Wired reports that authorities have arrested a military intelligence analyst who had boasted that he leaked two videos, an intelligence report on Wikileaks, and hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables to Wikileaks.
Federal officials have arrested an Army intelligence analyst who boasted of giving classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks, Wired.com has learned.
SPC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.
Manning was turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online. In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video of a helicopter attack that Wikileaks posted online in April. The video showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter air strike in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.
He said he also leaked three other items to Wikileaks: a separate video showing the notorious 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan that Wikileaks has previously acknowledged is in its possession; a classified Army document evaluating Wikileaks as a security threat, which the site posted in March; and a previously unreported breach consisting of 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing “almost criminal political back dealings.”
“Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public,” Manning wrote.
We never collect personal information on our sources, so we are are unable as yet to confirm the Manning story.
Allegations in Wired that we have been sent 260,000 classified US embassy cables are, as far as we can tell, incorrect.
Which ought to make things interesting. The military is likely to be most interested in learning how the encryption on the video(s) was broken–and whether Wikileaks allegedly got that from Manning or not. That, plus I would imagine they’re interested in breaking Wikileaks’ own code to prevent any further leaking. But if Manning’s telling stories about what he leaked to Wikileaks, it might mean he’s not the guy–or the only guy–who leaked this.