WikiLeaks breach included secret details on Guantanamo prisoners: official

FORT MEADE, Maryland Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:16pm EDT

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning enters the courtroom for day four of his court martial at Fort Meade, Maryland June 10, 2013. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning enters the courtroom for day four of his court martial at Fort Meade, Maryland June 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

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FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) - The soldier accused of the largest release of classified data in U.S. history provided WikiLeaks with secret details of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, threatening "serious" damage to national security, the prison's former commander testified on Monday.

Data released by Private First Class Bradley Manning included biographical material on Guantanamo prisoners, details of their religious affiliation, and names of their relatives with extremist links, Rear Admiral David Woods, who ran the Guantanamo operation in 2011 and 2012, told Manning's court martial.

Manning, 25, is in the third week of his court-martial for allegedly providing the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website with more than 700,000 files, videos and other data, including documents from classified military databases in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the prisoner files.

Woods said in a statement read into the court record that he had reviewed five assessments of detainees released by Manning.

Vice Admiral Robert Harward, the deputy commander for the Central Command, which covers the Middle East and Afghanistan, testified that he had reviewed about 120 leaked documents, including material about a 2009 airstrike in Afghanistan that killed dozens of civilians.

The files "contained information that if released, reasonably could be expected to cause serious damage to the national security of the United States," Harward said in a statement read into the record.

Manning was a junior intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010 when WikiLeaks published the classified information. He faces 21 charges, the most serious being aiding the enemy, and faces life in prison without parole if convicted.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for the past year to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning about allegations of rape and sexual assault. Assange, an Australian, denies the allegations.

The United States set up the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to hold foreign terrorism suspects after U.S.-led forces invaded Afghanistan in pursuit the al Qaeda network behind the September 11 attacks in 2001.

(Writing by Ian Simpson; Editing by Scott Malone and David Brunnstrom)

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Comments (5)
Orwelian84 wrote:
Of course it’s a “National Security risk”, insofar as it would mean the leadership of this country, both civilian and governmental, would face war crimes trials at the Hague.

We have been violating international law, war of aggression and human rights violations, and by giving the world definitive proof, e.g Collateral Murder video and background on Guantanamo detainees, Manning provided crucial evidence that could unravel the GWOT and land a great many powerful people in front of the international criminal court.

Jun 17, 2013 4:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Asaki wrote:
It is crystal clear that Bradley ManningĀ“s revelations is now in a dilemma and will dealy.However,the US administration fight against terror showed us the tactics used were gruesome ,especially when civilians are caught in the middle.Yes,the US can be worried about both its security,but it also has the capacity to minimize operations from drone strikes and the military on the ground.

Jun 17, 2013 5:05pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SKYDRIFTER wrote:
It would be easy for his attorney to argue that the Iraq & Afghan invasions & occupations were/are War Crimes & use the Nuremberg positions for his defense.

Jun 17, 2013 5:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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