations and argues they are retribution for his organization's disclosure of American secrets.FULL STORY
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8:00 am ET (est.) - Julian Assange learns asylum fate - Ecuador is expected to announce whether WikiLeaks¬†founder Julian Assange will be given asylum in the South American country.
The mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will meet with Ecuadorian authorities Monday to urge them to grant her son asylum.
Christine Assange, who arrived in the capital city Quito on Saturday, told reporters she will appeal to Ecuador's stance on human rights during her meeting.
"Surely, the president and his staff will make the best decision," Christine Assange said, according to a report in the state-run El Ciudadano website.
Her son has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since applying for political asylum on June 19.
He is seeking to avoid being sent to Sweden over claims of rape and sexual molestation and said he fears if he is extradited there, Swedish authorities could hand him over to the United States.
If her son is sent to the United States, he "could expect a sentence of death or many years in prison with torture as they are doing now with Bradley Manning," Christine Assange said, according to the El Ciudadano report.
"If they did that to a U.S. citizen, they would have fewer qualms about doing a foreigner."FULL STORY
WikiLeaks said Thursday it has begun publishing some 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian politicians, government ministries and companies dating back to 2006.
The e-mails, which are in a range of languages including Arabic and Russian, come from the ministries of presidential affairs, finance, information and foreign affairs, among others.
According to WikiLeaks, the e-mails "shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another."
WikiLeaks, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, has published about 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, causing embarrassment to the government and others. It has also published hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents relating to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Its founder,¬†Julian Assange, was arrested in Britain in 2010 over allegations of rape and sex crime charges in Sweden.
Two women have accused Assange of sexually assaulting them in August 2010 when he was visiting Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents.FULL STORY
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will be arrested if he comes out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he is seeking asylum, a Metropolitan Police representative at the scene said Thursday, without giving his name.
Assange was arrested in Britain in 2010 because Swedish authorities want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual molestation. His bail conditions included staying every night at the home of a supporter outside of London.
Two women have accused Assange of sexually assaulting them during an August 2010 visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents. He was arrested in Britain that December and has been fighting extradition ever since, arguing the allegations are retribution for his organization's disclosure of American secrets.
Assange's only further legal recourse would be to apply immediately to the European Court of Human Rights, and his attorneys have vowed to do so. He has said he fears that if he is extradited to Sweden, authorities there could hand him over to the United States, where he then could be prosecuted for his role in the leaking of classified documents.
Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of "unlawful coercion and sexual misconduct including rape," according to a Supreme Court document. Ecuador said its decision to consider Assange's asylum request "should in no way be interpreted as the government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden."
WikiLeaks, which facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information, has published some 250,000 confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, causing embarrassment to the government and others. It also has published hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents relating to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Julian Assange¬†is subject to arrest for breaking the terms of his bail, London's Metropolitan Police said Wednesday, after the WikiLeaks founder attempted to claim asylum at the embassy of Ecuador in Britain.
Assange was arrested in Britain in 2010 because Swedish authorities want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual molestation.
His bail conditions included staying every night at the home of a supporter outside of London.
Police were notified Tuesday night that he had breached that condition, they said Wednesday morning.
"He is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act for breach of these conditions," they said.
It is not clear that they will be able to arrest him, since diplomatic protocol prevents authorities from entering foreign embassies.
Assange has requested political asylum in Ecuador, officials and WikiLeaks said Tuesday.FULL STORY
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has formally requested asylum in Ecuador, the country's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said.
Patino, speaking at a press conference in Quito, Ecuador, read from a statement that Assange was currently at Ecuador's embassy in London, England, where he formally requested asylum.¬†Patino read a statement to reporters at a news conference in Quito. He took no questions.
The request comes after the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on Thursday dismissed an application filed by an attorney for the WikiLeaks founder who was seeking to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden.
The application was Assange's last option in the British courts. Britain's Crown Prosecution Service has previously said if the court dismissed Assange's appeal, his only further remedy is to apply immediately to the European Court of Human Rights, and Assange's attorneys have vowed to do so.
The appeal itself would be a rarity, as the court's decisions are supposed to be final in Britain.
Assange has been fighting for a year and a half against being sent to Sweden for questioning about accusations of sexual abuse. Two women accused him in August 2010 of sexually assaulting them during a visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents.
WikiLeaks' work is not at issue in the extradition matter or the Swedish allegations against Assange.
Assange has not been charged with a crime, but Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of "unlawful coercion and sexual misconduct including rape," according to a Supreme Court document.FULL STORY
The U.S. Army soldier suspected of leaking a trove of classified military and diplomatic information to WikiLeaks cannot get a fair trial because prosecutors have failed to comply with the rules of court-martial, Bradley Manning's attorney said Thursday at a hearing at Fort Meade in Maryland. The hearing is the latest in the Manning case which is expected to go to military trial this year.
Coombs accused the government of not disclosing information, as required, that could be helpful in defending Manning. Prosecutors have said that the information can not be released because it is classified.
U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, accused of aiding the enemy by passing reams of classified military documents to WikiLeaks, may have been treated inhumanely by the U.S. military since his arrest in 2010, according to a report from the United Nations' top official on torture.
The findings are the result of a 14-month long probe conducted by U.N. special rapporteur Juan Mendez and released late last month. They could spark a debate about Manning's case as it winds toward a court-martial later this year. The latest hearing in Manning's case is scheduled for later this week,¬†at which motions made when Manning was charged on February 23 will be heard.
Though it's nothing new for WikiLeaks to publish information belonging to a private company, Monday's release of Stratfor e-mails might be¬†an indication that for the first time, Anonymous¬†and WikiLeaks¬†have worked together. And that could have legal consequences for WikiLeaks' editor Julian Assange, experts say.
In December, Anonymous¬†claimed¬†it had hacked Stratfor, the Austin, Texas-based private company¬†that produces intelligence reports for clients. On Monday, WikiLeaks¬†began releasing 5 million e-mails it said belonged to Stratfor that reveal, WikiLeaks¬†says, a litany of injustices by the company.¬†WikiLeaks¬†is calling the¬†leak¬†The Global Intelligence Files.
WikiLeaks has not said where it got the e-mails. Anonymous, an amorphous group of hackers worldwide,¬† is claiming¬†on Twitter and on other social media that they gave it to the site. Numerous media outlets such as the Washington Post¬†and Wired¬†are reporting the partnership.
"Their [WikiLeaks¬†and Anonymous] working together made sense. Anonymous did the hack, had the stuff and in the end decided that someone else would be better-suited to comb through this and release it," said Gregg Housh, who acts as a spokesperson for Anonymous. "Anonymous¬†just didn't have the ability to go through all the e-mails themselves. This was a happy partnership.¬†WikiLeaks did such an awesome job categorizing the [State Department] cables."
The private intelligence firm Stratfor called the release of 5 million of its e-mails by WikiLeaks a "deplorable, unfortunate and illegal breach of privacy."
"Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic," the Texas-based firm said. "We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them."
In a statement released early Monday in Europe (Sunday evening ET), WikiLeaks promised a raft of juicy disclosures about Stratfor, which promotes itself to corporate and government clients as a source of intelligence on international affairs.
WikiLeaks, a website that facilitates the leaking of confidential information, says the documents will be released through a network of more than 25 news outlets and activist groups in the coming weeks.
The first document out was titled "The Stratfor Glossary of Useful, Baffling and Strange Intelligence Terms," featuring brief and sometimes humorous definitions and blunt assessments of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement.
Others focused on speculation about the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and who was behind a suspected campaign of sabotage against Iran's nuclear programFULL STORY
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's extradition fight goes to Britain's Supreme Court on Wednesday for two days of hearing on whether he should be sent back to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual assault.
In November, Assange - who is under house arrest - lost a court battle to stay in Britain. The following month, the British High Court said he would be allowed to mount an appeal.
Assange's lawyers have vowed to take the fight all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.
Two women in Sweden accused Assange in August 2010 of sexually assaulting them.
Although he has not been charged with a crime, Swedish prosecutors want to question him in connection with the allegations.FULL STORY
In the past few days, the WikiLeaks saga has taken two sharp turns.
On Thursday, 287 documents appeared on the WikiLeaks site about the global surveillance and arms industry. The dump provided many documents to mine, and it's still unclear what they might all mean. The Washington Post and other outlets¬†called it a comeback for the site and for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
And on Monday,¬†Assange¬†won the right to fight his extradition from the United Kingdom to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. This is the latest (and last) chance Assange¬†will get to avoid answering allegations made by two women in 2010 that he forced them to have sexual relations. Assange has not been charged with a crime. Sweden is seeking him for questioning.
Swedish officials have said that the sex crime case has nothing to do with WikiLeaks¬†or anything published on the site, including a trove of classified American intelligence in 2010 and early 2011. But Assange¬†has repeatedly said that he believes the Swedish case is a ruse, and that if he is extradited to Sweden he'll be more vulnerable to extradition to the U.S., where he could be prosecuted in relation to WikiLeaks' release of classified U.S. information.
U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-New York, has said that Assange¬†should be prosecuted for espionage. He also has said that the U.S. should classify WikiLeaks¬†as a terrorist group so that "we can freeze their assets." King has called Assange an enemy combatant.
In less than two weeks, starting on December 16, the U.S. military will begin its case against Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier suspected to have leaked classified information that appeared on the WikiLeaks site. Who is Manning?
The soldier, in his early 20s, will face a military trial in Maryland on a range of charges that could send him to prison for life. It's been more than a year since the Swedish case first hit the news.
Here's a look at what has¬†transpired since then.
In December 2010, Assange¬†was detained in England on a Swedish arrest warrant. Two women were accusing Assange¬†of sexual assault. Assange spent 10 days in jail in England (inspiring a "Saturday Night Live" spoof). He was released on $315,000 bail and placed under electronically monitored house arrest. Since that time, Assange has been living at a mansion in the British countryside, where he did an interview with "60 Minutes" in September.
In February, a British court ordered Assange¬†extradited to Sweden for questioning in relation to the sexual assault allegations. He appealed, while his lawyers publicly challenged Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to go to London to defend her handling of the case against Assange. "Today, we have seen a Hamlet without the princess - a prosecutor who has been ready to feed the media within information, but has been unwilling to come here," Assange attorney Mark Stephens told reporters outside a south London courtroom.
In November, an appeals court denied his appeal¬†against extradition. The decision sparked different reactions from key WikiLeaks¬†players. It left Assange with one last option: Great Britain's Supreme Court.
On December 5, Assange got approval from the British courts to proceed with an appeal to the highest court.
Assange addressed reporters Monday, saying that his case will benefit other cases involving extradition.
"The long struggle for justice for me and others continues," he said.
In 2010 WikiLeaks posted 77,000 classified Pentagon documents about the Afghanistan war and 391,832 secret documents on the Iraq war. It also published a quarter million diplomatic cables ‚ÄĒ daily written correspondence between the State Department's 270 American outposts around the globe. The cables were released in batches for several months, until September of this year when they were released in total. U.S. officials called the release of the cables "dangerous" and "illegal."
An unauthorized biography of Assange, which he has fiercely criticized, was also released in September. According to several reports,¬† British newspaper¬†The Independent published what it said were portions of the book. In one section of the book, Assange is quoted as saying, "I did not rape those women."
Since Assange's¬†Swedish case began, WikiLeaks¬†has struggled. The website, launched in 2006, has had financial problems. In October, Assange¬†said that it would stop publishing until the group could raise more money. In February, former WikiLeaks¬†spokesman Daniel Domscheit-Berg¬†released a tell-all book about what it was like to work with Assange¬†and for WikiLeaks. He blasted Assange, calling him a "paranoid, power-hungry, meglomaniac." Several articles, from CNN.com to the New York Times, have wondered whether Assange's¬†legal problems and WikiLeaks' internal strife would kill the site. Perhaps reports of WikiLeaks' demise have been greatly exaggerated.
Last week's new release, which WikiLeaks is calling "The Spy Files,"¬†could mean that¬†the site¬†is far from doomed.
A few days before The Spy Files hit, on November 28, Assange¬†addressed journalists at a News World Summit in Hong Kong via a video link¬†from England. For at least 30 minutes he went on a rant criticizing Washington, mainstream media, banks and others, while accepting an award from a noted journalism group, the Walkley Foundation of Australia.
CNN.com was at the event.
Among other statements in his acceptance speech, Assange said a federal grand jury in Washington¬†is investigating WikiLeaks¬†and that people and companies around the world have been or are being coerced to testify against WikiLeaks. He accused banks of blockading WikiLeaks. He also said that journalists have become ladder climbers and must be held to greater account, and that there is a "new McCarthyism" in the United States. Assange vowed that WikiLeaks' next "battle" would be to make sure governments and corporations cannot use the Web as a surveillance tool.
WikiLeaks on Thursday released 287 documents of what it called ‚Äúthe Spy Files,‚ÄĚ a trove of files exposing the reach of the global surveillance industry.
The documents¬†-¬†brochures, manuals, catalogs and other literature -¬†offer a glimpse into the clandestine world of spying technology used by governments and the companies that supply them.
While some of the information was previously published in a Wall Street Journal piece¬†about the burgeoning retail market for surveillance tools, Thursday's release in conjunction with six other organizations paints a composite of just how difficult it is for the world's citizens to truly protect their privacy.
The American soldier behind bars for more than 18 months, suspected of leaking classified documents to the WikiLeaks website, will go before a military panel on December 16, according to a U.S. military release.
The military made the announcement Monday afternoon regarding Pfc. Bradley Manning. The hearing will happen at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. CNN.com placed a call to Manning's attorney, who was not immediately available for comment.
Manning is charged with aiding the enemy, wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet knowing that it is accessible to the enemy, theft of property or records,¬†transmitting defense information, fraud and related¬†activity¬†in connection with computers and violating¬†Army regulations, according to the military.
If convicted of all charges, he would face life in prison and a dishonorable discharge.
In February, a friend of Manning's told reporters that the soldier, who was 23 when he was arrested in 2010, was¬†deteriorating mentally and physically from his imprisonment. Manning was initially held at the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia,¬†but has since been transferred to the prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
Last month, WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange was ordered extradited from England to Sweden to face charges related to a sex crime investigation unrelated to WikiLeaks. But Assange's extradition is significant in the WikiLeaks story because many say that if he is behind bars, WikiLeaks will not be able to continue.
WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange lost a court battle to stay in the United Kingdom Wednesday and will be extradited to Sweden to face questioning over sex charges, a court ruled.
Appeals court judges Lord Justice John Thomas and Justice Duncan Ouseley rejected all four of the arguments Assange's defense team used to fight the extradition.
They will hold another hearing later this month to determine whether he can appeal.
Assange, who has been under house arrest for nearly a year while waiting to find out the results, said Wednesday he will now consider his next steps.FULL STORY
Editor's note: iReporters all over the globe are showing us what Occupy Wall Street is like in their towns and cities through the Open Story: from the Aleutian Islands to Raleigh, North Carolina; from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Zadar, Croatia. Check out a map of the reports, videos and pictures here.
The Occupy Wall Street movement, which swept across the United States as thousands¬†demanded that government institutions change to help¬†fix a struggling economy, gained a major boost as the world began to come together in solidarity over shared economic frustrations.
As the sun rose on each country, one-by-one in the same way each stock market would open, protesters took to the streets. What began as a movement that was largely ignored by the mainstream media can't be dismissed anymore, not when thousands of people are sharing rally cries from Zucotti Park in New York to City Hall Square in¬†Copenhagen, Denmark. Perhaps that's what organizers hoped for when they¬†called the global day of protest "Solidarity Saturday."
But that global push may not end with the one day of solidarity. Some would say it has bolstered the ambitions and confidence of those who began Occupy Wall Street. It was a hint that, with the right support and organization, they can spread the message they've so desperately tried to get across: They want change, and they want it now. And even though the frustrations and complaints may differ from country to country, the theme remains that governments aren't handling economic crises properly.
The protests spread amid the growing financial troubles for several Western countries. Maybe that's why it's no surprise the global movement came during a G20 meeting of ministers and bankers in Paris. Finance ministers with the Group of 20 pledged Saturday to take "all necessary actions" to stabilize global markets and ensure that banks are capitalized.
Europeans turned out to protest¬†amid debt troubles and austerity plans in Greece, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Germany. And in¬†an increasingly intertwined global economy where Americans watch what happens in the Greek debt crisis, the world too is watching to see how the United States is handling its economic issues.
In the spirit of that solidarity, thousands stepped out to support the frustrations of the unemployed in the U.S. and, in some cases, to share their own grievances.
We're taking a look at scenes from across the world to find out more about the main frustrations being lodged and how the protests are drawing support from each other through the lenses of our reporters and iReporters around the world.
The movement gained traction in London especially because of the presence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.¬†Some Brits,¬†who have not been shy to share their frustrations with their economic situation during riots months earlier, echoed American sentiments that governments need to focus not just on the rich but on the little man.
Amedeo d'Amore , an iReporter, was at a demonstration near St. Paul's Cathedral, where he said there were about 1,500 to 2,000 protesters along with a few hundred police officers.
"Essentially, they are very disappointed by the current economic system," he said. "From my understanding, they feel that governments have done too much to protect companies while doing very little to assist the average citizen."
WikiLeaks has released close to 800 secret military documents that reveal fascinating insights into al Qaeda and terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, including close-up photographs of detainees. One document reveals that a detainee threatened guards by saying he would fly airplanes into houses. Another said that Osama bin Laden was, at one point, in good health despite having only one kidney.
The Guantanamo document dump is only the latest in 2011 from WikiLeaks, which gained international prominence in 2010 when it leaked thousands of papers about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Late last year, WikiLeaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States Embassy cables dating from 1966 to February 2011. The cables are still being slowly released. The content is so broad, and involves so many countries, there isn't room enough on this blog to adequately describe it. Need a WikiLeaks refresher? Watch this.
A few notable 2011 WikiLeaks revelations:
Tunisia - WikiLeaks released cables alleging the president of Tunisia's corruption and high spending. The documents painted a scathing portrait of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his relatives by describing them as a "quasi-mafia" that pushed businesses for a slice of any venture they were involved in.
Syria - In the past few days, Syria has erupted in violence, and witnesses tell CNN that authorities are going door to door shooting people. On April 19, the U.S. State Department denied it was seeking to undermine the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, despite the revelation in diplomatic cables unveiled by WikiLeaks that the U.S. is financing groups seeking to overthrow him.
Libya - Cables related to Libya were credited by some for helping fuel the fighting in the country. A cable described the town of Derna, Libya, as a "wellspring" of Libyan foreign fighters for al Qaeda in Iraq. They also revealed much about Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi's odd personal life, his penchant for hiring celebrities and his love of a good party.
Mexico - The U.S. ambassador to Mexico resigned after a January 2010 WikiLeaks leaked cable described the Mexican army as "slow" and "risk averse" and concluded that only 2% of people arrested in Ciudad Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, were charged with a crime.
Bahrain - A cable showed the "deep suspicion" that Bahrain has for its Persian Gulf neighbor, Iran.
Iran - WikiLeaks exposed an alleged secret plot to assassinate an Iranian-American dissident.
Egypt - A cable revealed details about Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Egypt's new deputy prime minister, as more details and images emerged from the country that experienced a historic revolution this year.