Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Comes Out of Hiding
Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Gives Speech in Brussels, Won't Go to USA
Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, which is at the heart of the scandal surrounding a US helicopter attack on Iraqi civilians, has emerged after a month of hiding to give a speech on freedom of information in Brussels. Wikileaks is the site to which Bradley Manning said he sent 260,000 classified diplomatic cables, including the helicopter attack video and information on an air strike in Garani, Afghanistan from 2009.
Bradley Manning was arrested and is currently being held in Kuwait after being outed by hacker Adrian Lamo. Meanwhile, Wikileaks has only aired a single diplomatic cable, but the US military is clearly worried about the site's potential to embarrass them, as well as cause security breaches.
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Julian Assange Reaches out to Bradley Manning
Assange hired lawyers for Bradley Manning, whom Assange has not acknowledged is the source of the leaked phone conversation. The hired legal team has not been granted access to Manning. Meanwhile, Wikileaks is preparing to release video footage of the Garani air strike, in which more than 90 children were killed.
Julian Assange is not being openly hunted by the US government, but he hinted at back-channel communication that indicates that Washington would really, really like to have a sit-down with him. As such, Assange has been advised by his legal team to stay out of the US.
The prospect of the cache of classified intelligence on the US conduct of the two wars being put online is a nightmare for Washington. The sensitivity of the information has generated media reports that Assange is the target of a US manhunt.
Assange said WikiLeaks had hired three US criminal lawyers to defend Manning but that they had been granted no access to him. Manning has instead been assigned US military counsel.
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