Counter-intel officer: Manning leaks did not lead to deaths

During sentencing trial, official who led Pentagon review on WikiLeaks undermines argument that leaks risked lives

Topics: Bradley Manning, bradley manning trial, Court Martial, sentencing, Army Col. Denise Lind, WikiLeaks, Taliban, ,

During the sentencing portion of Pfc. Bradley Manning’s military court-martial, the counter-intelligence official who oversaw the Pentagon’s review of the fallout of the WikiLeaks document dumps stated that Manning’s leaks did not result in U.S. deaths at enemy hands.

One of the common criticisms levied against the 25-year-old leaker has been that in passing vast troves of classified materials to WikiLeaks, he had endangered lives.

However, Brig. Gen. Robert Carr could cite no instances of any deaths resulting from the whistle-blower’s actions. As Ed Pilkington reported for the Guardian from Fort Meade:



[The] senior counter-intelligence officer who headed the Information Review Task Force that investigated the impact of WikiLeaks disclosures on behalf of the Defense Department, told a court at Fort Meade, Maryland, that they had uncovered no specific examples of anyone who had lost his or her life in reprisals that followed the publication of the disclosures on the internet. “I don’t have a specific example,” he said.

Carr initially told the judge presiding over the case, Colonel Denise Lind, that there had been an individual killed in Afghanistan as a result of the publication by WikiLeaks of the Afghan war logs that recorded military activities on the ground. “As a result of the Afghan logs I know of one individual killed – an Afghan national who had a relationship with the US government and the Taliban came out and said publicly that they had killed him as a result of him being associated with information in these logs,” Carr said.

But under defence cross-examination Carr conceded that the victim’s name had not be included in the war logs made public by WikiLeaks. Asked by Lind whether the individual who was killed was tied to the disclosures, Carr replied: “The Taliban killed him and tied him to the disclosures. We went back and looked for the name in the disclosures. The name of the individual killed was not in the disclosures.”

On the basis of the witness’s clarification, Lind sustained an objection from the defence and scrubbed from the official record any reference to the alleged killing by the Taliban.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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