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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 8:38am

    Pffft! Easy

    They live on the same planet--and, both are HUMAN!!

    How much more proof could you possibly need that they are linked to one another?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 8:48am

    I read the WSJ article and noted only that the DOD initially believed a link between the two existed.

    Initially is, however, not currently...as this article appears to strongly suggest.

    Perhpas I missed something in the article and would welcome being directed to where in the article the DOD's current position is stated.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:23am

      Re:

      Everything the government has said since Manning's arrest?

      I'm a Journal subscriber myself, but it's really gone downhill since Murdoch took over.

       

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      nasch (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 1:36pm

      Re:

      I agree, the linked article does not at all say what Mike claims it says. For example:

      "Army investigators now believe Pfc. Manning decided to steal the documents and give them to WikiLeaks on his own, out of his own malice toward the military or the government, according to a senior U.S. official."

      Nowhere does it say that the "DoD insists [the link between Manning and Assange] must be true".

       

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 8:50am

    History shows...

    I'm sure that if they cannot find the evidence, then somehow a manufactured version will appear. Just ask the LA Police... :-(

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    He exposes corruption, and he stays true to his ideals even under torture?
    I wonder if there's any chance of Bradley Manning running for president? I know I'd vote for him. Maybe Daniel Ellsberg could be VP?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      Hopefully you will receive a Darwin award before the next election because you should not have the right.

       

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    Atkray (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:11am

    New play at home game?

    The six degrees of separation, Julian Assange Special Limited Edition.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    Law enforcement still can't catch real criminals, so they instead waste time trying to catch those who expose their own crimes. I suppose it's easier than catching real criminals.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    What I wonder is how the US ever thought that they could charge Assange in any manner of legitimate manner, even if there were evidence that he had pressured (or even collaborated with) Manning to leak the information.

    Assange is not a US citizen, and any actions he may or may not have taken were not on US soil. Thus, he has no requirement to constrain himself to the confines of US law. In what legal manner would they have jurisdiction?

     

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      Mr. LemurBoy (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:18am

      Re:

      I would propose that they would have jurisdiction under the merits of "I'm maior quam vos" and "Nos don't amo ut"

      These are usually proposed by the "Legalus Bullius"

       

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    Beta (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:28am

    paid testimony

    "Back in December, it was reported that [US investigators] had even offered Manning a plea deal if he would just implicate Assange."

    It is plausible that they would do so, whether Assange had actually been involved or not. One more thing for a juror to remember.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    "So either they try some other, exceptionally weak claim. Or... the give up."

    They can also take the third option: just go after him illegally.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Actually, there is obviously some sort of link, because Manning obtained the documents and Wikileaks received them. How that link exists, well, that may be harder to show.

    As for plea deals for Manning, that is pretty common in the entire justice system. Why get just one person when you can take down all the co-conspirators?

     

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:40am

      Re:

      Just because I shove something in your mailbox doesn't mean there's a link between us.

       

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        Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

        Re: Just because I shove something in your mailbox doesn't mean there's a link between us.

        Oh, but once you link it together with all the other suspicious coincidences, like it had to be prearranged for that mailbox to be in that particular spot outside your particular house, and for this time to be between the dates when you moved into the house and when you moved out. Add up all that and you can see it couldn’t possibly be down to chance.

         

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          Chargone (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 6:59pm

          Re: Re: Just because I shove something in your mailbox doesn't mean there's a link between us.

          also known as: someone knew where you lived! gasp!

          hehe. one way links, ya know?

          (i am aware [or at least desperately hoping] that the above post was a joke :) )

           

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      fogbugzd (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      >>Actually, there is obviously some sort of link, because Manning obtained the documents and Wikileaks received them. How that link exists, well, that may be harder to show.

      That much of a link obviously exists, but there is nothing there to charge Assange with. Basically the government wants to prove some type of conspiracy between Assange and Manning because that would allow them to prosecute Assange. If they can't find any evidence of prior contact between the two, then it is going to be impossible to prove that they conspired.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 11:14am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly, you understand, Chris Rhodes missed it. There is a relationship, that is clear as it comes. The question is the steps in between that happened. What they need to be doing is finding out what Manning actually did with the documents once he had them. Who did he give them to? Did he arrange with someone before giving them out? That is where the "conspiracy" would lay.

        Assange is just an assclown facing rape charges and with a collection of bastard children (4 at last count... he apparently isn't good with condoms). He is facing enough trouble as it is.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, he's not facing charges. He's just wanted for questioning.

           

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Exactly, you understand, Chris Rhodes missed it. There is a relationship, that is clear as it comes.

          How is that "clear"? I can submit documents to Wikileaks right now and never have talked to anyone, anywhere about it. Would that mean I "have a relationship" with Assange?

           

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      JMT, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      "Actually, there is obviously some sort of link, because Manning obtained the documents and Wikileaks received them."

      Using that logic, the link between Assange and Manning is exactly the same as the link between Assange and YOU: you can both anonymously upload documents to a a website Assange founded.

       

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    DCX2, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    Sounds like...

    ...when the CIA insisted that Khalid el-Masri was a terrorist.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    What's so interesting here? The blatant criminality of the US state officials is very old news.

     

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    OC, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Third option

    The goverment can always use the third option. After all, accidents do happen in London too.

     

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    Brendan (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Typo?

    but seems to be quietly admitting that there may be no "there" there, and because of that, there may be no case

    I'm having trouble parsing that as is, should it be:
    "
    ...but seems to be quietly admitting that there may be no "link" there..."

    Maybe I'm misreading.

     

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    Revelati, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:13pm

    I would really love to see this come to a court battle actually. It would finally show us where the courts stand in this country, and whether or not the legal system can still act as a check to the political pundits clamoring for Assange's head.

    Clearly he SHOULD be acquitted, watching the government take a trumped up case to court and get slapped in the face by an acquittal would restore a lot of faith in our justice system around the world and also show the US government that fabricating charges is not an effective way to deal with problems.

    If Assange were convicted at least the world would know where the justice system stood, as a mere political shield furthering the interests of the US government, without respect for the rights of foreign nations and nationals, or even our own constitution.

    I know many people already think this is the case, but my eternal optimism believes there may be a little justice left in our justice system.

     

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    Thomas (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

    why worry..

    about any real link? The government can simply charge him anyway, or simply make him disappear. Other governments get away with it, so why not?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

    Is it just me or is the US starting to resemble Hollywood's version of cold war era Russia with more electronic gadgets and fast food?

     

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    Chris in Utah (profile), Feb 14th, 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Distracted twice

    The editor in me is out today :/
    So either they try some other, exceptionally weak claim. Or... the give up

     

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    Daniel J. Lavigne (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 4:55am

    America's Corporate Masters Don't Need "Evidence" . .

    America's Corporate Masters Don't Need "Evidence" . . . they have all the needed Judges bowing and scraping at their command.

    Regardless that they shall be let loose upon Humanity's latest heroes . . and do as they did to the NeuroSurgeon who was sentenced to 86 years in Jail for daring to defy America's mice . . . after keeping her in jail in Afghanistan for some 5 years and allowing her youngest child to die while in such conditions:

    Bradley Manning has proved his mettle.

    He won't accept any deal offered by bastards who are unable to care less about "Humanity" than they presently do.

    But such will be rendered meaningless when the "Boot-Licker" nation, Sweden, manages to extradite Julian Assange from Britain and then deliver him, regardless the law against any such action, into the hands of America's torturers.

    BTW: America's Corporate Masters are quite leery / hesistant about putting Bradley Manning on trial.

    His defense, his only defense, is based on the concept of "Superior Duty".

    All who have knowledge of crimes committed by their nation, superiors or any other that can be considered "A Crime Against Humanity" have a DUTY, at law, to ensure that such is revealed to as great an audience as possible.

    Ergo: Bradley Manning and Julian Assange shall suffer for their crime of daring to do "The Right Thing".

    Of course, most Americans, perhaps due the nature of their infection by the madness of greed, are unable to come to terms and accept and support the need for individuals with spine and integrity sufficient to speak up when they KNOW they must.

    To help all such Americans, I offer this:
    ****************************** 

    Maintain The Rage!
    Add your voice to reason's call.

    Join the Tax Refusal. 

    ******************************

    http://www.TaxRefusal.com
    ************************* *****
    And the related effort to wake the world:
    STOP YOUR ENGINES !

    http://www.StopYourEngines.com
    ******************************

     

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    Robert P (profile), Feb 15th, 2011 @ 6:21am

    Found them

    Assange probably has the WMD's too.

     

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