Bradley Manning Offers to Plead to Lesser Charges in Wikileaks Trial

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U.S. Army
Pfc. Bradley Manning pleaded guilty to some charges in military court this morning.
After 1,007 days in jail, Private First Class Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old soldier accused of leaking classified material to Wikileaks, appeared in military court at Fort Meade today to plead guilty to modified versions of some of the more minor charges against him.

Specifically, Manning admitted to leaking State Department cables, video that appears to show the killing of civilians by a helicopter gunship in Iraq, and the secret assessment files of Guantanamo detainees.

But Manning maintained his not-guilty plea to the most significant charges, including "aiding the enemy." He told the court he chose the leaked material because he believed that while it would be embarrassing for the United States government and might provoke policy changes, he "was absolutely sure [they] wouldn't cause harm to the United States"

Manning was allowed to read a 35-page statement to the court, in which he said that nobody from Wikileaks pressured him to leak the materials. In fact, before he turned to Wikileaks, he tried to interest press outlets including the New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post, and Politico.

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In First Public Appearance in Two Months, Julian Assange Speaks Out Against Obama

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On Thursday, the Central American country of Ecuador granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum in its London embassy. The hacktivist leader dashed away from Swedish and British authorities in an effort to shield himself from the ongoing two-year trial of sex charges brought up against Assange by two Swedish girls. In Ecuador's embassy, Assange cannot be touched by British authorities, who are eagerly awaiting for him to step outside so they can detain him and bring him back into custody.

The deal to bring Assange under Ecuador's protection apparently came on his Russian television show (we reported on this a few months back; read here), in which President Rafael Correa came on for an interview and slipped the "Hey, if you need a place to stay, you're more than welcome with us" invite to Assange. Now, Correa, a friend of Hugo Chavez, Iran, Cuba and some other bad guys in the U.S.'s eyes, is warning the British government to back off of Assange if they knew what's good for them.

Well, this morning, Assange finally came out in public to speak about his trials and tribulations with the world at large. On the embassy's balcony, he greeted supporters, protestors and cops and offered a few choice words, mostly directed towards the Obama administration.
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The New York Times's Bill Keller Deals With Twitter Identity Crisis

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If there is one place on the Internet where reality and faux personalities reign free, it is Twitter - the rapid pace of the constantly updating network allows mistakes to proliferate tenfold, sending shock-waves across the web much faster than ever before. And, this morning, Bill Keller, the former Editor of the New York Times, unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way.

It all started when Nick Bilton, the newspaper's top tech writer, tweeted last night at around 10:30pm,

"Important piece by @nytkeIler defending @WikiLeaks and a plea to protect the First Amendment: opinion-nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opi..."

(We would paste the entire tweet but it has been deleted by Bilton since then).

The link posted advertises a column by Bilton's ex-boss, entitled 'WikiLeaks, A Post-Post Script,' that apparently defended the notorious hacker-leaks organization led by Julian Assange as the group falls into financial troubles. Except the piece attached (take a look at it here) was completely false... Bill Keller said so himself.


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WikiLeaks... The Movie?

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Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, it looks like it could happen. "The man who leaked the world" has Hollywood up in arms and it's not because there is a Cablegate in the works for Tinsel Town. Let's not get our hopes up.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, big studio executives are dueling it out for the rights to a biopic about the life of WikiLeaks architect, Julian Assange. You name 'em, they have a bid: Universal Pictures, Time Warner, DreamWorks Studios, etc.; everyone is vying for a slice of what could be a hack-fest blockbuster.

And for good reason: from the biggest leak of confidential files in history to his pending case in Sweden, Assange's life has played out like a Jason Bourne novel. It's no wonder why Hollywood wants to pour millions into an actual real-life spy story. No need for "Based on a true story..." when you have the history books for reference.

Except one thing is holding them back: the story of Julian Assange's life is far from over. And what good is a movie without an ending?

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WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Gets Russian TV Show

Lights, camera, action. This Tuesday, WikiLeaks founder and hacker superstar, Julian Assange, will premiere his new show, "The World Tomorrow," on the Russian government's satellite channel, Russia Today. It will be broadcasted online and on air in English, Spanish and Arabic - three of the most widely spoken languages in the world - and is sure to piss off the top echelons of governments across the globe.

The promotion above, released internationally Friday, is a snippet of what's to come the most authority-hated, pursued man in the world. And, boy, does it look interesting.

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Bill Keller, New York Times Boss, Still Not Loving WikiLeaks, Twitter

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Yesterday the New York Times announced that Bill Keller will step down as the executive editor and be replaced by managing editor Jill Abramson, while Keller will focus on just writing. Keller seems to have started this transition when he took on a column in the redesigned New York Times Magazine, which he's used to fight against some things he finds unsavory including WikiLeaks Julian Assange, who he called smelly, along with The Huffington Post and then Twitter. This week, Keller's column is about conspiracy theories and why people believe them. "Maybe, then, there is a little birther in all of us," he writes. But by the end, he manages to sneak in a little dig at both WikiLeaks and Twitter. More inside Press Clips, our daily media column, plus Keller's wife on the job change.

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Sarah Palin's Emails as Governor Coming Soon; New York Times Read Goldman Sachs Emails

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Maybe this really is the age of WikiLeaks. Transparency, hacks, and secrets of all stripes are currently getting big play in media news, ranging from the travails of Anthony Weiner's penis to shady New York Times snooping and the Freedom of Information Act at work. We've seen the latter in the case of Osama Bin Laden's death pictures and Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Cathie Black correspondence, both unsuccessful for journalists up to this point, but today, some open records law success, albeit a little late. A handful of publications, including MSNBC, ProPublica, and Mother Jones have been granted access to Sarah Palin's emails as the governor of Alaska, which the reporters filed for under Alaskan law back during the 2008 campaign. More details on everyone's secrets inside Press Clips, our daily media column.

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Bradley Manning's Facebook Page Reconstructed by PBS Frontline

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In advance of tonight's documentary WikiSecrets, the PBS show Frontline has released an exhaustive recreation of Bradley Manning's Facebook page, in an attempt to illuminate the mysterious figure currently incarcerated for leaking government secrets to Julian Assange's pro-transparency organization. Manning, an Army private, was open online about his homosexuality despite "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and was not shy about sharing his political beliefs either. Welcome to the future, with Facebook as a window to the soul.

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Julian Assange & the News Cycle: Guantanamo Bay Info Starts With WikiLeaks

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Earlier today, we reported on the new information available about Guantanamo Bay, as some of the world's largest news organizations began publishing piles of previously classified documents about more than 700 prisoners detained there since 2002. The information was leaked to Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks organization, but the New York Times and the Guardian, both of which pissed off Assange personally and have ended their working relationships with the polarizing figure, also had scoops of their own based on the same info, adding a complex media component to an already multifaceted story. Yes, Obama promised to close Guantanamo and hasn't, all while human rights violations continue, but in Press Clips, our daily media column, we'll spell out the behind-the-scenes drama in publishing this week's leak.

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Guantanamo Bay Is a Complicated Hell on Earth, New WikiLeaks Documents Show

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On Sunday night, various media outlets like the New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, McClatchy, the Guardian and the Telegraph published numerous classified files and accompanying in-depth reports about the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. WikiLeaks, Julian Assange's pro-transparency organization, received the leaks and offered them to organizations like NPR and the Post, likely due to ongoing issues with previous publication partners like the Times and Guardian (stemming from personal dramas with Assange), who got the info regardless from "another source." But now that it's all out there, a fairly clear picture is starting to emerge, not that it wasn't known already: Guantanamo Bay is a really screwed up place. And it's still open.

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