DOJ Is Still Investigating Wikileaks

from the that's-a-hell-of-a-long-investigation dept

It’s no secret that many in the US government would love to find a way to charge Wikileaks and Julian Assange with criminal activities for reporting on leaks. However, as many have pointed out, doing so would create a firestorm, because it’s difficult to see how what Wikileaks did is any different than what any news publication would do in publishing leaked documents. The attack on press freedom would be a major problem. Still, the Justice Department has spent years trying to come up with any way possible to charge Assange with a crime. They even tortured Chelsea Manning and then offered her a deal if she lied and claimed that she “conspired” with Assange to release the State Department cables. That didn’t work. Even as the DOJ couldn’t produce any evidence that Manning and Assange conspired, the Defense Department insisted it had to be true. Last year, however, there were finally reports that the DOJ was just about ready to admit that it had no legal case against Assange, with officials effectively admitting that it would be tantamount to suing a newspaper.

But… apparently the DOJ’s investigation still isn’t over. As Marcy Wheeler noted, a FOIA request by EPIC concerning the DOJ’s investigation into Wikileaks supporters has been rejected, because the DOJ’s investigation of Wikileaks is still not closed. In fact, the judge notes that there are “at least two investigations” still going on — the one on Wikileaks itself, and Chelsea Manning’s appeal. On the Wikileaks investigation:

The second type of enforcement proceeding, generally, is the DOJ’s civilian criminal/national security investigation(s) into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information that was published on the WikiLeaks website. The investigation of the unauthorized disclosure is a multi-subject investigation and is still active and ongoing. While there have been developments in the investigation over the last year, the investigation generally remains at the investigative stage. It is this second category of enforcement proceeding that is actually more central to defendants’ Exemption 7(A) withholdings in this case.

So, despite basically admitting last year that there is no case, the government has not yet given up that it can find something to pin on Assange and “there have been developments in the investigation over the last year.” This is an investigation that has been going on for about four years already. It would appear that at least some folks at the DOJ are still obsessed with finding some way to charge Assange with some crime, just because.

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Comments on “DOJ Is Still Investigating Wikileaks”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Manning

While I never trusted anything that the Government itself says, I ‘used’ to believe that whatever evidence that was produced should be considered reliable. Now I no longer consider any evidence they provide as being genuine because the culture is only after silencing political and corporate enemies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Manning

The government has wasted the level of trust the public has placed in it in the last decade or so. From Iraq and Afghanistan, to Libya, to Wall Street, to the revolving door of regulators.

In addition, it’s really fucking hard to torture youjrself – mostly becaus emost torture methods require external stimuli.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Compare the documents released by Manning and Snowden. Every single document Snowden has released reveals wrongdoing, the same cannot be said for Manning.

Hard to make the case for pure whistle blower when the vast majority of the documents leaked by Manning had nothing to do with revealing wrongdoing.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Not too surprising

Considering the DOJ is headed by Eric Holder, one of the most incompetent, corrupt US attorney generals in recent history. For example:
-Didn’t go after the banks
-Still hasn’t gone after Clapper for lying to Congress
-Didn’t do much of anything about Fast & Furious
-Having the DOJ represent the government on the side of the broadcasting companies in the Aereo case currently in front of the Supreme court (seriously, wtf is the government doing involved in a battle between corporations?)
-Eagerly went after Megaupload at Hollywood’s request, which blew up in their face in amazing fashion. On top of that, Holder’s DOJ has been trying to prevent Dotcom’s legal team from seeing the evidence against their client/access to MU’s servers, and wants to let Carpathia erase the data now that the DOJ doesn’t need it (tampering with evidence).

And that’s just off the top of my head. The fact that the DOJ’s still investigating Wikileaks despite already admitting they have no case doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

Anonymous Coward says:

They even tortured Chelsea Manning and then offered her a deal if she lied and claimed that she “conspired” with Assange to release the State Department cables.

Torture? Seven months of solitary confinement (with outdoor rec every day) is torture? I guess we as a nation are guilty of torturing incarcerated child molesters, snitches, rapists, inmates with behavioral infractions, etc.

But distortion for the purpose of making a point seems the norm here.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Torture? Seven months of solitary confinement (with outdoor rec every day) is torture?

According to the UN’s Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council, the answer is YES:

Solitary confinement
60. Prison regimes of solitary confinement often cause mental and physical suffering or humiliation that amounts to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. If used intentionally for purposes such as punishment, intimidation, coercion or obtaining information or a confession, or for any reason based on discrimination, and if the resulting pain or suffering are severe, solitary confinement even amounts to torture (A/66/268, paras. 76, 87 and 88). Solitary confinement should be imposed, if at all, in very exceptional circumstances, as a last resort, for as short a time as possible and with established safeguards in place after obtaining the authorization of the competent authority subject to independent review.

(emphasis mine) Source

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Seven months of solitary confinement (with outdoor rec every day) is torture?”

Talk about distortions. First, your parenthetical implies that “no outdoor rec” is the definition of solitary confinement. It is not.

Second, you may have forgotten the particulars of his confinement. It was beyond simply being in solitary. He was forced to sleep naked, without bedding, in the cold. He was forced to stand at attention, naked, while guards verbally abused him. These things were not done because of a legitimate need, but apparently as a means of punishment prior to conviction.

His treatment was so bad that the base psychologist pressed for his conditions to be eased on a weekly basis.

He was, by any reasonable interpretation (and by the interpretation of both US and international law) tortured.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

From NBC News:

“By John Bailey, NBC News
FORT MEADE, Md. ? One of the psychiatrists who treated Army Private First Class Bradley Manning at the Quantico brig said staff continually ignored his recommendations that Manning was not a threat to himself.

The Army private is accused of leaking thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks but there are hearings this week to consider a motion by the defense that argues Manning’s harsh confinement at the Quantico brig is grounds to dismiss the charges against him.

Testifying Wednesday afternoon, Navy Captain William Hocter, the behavioral health specialist who treated Manning at the Quantico brig, said it seemed the base’s command made up its mind to keep Manning under strict observation and that clinical recommendations to take the detainee off of restrictive watch were ignored.

While at Quantico, Manning was classified as a maximum-security prisoner, usually reserved for violent offenders and escape risks, and as a risk to himself. Manning’s defense team argues that those classifications were unwarranted and that they gave the brig staff reason to treat Manning harshly, including keeping him on 23-hour lockdown in a small cell and, for a period of several days, denying him clothing at night.

Manning’s psychiatrist, Cap. Hocter, testified that he repeatedly recommended the classification that Manning was a risk to himself be dropped, but that the brig’s staff ignored his recommendations.

“I’ve just never experienced anything like this,” said Hocter. “It was clear to me that they had made up their mind on a certain course of actions and my recommendations didn’t really matter.”

Hocter also said that it is common for patients to be taken off suicide watch after it is determined they are no longer at risk.

Earlier in the day, the commander in charge of the base’s security at the time, Marine Colonel Robert Oltman, testified that doctors’ recommendations are only one element in a larger decision on how to classify detainees and that other factors led to Manning remaining classified as a risk to himself.

The detention center at Quantico had another detainee commit suicide just months before Manning arrived.

Col. Oltman explained that Pfc. Manning was classified a suicide risk even before he arrived at Quantico because Manning had mentioned suicide while detained in Kuwait and had even fashioned a makeshift noose. Oltman went on to say that he remained classified as a risk to himself because the staff observed no change in Manning’s behavior and even witnessed him do strange things like lick the bars of his cell, play peek-a-boo with guards, and withdraw from any interaction with the staff.

The psychiatrist, Cap. Hocter, testified that it was reported Manning licked his cell bars while sleepwalking, an explainable side effect of drugs he was taking. Hocter also testified that the other behavior was not outside the norm for a detainee who could simply be bored from being kept in isolation.

After nine months at Quantico, Manning was transferred to the Army prison at Fort Leavenworth, KS, where he was placed in a medium security facility with less harsh conditions.

Cap. Hocter was one of two psychiatrists to treat Manning while he was detained at Quantico. The other, Army Col. Rick Malone, is expected to testify Friday.

Manning himself has not yet testified in this series of hearings or in any part of the case thus far. He is listed on the defense’s list of witnesses for this hearing, but that does not necessarily mean he will testify.

The hearings are scheduled to resume Thursday morning and continue through the weekend.”

Note the article talks about 23 hour lockdown. Guess what he’s doing the other hour. Second, they guy had been a suicide risk since Day One. He had already fashioned a noose. Why would his guards provide him the raw material to take his own life?

As far as standing at attention while other soldiers verbally abused him, I must report here that I was tortured throughout Basic Training and beyond. Please feel sorry for me too, though somehow I persevered.

Not everyone is as soft and delicate as you. Perhaps you should step out from behind the apron sometime and put yourself to a test. You might even discover you actually have a set.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“As far as standing at attention while other soldiers verbally abused him, I must report here that I was tortured throughout Basic Training and beyond. Please feel sorry for me too”

Nope, because that’s not torture. Torture isn’t just a physical act. An act that is being forced on someone against their will can be torture where the same act that someone volunteered for is not. If you don’t understand that difference, then you don’t have the first clue what torture is.

“Not everyone is as soft and delicate as you.”

That’s funny! Since you don’t have the slightest indication as to how soft and delicate I may or may not be, your pitiful attempt at an insult simply reveals that you’re an idiot.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That’s funny! Since you don’t have the slightest indication as to how soft and delicate I may or may not be, your pitiful attempt at an insult simply reveals that you’re an idiot.

Geez your response indicates you’re about as soft as butter. Sorry to ruffle your feathers, Miss.

myperbole (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Hi there AC. While Mr. Fenderson is a tough SOB who doesn’t need anyone to come to his defense, I nonetheless feel that it’s my duty to inform you of something:

You are the easiest type of person to get to. Spend a day in prison or a mental institution and you will discover that your are a bottom-rung bitch. You will betray everyone and everything you’ve ever known in a heartbeat. The stupidest, basest, most pathetic scum of the earth will find your weaknesses faster than the most skilled psychiatrist. Your shame will be doubled by the fact that the weak and insignificant brought you to it.

Trust me (you won’t, I know)

No, nothing to do with wikileaks, but when someone has the nerve to discuss what constitutes torture…

GEMont (profile) says:

A dish best served cold

As with any organized criminal group, revenge is a duty.

In order to send the message “Don’t fuck with us, or else..”, every criminal organization must insure that anyone who interferes with their activity is publicly punished to the harshest extent possible.

The Fed, once its activities became protected by secret laws and secret interpretations of standing laws, adopted the attitudes and habits of other organizations that work outside the law.

The Fed cannot put aside its duty and will continue to search for a means to take revenge as long as it is funded by the tax payer. Other federal agencies are also investigating ways and means of getting revenge via dirty tricks – criminal actions that cause distress and harm to the business itself.

Any organization that is allowed to work in secrecy will eventually end up using these tactics, because the threat of accountability has been removed.

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