“If Swedish interrogators want to interrogate him they can do it in London. Everyone in their right mind knows that this is a stepping stone to the US.” Chomsky draws a parallel with Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of having leaked thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, and says that what to happened Manning is a clear indication of how Assange will be treated if he is extradited to the United States.
Manning has been held in a military prison for almost a year and a half without trial — most of that time in solitary confinement. “There is no doubt that the purpose of all this is to get [Manning] to say something about Assange, who will also be treated the same way if he ever comes to the US… Therefore, a decent country at this time — if there is one — would grant him political asylum,”
Chomsky says of the Swedish legal system “that one can not rely on it, which is not so surprising.” Sweden cooperated with the Nazis during World War II and is now working with the Americans, he points out. “Sweden cooperates with whoever is in power… suppose that Syria asks Sweden to extradite somebody to Syria whom they accuse works with the rebels — would Sweden do it? No!”
“By right [Assange] ought to get a medal of honour. He’s performing his responsibilities as a citizen of a democratic society and people ought to know what their representatives are doing “
— Assange Is A True Democrat: Chomsky | newmatilda.com
"Lamo, who’s been affiliated with the hacker ‘zine 2600, said that he considered himself a reporter, and that he was a minister with the Universal Life Church, which grants ministerial credentials over the internet. On cross-examination, Manning’s attorney David Coombs — who refused to refer to bradass87 in the chats as Manning — asked Lamo about the section of the logs where Lamo offered bradass87 confidentiality as a journalist and a man of the cloth."
— In WikiLeaks Case, Bradley Manning Faces the Hacker Who Turned Him In | Threat Level | Wired.com
"The founder and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, who published the greatest leak of official documents in history, providing a unique insight into rapacious wars and the lies told by governments, is likely to find himself in a hell hole not dissimilar to the “torturous” dungeon that held Private Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower. Manning has not been tried, let alone convicted, yet on 21 April President Barack Obama declared him guilty with a dismissive “He broke the law”."
— New Statesman - The smearing of a revolution
"Last night, PFC Manning was inexplicably stripped of all clothing by the Quantico Brig. He remained in his cell, naked, for the next seven hours. At 5:00 a.m., the Brig sounded the wake-up call for the detainees. At this point, PFC Manning was forced to stand naked at the front of his cell."
— The Law Office of David E. Coombs: PFC Manning Forced to Strip Naked
"Solitary confinement has been used in US prisons since the 19th century, but has become more prevalent with the rise of for-profit supermax prisons in recent years. Studies have found that, depending on the prison, anywhere from 0.5 percent of US prisoners to 20 percent of prisoners are kept in 23-hour-a-day solitary confinement. The PsySR letter noted that the UN Committee Against Torture has expressed concerns about the use of solitary confinement in US prisons, and noted that, unlike supermax prisoners, Manning has not been convicted of any crime."
— Amnesty International condemns ‘inhumane’ treatment of Bradley Manning | Raw Story
"Over the course of my visits to see Bradley in Quantico, it’s become increasingly clear that the severe, inhumane conditions of his detention are wearing on Manning. The extraordinary restrictions of Manning’s basic rights to sleep, exercise, and communicate under the Prevention of Injury order are unnecessary and should be lifted immediately."
— Protests grow over treatment of Bradley Manning - U.S. news - WikiLeaks in Security - msnbc.com
"In a letter dated Monday, Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR) argued that PFC Bradley Manning, who has been held in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico for the past five months, may be the victim of political retribution. The group also suggested that the psychological damage Manning may be suffering from spending 23 hours a day alone may ruin his bid for a fair trial."
— Psychologists protest ‘inhumane, harmful’ treatment of Bradley Manning | Raw Story
"A consensus quickly emerged in the political and media class that they are Evil Villains who must be severely punished, while those responsible for the acts they revealed are guilty of nothing. That reaction has not been weakened at all even by the Pentagon’s own admission that, in stark contrast to its own actions, there is no evidence — zero — that any of WikiLeaks’ actions has caused even a single death."
— What WikiLeaks revealed to the world in 2010 - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
Statements purportedly made by Manning would indicate that he considered himself a whistleblower acting on behalf of the public. Manning was turned in by an informer, Adrian Lamo, a former computer hacker whom the soldier had contacted and reportedly told via online chats that he had leaked the helicopter video and was prepared to do the same with other material.
In chats later turned over to the FBI and published in edited form by Wired magazine, Manning allegedly said he wanted to see “hopefully worldwide discussion, debates and reforms” as a result of the revelations. “If not, then we’re doomed—as a species. I will officially give up on the society we have if nothing happens.”
Despite having an exemplary record of conduct with no threatening or violent behavior, Manning is classified as a “maximum custody detainee,” the highest level of military detention. On this basis, he has been subjected to extremely repressive conditions.
— Accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning held in solitary confinement
"In his internet chat with Adrian Lamo (the guy who turned him in), Manning made it clear that if he was trying to cause problems for the US or had malicious intentions, he could have sold the info to foreign governments. However, his reasoning for leaking the info was clear, saying he was hoping it would cause “worldwide discussion, debates and reform.” He also noted that he was driven to do this after being involved in detaining Iraqis who had simply done a scholarly critique of the current government, which he believed went against basic free speech principles. Again, no matter what you believe about his specific actions, it’s pretty clear his intent was to whistleblow. He was upset about what he felt were illegal activities and his goal was to get that information out and to create discussion leading to reform. That’s the classic definition of whistleblowing."
— US Is Apparently Torturing Bradley Manning, Despite No Trial And No Conviction | Techdirt