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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Whatever, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 5:48am

    Manning

    Chelsea Manning tortured him/her self, the rest, and I quote you is "rumors are that officials have offered Bradley Manning a plea deal"

    So are you elevating this rumor to the level of truth now? Do you have anything except an interested party's word on this?

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Another AC, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 5:52am

    Re: Manning

    Do you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 5:59am

    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.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 6:03am

    At this point it seems more like a message to other would be leakers or whistleblowers: "If we can't railroad you like Manning, or drive you to suicide like Schwartz, we'll still harass you for years and years and years."

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Whatever, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Manning

    Nope, I have not seen any proof of any offer, just rumors that some try to elevate to fact, and then try to use them as a foundation for other rumors.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Ragnarredbeard, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 6:32am

    Re:

    Yes, Manning was railroaded. He didn't actually copy all those classified files and give them away.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 6:58am

    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.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Every single document Snowden has released..."
    Snowden isn't releasing documents, the press is.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 7:36am

    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.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Maybe they're holding the case open just so they don't have to respond to the FOIA request.

     

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  11.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 8:30am

    Re: Manning

    Chelsea Manning tortured him/her self...


    WTF? Are you seriously arguing that Manning imposed long-term solitary confinement upon herself while in the custody of the USG?

    That's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard in my life.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Michael, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 8:45am

    Re:

    I'm pretty sure they have stopped doing anything to provide excuses for not responding to FOIA requests.

     

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  13.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 9:21am

    Fast forward a few decades and we'll still see people claiming Snowden is a traitor and trying to find some law to throw at him. History repeats.

     

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  14.  
    icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 9:34am

    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.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Jerrymiah, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Re: Not too surprising

    What did you expect from the DOJ other than the actual stance. After receiving close to $250 millions from Hollywood during the last two elections, Obama and Holder now have to thank Hollywood for its support during those election years.

     

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  16. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 10:57am

    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.

     

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  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Manning

    Get used to it. This is the most deliberately biased blog ever. Masnick makes Fox News envious.

     

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  18.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 11:33am

    Re: Manning

    Reporting that a rumor exists (and clearly identifying it as a rumor) is a long, long way from "elevating it to the level of truth."

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 11:36am

    Of course not

    Of course the government hasn't given up: They never will, until Assange has been "properly" punished.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 11:41am

    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

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 12:46pm

    Someone should compile statistics to figure out exactly how many trillions of dollars the US government has spent attacking people who expose their corruption. I'm guessing enough to pay off the national debt.

     

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  22.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 1:46pm

    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.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 2:23pm

    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.

     

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  24.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 3:21pm

    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.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: 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.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 4:29pm

    Heck, look how long the government was on CBS' case over the Janet Jackson Superbowl performance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Manning

    So go start your own unbiased blog.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2014 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Manning

    Yeah, the blogs you agree with are all so unbiased. /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    myperbole (profile), Apr 30th, 2014 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: 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...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2014 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Sounds like you may have first hand experience in both of those institutions.

    Mr. Fenderson is a tough SOB

    Where'd you hear that, from someone in his LARP league?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    GEMont, May 1st, 2014 @ 9:39am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2014 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You're the kind of punk that gets his kicks from sodomy, aren't you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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