Tuesday, June 22, 2010

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange breaks cover but will avoid America

US desperate to ask hacker what he knows of classified messages about Iraq and Afghanistan wars

WikiLeaks to release video of deadly US Afghan attack

The Guardian

"The elusive founder of WikiLeaks, who is at the centre of a potential US national security sensation, has surfaced from almost a month in hiding to tell the Guardian he does not fear for his safety but is on permanent alert.

Julian Assange, a renowned Australian hacker who founded the electronic whistleblowers' platform WikiLeaks, vanished when a young US intelligence analyst in Baghdad was arrested.

The analyst, Bradley Manning, had bragged he had sent 260,000 incendiary US state department cables on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to WikiLeaks.

The prospect of the cache of classified intelligence on the US conduct of the two wars being put online is a nightmare for Washington. The sensitivity of the information has generated media reports that Assange is the target of a US manhunt....

Manning was promptly arrested in Baghdad at the end of last month and transferred to a US military detention unit in Kuwait. He has been held for more than three weeks without charge.

Assange said WikiLeaks had hired three US criminal lawyers to defend Manning but that they had been granted no access to him. Manning has instead been assigned US military counsel ....

Apart from preparing much more material for release, WikiLeaks is planning to publicise a secret US military video of one of its deadliest air strikes in Afghanistan in which scores of children are believed to have been killed in May last year.

The Afghan government said about 140 civilians were killed in Garani, including 92 children....."

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