Investigators Still Can't Find Any Evidence To Link Assange & Manning; DoD Insists It Must Be True
from the that's-called-denial-folks dept
Last month, there were already reports that the Justice Department was having trouble linking Bradley Manning to Julian Assange — a key piece necessary to charge Assange with any sort of crime. US investigators have known for a long time that if they can’t get such evidence, they don’t have much of a case. Back in December, it was reported that they had even offered Manning a plea deal if he would just implicate Assange. The only problem: it appears he’s not willing to do so, and there’s no other evidence. In fact, all the evidence suggests what everyone said from the beginning: Manning decided to take whatever documents he took himself, and whoever uploaded it to Wikileaks (and it’s still not confirmed that it was Manning, though he’s obviously the most likely) did so of their own free will, not because of pressure from Assange.
The latest reports (via Julian Sanchez) suggest more of the same. The Justice Department is trying really, really hard to link the two, but seems to be quietly admitting that there may be no “there” there, and because of that, there may be no case. What’s really stunning however, is that despite all of this work to try to find a simple link, and the lack of any evidence of that link, the Defense Department is still insisting that the link is there and that Assange must be charged.
I find this pretty interesting. I’m assuming the view of DoD officials is clouded by the fact that Manning, by being in the armed services, was a part of the DoD and that they can’t accept the idea that he might honestly believe there were wrongdoings that needed to be exposed. They insist that Assange must have preyed on him and pushed and cajoled him into sharing the info. Of course, now the big question is what will the government do. Without this link, there’s no case against Assange. So either they try some other, exceptionally weak claim. Or… the give up. They should know what the right option is, but somehow I doubt they’ll choose wisely.