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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Foreign Policy

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Soldier Busted for Leaking to WikiLeaks

June 7, 2010 - 1:27 PM | by: Justin Fishel

Washington D.C. — Army officials apprehended an intelligence analyst accused of releasing classified military information to the self-proclaimed “whistle-blowing” website, WikiLeaks.

Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Md., is being held in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait, the U.S. military said Monday. Manning is deployed with 2nd Brigade 10th Mountain Division in Baghdad.

“The Department of Defense takes the management of classified information very seriously because it affects our national security, the lives of our Soldiers, and our operations abroad,” a statement from U.S Forces-Iraq reads.

In April WikiLeaks made headlines when it released classified military footage it titled “Collateral Murder,” which showed Army forces shooting Iraqis from helicopters and killing two Reuters cameramen, among others. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the video amounted to the “indiscriminate slaying” of Iraqis and “another day at the office” for the U.S. Army.

Fox News later reported that Assange failed to show that some of the Iraqis in that video were carrying weapons, including RPGs and AK-47s.

According to WIRED.com, Manning was exposed after telling an online hacker, Adrian Lamo, that he was the one who released the video. Lamo told the FBI and the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command that he felt compelled to turn Manning in after Manning also took credit for releasing hundreds of thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables from the State Department. Lamo said Manning also boasted of using his top secret clearance to access a separate video he gave to WikiLeaks that captured the deadly 2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks told Fox News in April that it has that video in its possession and that it will eventually be made public.

On its website WikiLeaks published two references to diplomatic cables in January and February of 2010, but so far neither of those documents has received as much attention as the video it released.

Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command (CID), says an investigation into Manning’s alleged crimes is ongoing and that his division is in contact with prosecutors in Iraq.  Formal charges could be announced at any time.

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