Has the Manning-Assange connection been established?

posted at 12:05 pm on December 21, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

After a long period with very little activity, it’s certainly been a busy week in the media for accused traitor Bradley Manning. But today’s news takes the unfolding story in a different direction, namely heading back to our old friend Julian Assange. For those who may have forgotten, there were a lot of questions flying when Manning’s allegedly ill gotten documentation began showing up at Wikileaks, with a particular focus on whether or not the United States could go after Assange himself. Unfortunately, up until the beginning of this year, United States investigators had been saying that they had never been able to establish a direct link between the two.

The theory behind it was that if Manning had passed the state secrets off to some third party – not a military member – who then turned around and made them available to Wikileaks, or if Manning had simply uploaded them himself, then Assange was essentially just acting as a journalist after “finding” the documents on his server and was untouchable for the most part. The assumed third party in question who either assisted Manning, or at least had spoken to him about it, had been previously taken to be computer hacker Adrian Lamo, who has since been institutionalized. But all that may be about to change. As we mentioned yesterday, Army data specialists have been prowling through Manning’s computer and extra hard drives for some time. And guess what they found now?

Jolt in WikiLeaks Case: Feds Found Manning-Assange Chat Logs on Laptop

A government digital forensic expert examing the computer of accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning retrieved communications between Manning and an online chat user identified on Manning’s computer as “Julian Assange,” the name of the founder of the secret-spilling site that published hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables…

Mark Johnson, a digital forensics contractor for ManTech International who works for the Army’s Computer Crime Investigative Unit, examined an image of Manning’s personal MacBook Pro and said he found 14 to 15 pages of chats in unallocated space on the hard drive that were discussions of unspecified government info between Manning and a person believed to be Assange, which specifically made a reference to re-sending info.

While the chat logs were encrypted, Johnson said that he was able to retrieve the MacBook’s login password from the hard drive and found that the same password “TWink1492!!” was also used as the encryption key.

Assange’s name was attached to a chat handle “dawgnetwork@jabber.ccc.de” listed in Manning’s buddy list in the Adium chat program on his computer. That Jabber address uses the same domain name allegedly mentioned by Manning in the chat logs that ex-hacker Adrian Lamo gave to the FBI and to Wired.com last year. In that earlier chat log, Manning was making reference to a domain that Assange was known to use.

In Manning’s buddy list there was also a second handle, “pressassociation@jabber.ccc.de,” which had two aliases associated with it: Julian Assange and Nathaniel Frank. CCC.de in the domain refers to the Chaos Computer Club, a hacker club in Germany that operates the Jabber server.

I don’t know if this will turn out to be enough of a “smoking gun” to let slip the hounds on Assange, and we’ve been burned too many times for me to get my hopes up now. But the initial indications certainly make it look suspicious. If there are records in there of Assange directly following up with Manning and asking him to “re-send” some of the classified material, we’re moving into a whole new ball game. In that case, he’s no longer acting as a journalist at all, but as the recipient of state secrets.

Stay tuned, ladies and gentlemen. What looked like a fairly open and shut court martial for Aiding the Enemy in a time of war may have just gotten decidedly more interesting.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Is anyone still paying attention to this? Really.

they lie on December 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Manning’s a hero and a patriot!1111 ///Ron Paul

annoyinglittletwerp on December 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Up TWink-1492-les?

profitsbeard on December 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Oh my, knowledge from my many years of listening to hwoard stern tells me “Twink” is gay slang:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twink_(gay_slang)

Rich on December 21, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Two dandies sitting on a tree…

Logus on December 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

“Twink” is a gay slang term describing a young or young-looking gay man (18–23 age category) with a slender, ectomorph build, little or no body hair, and no facial hair

Rich on December 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Assmange needs free room and board for life at Club Fed.

WhatNot on December 21, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Jazz the Obama Administration thinks its enough

http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/us-officials-debate-charging-wikileaks-assange-4666167?ref=rss

Some administration officials say they believe charges should be brought against Assange to deter leakers and people who entice them to leak.

During recent sessions of the preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to send Manning to a full court martial, prosecutors have presented testimony that legal experts say could be used to build a case that Assange engaged in contacts with Manning.

Investigators have alleged in testimony that Manning corresponded with an e-mail account which at one point was used by someone Manning identified as Julian Assange. They have also alleged that Manning made repeated searches in a secret government database for the terms WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. Assange has denied direct contact with Manning.

William Amos on December 21, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Is anyone still paying attention to this? Really.

they lie on December 21, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Probably not, which is why it’s necessary that someone report it. Just because it’s not inhabiting mediaspace, that doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.

Libraritarian on December 21, 2011 at 12:16 PM

The one part of Manning’s defense I agree with is the question where were this ‘alleged’ traitor’s superiors as all this was allowed to happen. Manning should rot in prison for decades but I hate to see those who should have been aware that he was downloading all this stuff and/or put the stops in place to prevent such actions. For example, there is no reason why an Army PFC had full access to State Department documents even if he needed some to do his job as an intelligence analyst.

That being said, I loved the name the DoD for the group formed to assess the damage…. It was the Wikileaks Task Force better known by its initials WTF. If ever a government generated task force was aptly named it is this one.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM

What did the North Viet ledership and the VC know, when and from whom did they know it.

Lt. John F. Kerry being still in the U.S. Navy Reserves in Paris France talking to both the NVA and the VC.

John F. Kerry sits bold and up front in our U.S. Senate.

Why would Manning be any different to the leaders of the Democrat Party and the current CIC.

We must deal with the old, new and current traitors, or we must understand we have bowed to low already.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 21, 2011 at 12:20 PM

I wonder if Ron Paul thinks Julian Assange is a Hero and Patriot as well?

D-fusit on December 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Would defense would Assange use? The consensual sex confused defense?

NotCoach on December 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Julian Assange needs a pill. One about 9mm big.

DStreete on December 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

if Manning had simply uploaded them himself, then Assange was essentially just acting as a journalist after “finding” the documents on his server and was untouchable for the most part

How would this protect Assange? Giving military secrets to our enemies is still espionage, no?

18-1 on December 21, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Manning should rot in prison for decades

I disagree strongly. Treason during wartime? Firing squad. Any lesser punishment is an offense to our fighting men.

18-1 on December 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I wonder if Ron Paul thinks Julian Assange is a Hero and Patriot as well?

D-fusit on December 21, 2011 at 12:22 PM

The Paul/Manning story needs to go Viral, ASAP

That said, here is what Paul wrote in “Liberty Defined” about Assange in chapter against the Death Penalty. After listing prominent conservatives from Palin to Huckabee to Bolton to Glenn Beck even stating Assange/Manning were traitors and deserved to be executed….

““In the end, Julian is just one man with a laptop and he was merely releasing what is true, information that embarrassed many but harmed no one. And this is the man that so many think ought to be subject to the death penalty? Government always uses its power to punish its own enemies, but its enemies are not necessarily our enemies.

Plus, there is a terrible hypocrisy at work here. Is the government really the institution to stand in judgement? Just think of what it would be like if all those individuals in Washington responsible for counterfeiting our currency or forcing unconstitutional penalties on us through the tax system were to be punished with the death penalty. It wouldn’t be pretty. Its best we change our system rather than think people such as Assange, or others digging for the truth, are treasonous and should be executed. “

- Liberty Defined, Ron Paul

there are other sections prasing Assange as well.

jp on December 21, 2011 at 12:28 PM

This story on Ron Paul calling Manning a “PATRIOT” and “HERO” needs to go Viral

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/ron-paul-says-accused-traitor-is-a-patriot/

jp on December 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Manning is done. Assange isn’t. The appropriate correcttion for that is an open lane and a spotter with eyes on.

M240H on December 21, 2011 at 12:30 PM

It’s enough of a connection.

Blake on December 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM

jp on December 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

My husband will be having lunch with his Ronulan ‘friend’…and he’s bringing a copy of the AiM article with him.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 21, 2011 at 12:32 PM

And we would be going after Assange for what, exactly?

Rush calls wikileaks info interesting

“Frankly, I find what’s in this stuff interesting. I think it’s more interesting than the news the networks come up with each and every day. Give me more of this stuff.” – Rush Limbaugh

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:36 PM

A state should have no secrets!

Everything should be free!

America’s hegemony must be stopped!

Ron Paul 1812!

profitsbeard on December 21, 2011 at 12:38 PM

I find it somewhat funny that an organization calling itself “Accuracy in Media” with the tag “For Fairness, Balance, and Accuracy in News Reporting,” wouldn’t provide Ron Paul’s full quote, instead picking out bits and pieces.

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Dante,

Are you the President of Ronulans invade Hot Air?

D-fusit on December 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

LOL – Paul is on tape, in context

Ace blogged on this yesterday

with the Video

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/324905.php

jp on December 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

The firing squad was always considered an honorable exit. Spies and traitors got the noose. I say give it to both of them. Maybe if they use hemp rope it will cushion the blow for their supporters?

hoff on December 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I disagree strongly. Treason during wartime? Firing squad. Any lesser punishment is an offense to our fighting men.

18-1 on December 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM

True enough but that punishment has already been taken off the table by the prosecution. If capital punishment were a possibility, can you imagine the kind of hysterics would occur if all these idiot fifth columnists who make the false claim that Manning is nothing more than a whistleblower?

I’ll be happy if there is enough to charge Assange with something. Keep in mind that he’d just stay in places where he could avoid extradition (assuming that Eric Holder and Obama even bothered trying to arrest him). BUT, having international warrants would make Assange’s life much more difficult and that is about the best we can hope for if American traitors are willing to violate their oath to protect and defend this nation for the attention that comes from selling your nation down the river to our enemies.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

I find it somewhat funny that an organization calling itself “Accuracy in Media” with the tag “For Fairness, Balance, and Accuracy in News Reporting,” wouldn’t provide Ron Paul’s full quote, instead picking out bits and pieces.

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

What possible context could excuse calling Manning a “patriot” and a “hero?”

Oh that’s right, he didn’t say that — someone else said that for him.

stefanite on December 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

LOL – Paul is on tape, in context

Ace blogged on this yesterday

with the Video

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/324905.php

jp on December 21, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Ace is Accuracy in Media? Because that’s what I commented on – their selective use of and chopping of quotes. I didn’t say anything about Ace.

What possible context could excuse calling Manning a “patriot” and a “hero?”

Oh that’s right, he didn’t say that — someone else said that for him.

stefanite on December 21, 2011 at 12:48 PM

The comment was about Accuracy in Media and the use of Paul’s comments, not Paul’s statements itself. I didn’t say someone else said it for him. Why would you try to misrepresent what I said?

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

provide Ron Paul’s full quote, instead picking out bits and pieces.

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:39 PM

The link provided by jp is irrefutable. Ron Paul thinks a traitor like Manning is a hero and patriot. That treason is nothing more than “technically” breaking the law. Even as Manning leaked information that put American troops in danger, compromised our foreign relations, and otherwise did harm to America.

I truly hope the Paulbots watch the entire clip before they ever again make the argument that we need to overlook Paul’s foreign policy and national security ideas. Paul is unfit for any elective office (including the one he holds) if he thinks scum like Manning is a whistleblowing hero.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Let’s cut through the BS. Do you agree with your Dear Leader that Manning is a “hero” and a “patriot” or not? Yes or no.

I just want to know how far down the rabbit-hole you’re willing to go.

stefanite on December 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Bradley Breanna Bradley Manning’s password- TWink1492 … go figure.

1492? October 21, 1492- Columbus discovers America (Oct 12, 1492 on the Julian calender)

FlatFoot on December 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

With the way you chopped up my words in mid-sentence, I have to ask, do you write for Accuracy in Media? Let’s go back to the tape:

“I find it somewhat funny that an organization calling itself “Accuracy in Media” with the tag “For Fairness, Balance, and Accuracy in News Reporting,” wouldn’t provide Ron Paul’s full quote, instead picking out bits and pieces.”

Let’s cut through the BS. Do you agree with your Dear Leader that Manning is a “hero” and a “patriot” or not? Yes or no.

I just want to know how far down the rabbit-hole you’re willing to go.

stefanite on December 21, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I think Manning is a traitor, but I haven’t seen Paul’s full statement quoted in its entirety, either, which is what my post was about.

Irony seems to be lost on many. Shame.

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM

I think Manning is a traitor

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM

That’s reassuring, and classifies you as a “high-functioning” Paulbot. This may cause you to fall out of favor with the other cultists, though.

stefanite on December 21, 2011 at 1:17 PM

I guess Ill be the nerd on here and say that twink is also a term used on world of warcraft.

A twink is a character that is leveled up to either 29, 39, 49, etc. with great gear for the level that is used with the express purpose of dominating player vs player battles. Noone like a twink and blizzard trid to subvert the effort by allowing experience to be earned in battlegrounds so that eventually they would move into the next pvp bracket.

Sorry about the nerdism. I am who I am

speekr on December 21, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 1:08 PM

The clip provided by jp in unambiguous in Paul calling Manning a patriot and hero. I’m sorry but I disagree with that assessment and I don’t think anybody who makes such statements should be even considered for the Presidency.

Even if you take Paul’s comments as an academic exercise in citizens standing up and criticizing their government when it does wrong, the fact of the matter is that there are provisions for whistleblowing that do not compromise classified information, emperil American troops lives, or strain our foreign relations. And there is no getting beyond that point. Manning is not a hero or patriot and that Paul would use those words is just wrong.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Again, I made no comment about jp’s link. I made a post about the way something called “Accuracy in Media” failed to provide Paul’s entire quote.

Is this difficult to understand?

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 1:27 PM

If they’re really really lucky, Brianna and Julian can be butt buddies.

GarandFan on December 21, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Absent an e-mail from Assange to Manning saying “Thanks for the files, they’re just what I asked for,” I don’t think there’s as much here as people want there to be.

PersonFromPorlock on December 21, 2011 at 3:19 PM

A truly disgusting job by an organization laughingly called “Accuracy in Media”.

Nowhere in the video clip that Morriissey embedded does Paul ever mention Manning. Nowhere in these quotes that jp is salivating over does Paul mention Manning by name. Paul says that instead of government getting immunity, immunity should be granted to whistleblowers.

“…techincally, yes, they’re breaking a rule, but what is government doing, they’re breaking the law.”

He’s talking about whistleblowers in general, NOT Manning.

Dante on December 21, 2011 at 4:45 PM

As Jazz Saw indicates, it may get more interesting.

If Manning were a civilian, neither he nor Assange would likely be convicted, using Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers) and the NYT v United States cases as precedences. And not too long ago there was a civilian at NSA that handed over classified documents to the MSM and neither he nor the MSM were charged (whistle-blowerer status).

There is a difference, however. Manning is military and subject to UCMJ–not federal or State/local law if the crime is committed on federal government property. As such the elements of proof in military courts-martial are very specific and don’t leave much wiggle room.

I know because as a Marine officer (retired for more than 20 years now) I was the “judge” on many Summary and Special courts-martial, and I was a prosecutor for several General courts-martial. As a sidebar, in my day, the prosecutor for courts-martial could be any officer, but the defense had to be a qualified lawyer and senior in rank if the prosecutor was not a lawyer. In other words, the defendant had a real advantage in those situations. I was a prosecutor for four General Courts and won all my cases (including a murder conviction). Today, both prosecutor and defense must be lawyers.

My point is that there are significant difference between military and civilian laws as well as the nature of the courts and the appeals process.

Manning’s lawyer may attempt to invoke whistle-blower status, but the law is fairly clear that in order to have that status, the defendant must first have tried to resolve the issues within the chain of command and/or through the military JAG or the similar government civilian processes.

However, in the NSA case he did neither before handing over the classified documents directly to the MSM and he wasn’t prosecuted.

On the other hand, the information that Manning released was not specific to a claim of corruption. There were tens of thousands of classified diplomatic documents that had nothing to do with Iraq or Afghanistan. So, that would be a real problem for manning’s whistel-blower defense.

Additionally, a conviction in a court-martial can only be appealed first to the Court of Criminal Appeal (which is like s Federal Ciruit Court of Appeals) within each of the services with military judges. After that, an appeal goes to the Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces which has 5 civilian judges appointed for 15 year terms. By comparison, the CAAF typically takes over 1,000 cases a year whereas the Supreme Court typically takes less than 50.

There are not many cases like Manning’s (i.e., military personnel giving classified documents to a journalist) that have gone through the entire military process.

So as Jazz Saw says, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds because there is an increasing tendency in the military to give defendants more rights than they technically rate

For example, Major Husan at Ft. Hood–probably the most cut and dry case of mass murder you could possibly imagine–is all tangled up in the gray area between his civilian lawyers and the military process as increasing deference is given to the civilian lawyers.

BMF on December 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

For example, Major Husan at Ft. Hood–probably the most cut and dry case of mass murder you could possibly imagine–is all tangled up in the gray area between his civilian lawyers and the military process as increasing deference is given to the civilian lawyers.

BMF on December 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

They should have allowed Texas to prosecute him under Texas law. It would have been faster and Husan would be executed in about 10-12 years. Under the military system, he’ll never get executed.

Blake on December 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM

BMF on December 21, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Oh, but I think you are spot on regarding Manning. I was looking back on Lonetree’s sentence. He started out at 30, it was reduced to 15 at the request of the military, and he was released after 9 (I think this was due to parole still being applicable to federal prisoners).

They considered his age, that he was lonely, that the material passed to the ruskies wasn’t earth shattering. Manning, however, turned over so much. I am now hearing that he told someone that he sold the info to wiki which of course would hurt his case. I’m thinking it hasn’t really come up because they haven’t found any transfer of money.

Blake on December 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM