Tag Archive: Daniel Ellsberg


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Published on Jan 17, 2014

January 17, 2014 Al Jazeera News http://MOXNews.com

Edward Snowden To Join Daniel Ellsberg, Others on Freedom of the Press Foundation’s Board of Directors

January 14, 2014

Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is proud to announce NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will join its board of directors.

“I am proud and honored to welcome Edward Snowden to Freedom of the Press Foundation’s board of directors.  He is the quintessential American whistleblower, and a personal hero of mine,” said FPF’s co-founder Daniel Ellsberg. “Leaks are the lifeblood of the republic and, for the first time, the American public has been given the chance to debate democratically the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. Accountability journalism can’t be done without the courageous acts exemplified by Snowden, and we need more like him.”

Freedom of the Press Foundation was founded in 2012 in part to build a movement to support and strengthen the First Amendment and defend those who are on the front lines holding power to account. Its founding board members include Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, John Cusack, Xeni Jardin, and John Perry Barlow. The NSA revelations Mr. Snowden brought to light represent one of our generation’s greatest threats to press freedom. Mr. Snowden is joining the board to be part of solution, to help protect today’s journalists and inspire tomorrow’s watchdogs.

FPF co-founder Glenn Greenwald said: “We began this organization to protect and support those who are being punished for bringing transparency to the world’s most powerful factions or otherwise dissent from government policy. Edward Snowden is a perfect example of our group’s purpose, as he’s being persecuted for his heroic whistleblowing, and it is very fitting that he can now work alongside us in defense of press freedom, accountability, and the public’s right-to-know.”

Mr. Snowden said: “It is tremendously humbling to be called to serve the cause of our free press, and it is the honor of a lifetime to do so alongside extraordinary Americans like Daniel Ellsberg on FPF’s Board of Directors.  The unconstitutional gathering of the communications records of everyone in America threatens our most basic rights, and the public should have a say in whether or not that continues.  Thanks to the work of our free press, today we do, and if the NSA won’t answer to Congress, they’ll have to answer to the newspapers, and ultimately, the people.”

Snowden brings a deep knowledge about how journalists and sources can communicate securely in the age of mass surveillance. Protecting digital communications is turning into the press freedom battle of the 21st Century.

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Published on Dec 26, 2013

12/26/2013

Things got heated when MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker cited critics who’ve accused Greenwald of “crossing a line” in his defense of Edward Snowden. “What do you say to your critics who say you’ve become more of a spokesman for Edward Snowden?” she asked.

“I think that’s ludicrous is what I say to that,” Greenwald shot back. “Every journalist has an agenda. We’re on MSNBC now, where close to 24 hours a day the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean the people who appear on MSNBC aren’t journalists, they are.”

He said that every journalist has a “viewpoint” and he doesn’t hide the fact that he finds Snowden’s decision to expose the NSA’s surveillance programs “heroic.”

I think the point is not so much about MSNBC and what happens here,” Welker said in defense of her employer, “but more that sometimes when you talk about Edward Snowden you do defend him, and some people wonder if that crosses a line.”

“Sure, I do defend him just like people on MSNBC defend President Obama and his officials and Democratic Party leaders 24 hours a day.” When Welker pushed back that “not everyone on MSNBC does that 24 hours a day,” Greenwald conceded that it’s “not everybody, but a lot of people do.”

After comparing Snowden to figures like Chelsea Manning and Daniel Ellsberg, Greenwald said, “I absolutely do defend what Edward Snowden does and I don’t pretend otherwise.”

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Business Insider

 

GLENN GREENWALD TO MSNBC: I’m Defending Snowden Like You Defend Obama ’24 Hours A Day’

greenwald_snowden

Gaurdian/AP

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who has been at the forefront of the National Security Agency leaks from Edward Snowden, defended his ties to the former agency contractor on MSNBC Thursday.Greenwald was asked by MSNBC anchor Kristen Welker to respond to critics that have charged Greenwald has “crossed a line” in defending Snowden and has become a “spokesman” for him.

Greenwald sniped back by blasting the network, charging that its own bias lies within its “24-hour” defense of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

“I think that’s ludicrous — that’s what I say to that,” Greenwald said.

“Every journalist has an agenda. We’re on MSNBC now, where, close to 24 hours a day, the agenda of President Obama and the Democratic Party are promoted, defended, glorified, [and] the agenda of the Republican Party is undermined. That doesn’t mean that the people who appear on MSNBC aren’t journalists — they are.”

 

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Published on Aug 22, 2013

The NSA surveillance of millions of emails and phone calls. The dogged pursuit of whistleblower Edward Snowden across the globe, regardless of the diplomatic fallout. And the sentencing of Bradley Manning to 35 years in prison for giving a cache of government files to the website WikiLeaks. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg sees these events as signs that the United States is becoming a police state.

“We have not only the capability of a police state, but certain beginnings of it right now,” Ellsberg said. “And I absolutely agree with Edward Snowden. It’s worth a person’s life, prospect of assassination, or life in prison or life in exile — it’s worth that to try to restore our liberties and make this a democratic country.”

Ellsberg was a military analyst with the RAND Corporation in 1969 when he secretly copied thousands of classified documents about U.S. decision-making during the Vietnam War. In 1971, he leaked the files (known as the Pentagon Papers) to The New York Times and 18 other newspapers.

Although the Nixon administration tried to prevent the publication of the files, the Supreme Court ruled in New York Times Co. v. United States that the newspaper could continue publishing the files.

Ellsberg was later tried on 12 felony counts under the Espionage Act of 1917, and faced a possible sentence of 115 years in prison. His case was dismissed in 1973 on the grounds of gross governmental misconduct.

As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama praised instances of whistle-blowing as “acts of courage and patriotism.” Since becoming president, however, his administration has charged more people under the Espionage Act than all other presidents combined.

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Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Slams Surveillance State, Hails NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Steve Wozniak speaking with Piers Morgan this week. (Screenshot)Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has cheered NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and admonished the rise of the surveillance state.

Speaking with CNN‘s Piers Morgan on Thursday, Wozniak expressed support for the whistleblower and said, “I felt about Edward Snowden the same way I felt about Daniel Ellsberg, who changed my life, who taught me a lot with a book he wrote…” He continued:

Read the facts—it’s a government of, by and for the people. That sorta means we own the government. We’re the ones that pay for it, and then we discover something that our money is being used for.  That just can’t be, that level of crime.

On the proliferation of computers made possible by geniuses like him that enables widespread surveillance, Wozniak told Morgan:

I actually feel a little guilty about that but not totally. We created the computers to free the people up, give them instant communication anywhere in the world, any thought you could share it freely. That it was going to overcome a lot of the government restrictions. We didn’t realize that in the digital world there are a lot of ways to use the digital technology to control us, to snoop on us.  In the old days of mailing letters, you licked it, and when you got an envelope that was still sealed, nobody had seen it. You could have private communication. Now they say because it’s e-mail it cannot be private, anyone can listen.

In another recent interview, however, Wozniak offered a more in-depth look at his thoughts on government snooping.

Photo: The DEMO Conference/cc/flickr

A chance run-in with Wozniak at an airport last week offered Spanish language technological news site FayerWayer the opportunity to get the tech giant’s thoughts on the widespread government spying exposed by Snowden. In the interview, Wozniak lamented the current state of surveillance in the U.S..

When asked what he thought about the NSA’s PRISM program, Wozniak said:

I was brought up, for example, and my dad taught me that other countries when they got prisoners in a war, they tortured them.  But we Americans didn’t torture them; we gave them good food and clothing and everything.  And I was so proud of my country, you know?  And now I find out it’s just the opposite, you know.

And I just wish all these things I thought about the Constitution that made us so good as people — they’re kinda nothing.  They all dissolved with the Patriot Act.

There’s all these laws that say we can just sorta call anything terrorism and do anything we want without all these rights of courts to get in and say we aren’t doing the wrong things.

There’s not even a free, open court anymore.  And I read the Constitution and I don’t know how all this stuff happened.  It’s so clear what the Constitution says.  It’s extremely clear in the Bill of Rights.  One thing after another, after another.  It just got overturned, and that’s what a king does.

The king just goes out and has anyone rounded up, killed, put in secret prisons.

When I was brought up, I was taught that communist Russia was the ones that were gonna kill us and bomb our country and all this.  And communist Russia was so bad because they followed their people, they snooped on them, they arrested them, they put them in secret prisons, they disappeared them.  These kind of things were part of Russia.

You know, we’re getting more and more like that.  […]

Look at the guy who just turned over the information on what the NSA program was.

He said that anyone like him sitting at a terminal could instantly go and grab all the data of anyone they felt like, with no courts […] no warrants, nobody having to approve it.

That means there’s a thousand people in the CIA that could just sit and whoever they want … they could just go look at.

That sort of structure is wrong.  But troubles come from the top.

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Published on Aug 10, 2012

With the failure of the most recent cyber bill in the Senate and a possible Obama Executive Order, it seems the government is looking for other ways to beef up Internet protection. As heavy speculation swirls around the future of the Internet, RT’s Abby Martin sits down with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, to speak about net neutrality and his fear that freedom on the Web might become a thing of the past.

Chris Carrington
The Daily Sheeple
June 11th, 2013

Unknown

According to reports from the BBC, Edward Snowden has vanished from his Hong Kong hotel room. Ex-CIA employee Snowden, 29, was not expected to check out and the move has taken many by surprise. His whereabouts are unknown and thus far he has not made contact with anyone as to his plans.

Snowden who is on record as saying he had:

“an obligation to help free people from oppression”

He is being investigated regarding the leaks and the case has been referred to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.

An online petition on the White House website has so far gotten 30,000 signatures calling for an immediate pardon for Snowden, though sadly, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post reveals that the majority of American Citizens think that this kind of intrusive phone monitoring is acceptable if it is aimed at fighting terrorism.

The implications of Snowdens’ leaks have reverberated around the globe with similar allegations being leveled at GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) in the UK.

Before fleeing to Hong Kong Snowden said:

“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. I don’t want to live in a society that does these sorts of things. I do not want to live in a world where everything I say and do is recorded…. We have seen enough criminality on behalf of the government, it is hypocritical to make this allegation against me.”

Hong Kong does have an extradition treaty with the US though a standard US visa lasts for 90 days, he is believed to have arrived in Hong Kong on May 20th.

He has recently said that he fears his actions could put him in jail and he is worried about his family and friends being sucked into the affair. His vanishing without warning from the Mira Hotel has concerned those close to him.

On Thursday, the Washington Post and Guardian said the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a program known as Prism.

All the internet companies deny giving the US government access to their servers.

Prism is said to give the NSA and FBI access to emails, web chats and other communications directly from the servers of major US internet companies.

Other major US Security Leaks

  • Pentagon papers, 1971: Daniel Ellsberg leaks study showing the government had knowledge it was unlikely to win Vietnam war
  • Watergate, 1972: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reveal extent of cover-up over burglary at Democrat National Committee HQ
  • Iran-Contra affair, 1986: Iranian cleric reveals illegal US arms sales to Iran, the proceeds of which are later used to fund Nicaraguan Contras
  • Valerie Plame, 2003: Ms Plame is revealed to be an undercover CIA agent, ending her covert career
  • Abu Ghraib, 2004: Publication of pictures showing abuse of detainees at Iraq prison by US officials turns initial media reports of abuse into full-blown scandal
  • Bradley Manning, 2010: The soldier downloads thousands of classified documents from military servers and hands them over to Wikileaks

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

 

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!

 

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BBC

US spy leaker Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong hotel

 

Beijing correspondent Damian Grammaticus says China would not want to deal with any extradition of Snowden to the US

 

 

An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.

 

Edward Snowden, 29, checked out from his hotel on Monday and his whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be still in Hong Kong.

 

Earlier, he said he had an “obligation to help free people from oppression”.

 

His leaks led to revelations that the US is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data.

 

The programme, known as Prism, is run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence gave details of the programme last week after Mr Snowden’s leaks led to a series of articles in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.

 

According to the office’s statement, Prism is simply an internal computer system, and not a data-mining programme.

I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded”

Edward Snowden

 

However, such data seizures could break the laws of other countries, and could also break US law if they accidentally capture communications of US citizens.

Transatlantic fallout

Hong Kong’s broadcaster RTHK said Mr Snowden checked out of the Mira hotel in Kowloon on Monday, and Reuters news agency quoted hotel staff as saying that he had left at noon.

 

Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who broke the story, told the BBC he believed Mr Snowden was still in Hong Kong.

 

Rory Cellan-Jones reports on what is known about Prism

 

It is believed the US is pursuing a criminal investigation, but no extradition request has yet been filed.

 

The Chinese territory has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.

 

A petition posted on the White House website calling for Mr Snowden’s immediate pardon has gathered more than 30,000 signatures.

 

However, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post suggests a majority of Americans think government monitoring of phone records is acceptable if the aim is to fight terrorism.

 

Mr Snowden’s revelations have led to allegations that the UK’s electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, used the US system to spy on British citizens.

 

Read Full Article and Watch Videos  Here

 

World media reaction

  • The Liberation Daily in China has harsh words for President Obama: “Five years ago, Obama came to power waving an anti-George W Bush banner. Five years later, he is still exactly the same as George W Bush on invasion of privacy issues.”
  • Russia’s Izvestiya compares the revelations to a dystopian novel: “The frightening reality of the 21st Century is that the world has become a house with glass walls, notions of ‘personal secrets’ and ‘confidential information’ are turning into fiction before our very eyes.”
  • India’s Tribune is more forgiving: “The 9/11 terrorist attacks have changed the environment where cyber snooping is now defendable, even acceptable.”

 

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Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.

 

Information chiefs worldwide sound alarm while US senator Dianne Feinstein orders NSA to review monitoring program

Barack Obama nsa

Officials in European capitals denounced the practice of secretly gathering digital information on Europeans as unacceptable. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Barack Obama was facing a mounting domestic and international backlash against US surveillance operations on Monday as his administration struggled to contain one of the most explosive national security leaks in US history.

Political opinion in the US was split with some members of Congress calling for the immediate extradition from Hong Kong of the whistleblower, Edward Snowden. But other senior politicians in both main parties questioned whether US surveillance practices had gone too far.

Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the national intelligence committee, has ordered the NSA to review how it limits the exposure of Americans to government surveillance. But she made clear her disapproval of Snowden. “What he did was an act of treason,” she said.

Officials in European capitals demanded immediate answers from their US counterparts and denounced the practice of secretly gathering digital information on Europeans as unacceptable, illegal and a serious violation of basic rights. The NSA, meanwhile, asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation and said that it was assessing the damage caused by the disclosures.

Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst who revealed secrets of the Vietnam war through the Pentagon Papers in 1971, described Snowden’s leak as even more important and perhaps the most significant leak in American history.

Snowden disclosed his identity in an explosive interview with the Guardian, published on Sunday, which revealed he was a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden worked at the National Security Agency for the past four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

In his interview, Snowden revealed himself as the source for a series of articles in the Guardian last week, which included disclosures of a wide-ranging secret court order that demanded Verizon pass to the NSA the details of phone calls related to millions of customers, and a huge NSA intelligence system called Prism, which collects data on intelligence targets from the systems of some of the biggest tech companies.

Snowden said he had become disillusioned with the overarching nature of government surveillance in the US. “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to,” he said.

“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”

As media interest intensified on Monday, Snowden checked out of the Hong Kong hotel where he had been staying, and moved to an undisclosed location.

Reacting to Snowden’s revelations, Paul Ryan, the former Republican vice-presidential nominee, raised questions about whether privacy was being unduly threatened. “I’m sure somebody can come up with a great computer program that says: ‘We can do X, Y, and Z,’ but that doesn’t mean that it’s right,” he told a radio station in Wisconsin. “I want to learn a lot more about it on behalf of the people I represent,” he added.

Pressure was growing on the White House to explain whether there was effective congressional oversight of the programmes revealed by Snowden. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said in an NBC interview that he had responded in the “least untruthful manner” possible when he denied in congressional hearings last year that the NSA collected data on millions of Americans.

Clapper also confirmed that Feinstein had asked for a review to “refine these NSA processes and limit the exposure to Americans’ private communications” and report back “in about a month”.

In Europe, the German chancellor Angela Merkel indicated she would press Obama on the revelations at a Berlin summit next week, while deputy European Commission chief Viviane Reding said she would press US officials in Dublin on Friday, adding that “a clear legal framework for the protection of personal data is not a luxury or constraint but a fundamental right”.

Peter Schaar, Germany’s federal data protection commissioner told the Guardian that it was unacceptable that US authorities have access to the data of European citizens “and the level of protection is lower than what is guaranteed for US citizens.” His Italian counterpart, Antonello Soro, said that the data dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.

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MSNBC

Most in Congress direct anger at leaks, not NSA surveillance

, @zackroth

1:44 PM on 06/10/2013

Image: U.S. House Majority Leader Cantor takes part in a panel discussion titled "The Awesome Responsibility of Leadership" at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California
(U.S. Congressman and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (REUTERS/Gus Ruelas))

As Congress begins probing the release of documents that revealed details of a government surveillance program Monday, most lawmakers are condemning the disclosures as a threat to national security. But some in both parties are instead portraying the program as an example of dangerous government overreach.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday morning that a “very serious” congressional probe of the leak would start today, when Obama administration officials will brief lawmakers on how the information became public. Cantor, a Virginia Republican, added that a broader briefing on the National Security Agency (NSA) program would occur Tuesday.

The U.S. Justice Department confirmed Sunday it had opened a criminal probe into the disclosures. Edward Snowden, a contractor working with the NSA, revealed himself as the source of the leaks, The Guardian reported Sunday.

Related: Watch Guardian’s Greenwald defends leaks as vital to democracy

Republicans have been relatively united in denouncing the leak.

“If Edward Snowden did in fact leak the NSA data as he claims, the United States government must prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and begin extradition proceedings at the earliest date,” Rep. Peter King, who chairs the subcommittee on Counterterrorism & Intelligence, said in a statement.

 

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The Washington Post

Daniel Ellsberg: ‘I’m sure that President Obama would have sought a life sentence in my case’

In 1971, an American military analyst named Daniel Ellsberg gave a New York Times reporter a copy of “United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense,” a multi-volume work that became known as the Pentagon Papers. The massive, classified study painted a candid and unflattering portrait of the military’s conduct of the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court rejected the government’s request for an injunction against its publication later that year in a 6-3 ruling.

Ellsberg became the first person prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act for releasing classified information to the public. But the case was thrown out after the judge learned that the government had engaged in the illegal wiretapping of Ellsberg and other misconduct.

Today, Ellsberg is one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration’s prosecution of leakers. Under President Obama’s tenure, the government has prosecuted six individuals for releasing classified information to media organizations.

Ellsberg is particularly fierce in his support of Bradley Manning, a young soldier who released a large amount of classified information to WikiLeaks. Manning was arrested in 2010, and his military court-martial began this week. Ellsberg considers Manning a hero, and he argues that there is little difference between what Manning did in 2010 and what Ellsberg did four decades earlier. We spoke by phone on Friday. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

Daniel Ellsberg at an event supporting Bradley Manning in Washington, DC, on May 2, 2013. (Timothy B. Lee, Washington Post)

Daniel Ellsberg at an event supporting Bradley Manning in Washington, May 2, 2013. (Timothy B. Lee, Washington Post)

Timothy B. Lee: Why are you publicly supporting Bradley Manning?

Daniel Ellsberg: There are two reasons. One is to educate the public on the wars that he was exposing and the information that he put out. He has said his goal was to help the public make informed decisions. We’re grateful for that, and we’re trying to extend that word and bring that about.

Also, I and a lot of other people feel that we need more whistleblowers, and that to allow the government simply to stigmatize them without opposition does not encourage that. I think we’ve got to convey to people appreciation for the information that we do get, the idea that someone can make a difference.

In a military trial there isn’t a whole lot of possible influence, but the general atmosphere in the public is bound to make some influence on the judge. [We want the judge to] stop and think that there were some benefits [to Manning’s actions].

TL: In a 1973 interview, you said that a “secondary objective” of releasing the Pentagon Papers was “the hope of changing the tolerance of Executive secrecy that had grown up over the last quarter of a century both in Congress and the courts and in the public at large.” How has that “tolerance of secrecy” changed over the last four decades?

DE: There was a period after the Vietnam war, partly due to the Pentagon Papers, and largely due to Watergate, that made people much less tolerant of being lied to, much more aware of how often they were lied to and how the system operated to make that lying possible without accountability. We got the Freedom of Information Act. The FISA court was set up. The FBI was reined in a great deal. The NSA was forbidden to do overhearing of American citizens without a court warrant. That lasted for some years.

But 40 years have passed, and after 9/11 in particular, all of those lessons have been lost. There’s been very great tolerance that if the magic words “national security,” or the new words “homeland security” are invoked, Congress has given the president virtually a free hand in deciding what information they will know as well as the public. I wouldn’t count on the current court with its current makeup making the same ruling with the Pentagon Papers as they did 40 years ago. I’m sure that President Obama would have sought a life sentence in my case.

Various things that were counted as unconstitutional then have been put in the president’s hands now. He’s become an elected monarch. Nixon’s slogan, “when the president does it, it’s not illegal,” is pretty much endorsed now. Meaning not only Obama but the people who come after him will have powers that no previous president had. Abilities on surveillance that no country in the history of the world has ever had.

Interestingly, after the AP revelations and the [revelations about] Fox News reporter [James Rosen], who was actually charged with aiding and abetting a conspiracy with a source, every journalist has suddenly woken up to the fact that they’re under the gun. That may actually have the effect of waking people up to the fact that, for example, Attorney General Holder has been violating the Constitution steadily, and that he should be fired. But fired for what? For doing what had the approval of the president.

Holder should be fired for a whole series of actions culminating in this subpoena for James Rosen’s cellphone records. I think that would be the first step of resistance in the right direction, of rolling back Obama’s campaign against journalism, freedom of the press in national security.

TL: Is government surveillance of journalists more alarming than prosecution of leakers?

DE: Absolutely, but the two go together a little more than might be obvious. First of all, there’s no question that President Obama is conducting an unprecedented campaign against unauthorized disclosure. The government had used the Espionage Act against leaks only three times before his administration. He’s used it six times. He’s doing his best to assure that sources in the government will have reason to fear heavy prison sentences for informing the American public in ways he doesn’t want.

In other words, he’s working very hard to make it a government where he controls all the information. There will be plenty of leaks of classified information, but it will be by his officials in pursuit of his policies. We will not be getting information that the government doesn’t want out, that [reveals government actions that are] embarrassing or criminal or reckless, as we saw in Vietnam and Iraq.

I think the newspapers really need to address the fact that they’re going to be put in the position of printing nothing more than government handouts. There will be in effect a state press, as in so many other countries that lack freedom of the press. I don’t think they have really awakened to that change. There would be a lot of newspaper people who would be comfortable with that. But there are a lot who would not.

Daniel Ellsberg speaks to reporters about the Manning case on June 2, 2013. (Timothy B. Lee / Washington Post)

Daniel Ellsberg speaks to reporters about the Manning case on June 2, 2013. (Timothy B. Lee / Washington Post)

TL: Do you think Bradley Manning is in a different category than the other people President Obama has prosecuted?

DE: Bradley Manning’s case might seem to have no relevance to some of these other civilian disclosures because it’s a military court-martial. But the charge they’re using against him, the specific one of aid and comfort to the enemy, is one that puts virtually all dissent in this country for government policies at risk. Not only leaks in general, like WikiLeaks, or the New York Times for that matter, but people who aren’t in journalism at all. He’s charged with giving aid and comfort to the enemy, a charge that has no element of intention or motive, simply by putting out information that the enemy might be happy to read.

I think they’re going to put into the trial for example, indications that Osama bin Laden downloaded the New York Times, as anyone in the world could do. No doubt Osama was happy to have the world realize that his enemies were committing atrocities that they weren’t admitting and that they weren’t investigating. It was no intention of WikiLeaks or Bradley Manning to give comfort to Osama bin Laden. That was an inadvertent effect of informing the American public of that, which definitely did need to know it.

Specifically, they’re charging Bradley with the video. [A video of a 2007 helicopter strike in Baghdad released by WikiLeaks under the title “Collateral Murder.”] That was not in fact classified. But whether it was or not, it was wrongly withheld from Reuters who twice made Freedom of Information Act requests knowing it existed. David Finkel at The Washington Post quoted from the video. Bradley Manning was aware that Reuters had made that request and had been denied and that The Washington Post had access to the video and he believed that they had the video. I don’t think it’s ever been established whether the Washington Post reporter had the video.

That video depicts a war crime, an unarmed, injured civilian being deliberately killed. A squad was going to be in the area in minutes. They also shot at people who were trying to help the victims, including a father and two children.

Manning sees this, knows it’s a crime, knows the evidence has been refused to Reuters. He knows there’s no way for the American public to see that except to put it out. By any standard that’s what he should have done. For them to charge him with that shows an outrageous sensibility. Going after the man who exposes the war crime instead of any of the ones who actually did it, none of whom were indicted or investigated.

TL: I think some people have the impression that recent leaks have posed a greater threat to national security, and that the government’s prosecutions were therefore more justified, than what you did in the early 1970s. Do you think that’s true?

DE: There’s a very general impression that Bradley Manning simply dumped out everything that he had access to without any discrimination, and that’s very misleading or mistaken on several counts. He was in a facility that dealt mainly in information higher than top secret in classification. He put out nothing that was higher than secret. [Information he published] was available to hundreds of thousands of people. He had access to material that was much higher than top secret, much more sensitive. He chose not to put any of that out. He explained that in his statement to the court. He said what he put out was no more than embarrassing to the government.

There was more meat in the material [that Manning released] than I as a Pentagon official would have expected to find in material that was only [classified as] secret. There was information about torture and deaths of civilians. Apparently that is so routine in these current wars that it wasn’t regarded as sensitive.

So far the Pentagon has not been able to point to a single example of information that led to harm to an American. If they had, I think we’d have seen pictures of victims on the cover of Time magazine.

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The Daily Caller

  

‘Pentagon Papers’ leaker: Obama an ‘elected monarch,’ trying to ‘control all the information’

Daniel Ellsberg, the former military analyst whose leak of the “Pentagon Papers” precipitated a landmark Supreme Court case, says President Barack Obama “has become an elected monarch” who is leading “an unprecedented campaign against unauthorized disclosure.”

“The government had used the Espionage Act against leaks only three times before his administration,” Ellsberg told The Washington Post in an interview published Wednesday. “He’s used it six times. He’s doing his best to assure that sources in the government will have reason to fear heavy prison sentences for informing the American public in ways he doesn’t want.”

“In other words, he’s working very hard to make it a government where he controls all the information,” Ellsberg added.

Ellsberg’s leak of a top-secret history of the Vietnam War to New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan in 1971 revealed that the U.S. government had systematically lied about the nature of the conflict since its involvement. The Nixon administration charged Ellsberg under the Espionage Act of 1917 and obtained a federal injunction to stop the papers’ publication, but lost the case on appeal after it reached the Supreme Court.

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Soldier faces charge of ‘aiding the enemy’ by downloading and leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents

Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning faces a maximum sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

The trial of Bradley Manning, the US soldier who leaked a trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks, could set an ominous precedent that will chill freedom of speech and turn the internet into a danger zone, legal experts have warned.

Of the 21 counts faced by the army private on Monday, at his trial at Fort Meade in Maryland, by far the most serious is that he knowingly gave intelligence information to al-Qaida by transmitting hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the open information website WikiLeaks. The leaked disclosures were first published by the Guardian and allied international newspapers.

Manning is accused of “aiding the enemy”, in violation of Article 104 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. By indirectly unleashing a torrent of secrets onto the internet, the prosecution alleges, he in effect made it available to Osama bin Laden and his cohorts, for them to inflict injury on the US.

Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who is considered to be the foremost liberal authority on constitutional law in the US and who taught the subject to President Barack Obama, told the Guardian that the charge could set a worrying precedent. He said: “Charging any individual with the extremely grave offense of ‘aiding the enemy’ on the basis of nothing beyond the fact that the individual posted leaked information on the web and thereby ‘knowingly gave intelligence information’ to whoever could gain access to it there, does indeed seem to break dangerous new ground.”

Tribe, who advised the department of justice in Obama’s first term, added that the trial could have “far-reaching consequences for chilling freedom of speech and rendering the internet a hazardous environment, well beyond any demonstrable national security interest.”

“Aiding the enemy” carries the death penalty. Though the US government has indicated it will not seek that ultimate punishment, Manning still faces a maximum sentence of life in military custody with no chance of parole.

Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 was subjected to an aborted trial for leaking the Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam War to the New York Times, said that the Manning prosecution was far tougher than anything that he had endured.

“This is part of Obama’s overall policy of criminalising investigative reporting on national security,” he said. “If the government has its way, it will become very hard in future to expose official corruption or disclose information in the public interest other than leaks made by the administration itself.”

Manning’s trial, which is slated to last three months, opens against a backdrop of mounting unease about the increasingly aggressive stance the US government is taking against official leakers. The Obama administration has launched six prosecutions under the Espionage Act, twice as many as all previous presidencies combined, of which only Manning’s has gone to trial.

The Department of Justice is already under fire for its controversial secret seizures of phone records of Associated Press reporters and of a Fox News reporter, James Rosen, investigating North Korean nuclear tests.

bradley manning trial A demonstration in support of Bradley Manning at Fort Meade in Maryland. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

 

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Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

 

Pfc. Bradley Manning at Fort Meade, Md., in May.

 

 

FORT MEADE, Md. — The court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning, whose secret release of a vast archive of military and diplomatic materials put WikiLeaks into an international spotlight, opened here Monday with dueling portrayals of a traitor who endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers and of a principled protester motivated by a desire to help society who carefully selected which documents to release.

 

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Larry Downing/Reuters

Protesters outside the main gate at Fort Meade, Md., on Monday.

 

 

The contrast between the government’s description of Private Manning and his lawyer’s underscored the oddity at the heart of the trial, which is expected to last as long as 12 weeks: There is no doubt that he did most of what he is accused of doing, and the crucial issue is how those actions should be understood.

In February, Private Manning pleaded guilty to nine lesser versions of the charges he is facing — and one full one — while confessing in detail to releasing the trove of documents for which he could be sentenced to up to 20 years.

But his plea was not part of any deal and prosecutors are going to trial because they hope to convict him, based on essentially the same facts, of 20 more serious offenses — including espionage and aiding the enemy — that could result in a life sentence.

Since his arrest three years ago, Private Manning, 25, has been embraced as a whistle-blower and hero by many on the political left, including Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers four decades ago. On Monday, dozens of supporters demonstrated in the rain outside the base’s main entrance, many holding placards with his picture.

His case has inspired social media activism that has helped raise $1.25 million for his defense from more than 20,000 people, according to the Bradley Manning Support Network. Supporters have planned rallies this week in three dozen cities, including sites in the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and South Korea.

Inside the courtroom on Monday, as Private Manning sat quietly, David Coombs, his defense lawyer, told the judge that his client had been “young, naïve, but good-intentioned” and that he had tried to ensure that the roughly 700,000 documents he released would not cause harm.

“He was selective,” Mr. Coombs said. “He had access to literally hundreds of millions of documents as an all-source analyst, and these were the documents that he released. And he released these documents because he was hoping to make the world a better place.”

But a prosecutor, Capt. Joe Morrow, said that Private Manning was no ordinary leaker who made a particular document public, but rather someone who grabbed classified databases wholesale and sent them to a place where he knew adversaries like Al Qaeda could get to them.

“This is a case about a soldier who systematically harvested hundreds of thousands of classified documents and dumped them onto the Internet, into the hands of the enemy — material he knew, based on his training, would put the lives of fellow soldiers at risk,” Captain Morrow said.

The court-martial comes amid a focus on the Obama administration’s aggressive record on leaks. The administration has overseen an unprecedented six leak-related prosecutions, and last month it emerged that the Justice Department had secretly obtained calling records for reporters with The Associated Press and for a Fox News reporter; the department also portrayed the Fox reporter as having violated the Espionage Act as part of an application for a search warrant seeking his personal e-mails.

In his 58-minute opening, Captain Morrow cited logs of searches and downloads from Private Manning’s classified work computer, deleted files from his personal laptop including chat logs he contended were between Private Manning and a person he said was the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, and other such records to show the pace and scale of his downloads.

Most of the assertions in Captain Morrow’s portrayal dovetailed with Private Manning’s confession in February, but there remain a few factual disputes. Among them is that he has pleaded not guilty to leaking to WikiLeaks some 74,000 e-mail addresses for troops in Iraq, but Captain Morrow said that list had been downloaded on a computer Private Manning had used.

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Bradley Manning on trial: LIVE UPDATES

 

Published time: June 03, 2013 13:08
Edited time: June 04, 2013 01:13

Signs lay on the ground at rally was held in support for PFC Bradley Manning on June 1, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland (Lexey Swall / Getty Images / AFP)

Signs lay on the ground at rally was held in support for PFC Bradley Manning on June 1, 2013 in Fort Meade, Maryland (Lexey Swall / Getty Images / AFP)

US Army Private Bradley Manning faces trial more than three years after his arrest for transmitting 700,000 classified documents to WikiLeaks. The US is pursuing further accusations of aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence.

 


20:19 GMT:

 

19:35 GMT: The court begins to file back in to hear the second witness testimony.

19:25 GMT: Special Agent Tom Smith has finished testifying at the Bradley Manning court-martial. Discussion focused around Smith’s arrival at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Hammer, Iraq, and going through Manning’s bunk. Smith said that he photographed it, and went through his possessions, collecting two SIPRnet computers and a CD from 2007 marked with the words ‘SECRET’ and ‘Reuters FOIA req.’ It is widely thought to be the ‘Collateral Damage’ Apache helicopter video, which showed the gunning down of civilians and a Reuters photographer.  Prosecutors will call the second witness shortly.

19:15 GMT: Defense started cross-examining Smith.

18:38 GMT: Glitches appear to be resolved as people return to the courtroom.

18:30 GMT: Brief recess in Manning court-martial due to technical difficulties in the courtroom. The court transcriber was experiencing audio problems, after which Judge Lind said “we need a verbatim.”

18:30 GMT: The first witness for prosecution has been describing his job. Special Agent Tom Smith describes himself as a “senior enlisted case agent and evidence custodian,” and reports to have investigated some 250 cases, having been the lead agent on around 150 of them.

Early discussion has been focusing on storage of hard drives and computers, with prosecution stating “cameras, paper bags, we gathered tape measures, paper, pen and out computers so that we’d be able to work once we got down there.”

18:03 GMT: USG said that that they have in their possession forensic evidence collected from Manning’s computer, and will place a heavy focus on it. Strong reference has been made to Manning’s arrogance

17:56 GMT: Prosecution alleged that Manning sought notoriety and fame, saying he was driven by arrogance.

17:55 GMT: Bradley Manning court-martial about to be back in session. Three of the prosecution’s witnesses are to the stand over the afternoon.

17:47 GMT: Cornel West and Chris Hedges both spent the morning at Ft Meade attending Bradley Manning’s court-martial.

17:47 GMT: RT’s website is suffering some technical difficulties.

17:25 GMT: Manning’s trial is in recess for an hour for lunch, after which the three witnesses will be called.

17:10 GMT:

16:40 GMT: Defense reiterated that Manning was unsetteled by what he saw, and that “he believed that if the American public saw it they too would be troubled,” going on to add that the country doesn’t ‘always’ do the right thing.

16: 38 GMT: Manning defense attorney David Coombs has just wrapped up brief opening statements.
Coombs said Manning was ‘selective’ with the documents he released, saying that “he had access to literally hundreds of millions of documents,” stating that he released them “because he was hoping to make the world a better place.”

16:17 GMT: The court is back in session to hear defense opening statements. High profile defense attorney David Coombs is expected to make a 40-45 minute opening statement.

16:05 GMT:
The prosecutors stated: “Manning knew the danger of unauthorized disclosure to an organization like Wikileaks and he ignored those dangers,” going on to claim that bin Laden requested and received the Afghan War Logs attributed to Pfc. Bradley Manning and published by WikiLeaks.


16:00 GMT:
Prosecutors on Manning: “This is a case about what happens when arrogance meets access to sensitive information.” Prosecutors opened and closed initial statements with quotes from Manning to Adrian Lamo made during May 2010 online chats.


15:50 GMT:
Nineteen major media organizations have joined together to request the Military District of Washington to “issue two press passes to allow professional court stenographers access to the media room,” in order to ensure that transcriptions of official public parts of the court martial are available to aid the public in assessing the court’s process and decisions. It also suggests that the trial should be broadcast in an “appropriately-sized overflow theater” to allow journalists to effectively report on the trial – over 280 were refused credentials.

15:40 GMT: The prosecution’s Captain Joe Morrow has declared that Bradley Manning dumped classified documents on to the Internet and into enemy hands, according to Associated Press. They also alleged that Manning helped to edit Collateral Murder.

15: 25 GMT: Prosecutor’s opening statement declares that classified information Bradley Manning gave to WikiLeaks fell into enemy hands.

14:45 GMT: The court reconvenes. Following prosecution and defense statements, the order of the aforementioned three witnesses will be Special Agent Tom Smith, then Special Agent Toni Graham, followed by Manning’s former roommate Special Agent Eric Baker.

14:35 GMT: The court remains undecided over whether the slide show will be used.

14:30 GMT: Manning judge asks, “What are the procedures that have been put in place for public access to this trial?” to a few chuckles from the media.

14:24 GMT: The trial has been arranged to take place between the hours of 9:30 am and 6pm local time, every day this week. Time has been put aside for 12 weeks. Space for viewers is expected to remain a problem.

 

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Court-martial trial for Bradley Manning over WikiLeaks starts Monday

Published time: June 03, 2013 04:09
Edited time: June 03, 2013 13:59

The United States Army private responsible for the biggest intelligence leak in US history finally begins trial in a military court on Monday, after more than three years of pretrial detainment.

The court-martial of Private first class Bradley Manning began in Ft. Meade, Maryland this week and is slated to run throughout the summer. Manning, 25, could be sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted of aiding the enemy, the most serious of the more than 20 counts he’s been charged with by Army prosecutors.

US authorities arrested Manning in May 2010 and accused him of sending hundreds of thousands of sensitive government files to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Earlier this year Manning admitted to sharing the documents, including State Department diplomatic cables and military war logs, and pleaded guilty to a number of lesser counts carrying a maximum sentence of only 20 years. Prosecutors say those files benefited the operations of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, however, and are asking for life in prison.

Dozens of witnesses will be called during the trial, including a handful of military personnel whose testimonies will be conducted behind closed doors to protect the sensitive nature pertaining to Manning’s alleged crimes. Pretrial hearings in the case have been conducted off and on at Ft. Meade since late 2011, but Manning himself has only had the opportunity to address the court at length on a few occasions, including in February when he testified to leaking the documents.

 

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (Reuters)

Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (Reuters)

Speaking of the Iraq and Afghan war logs that were leaked by Manning, he said at the hearing, “I believe and still believe that these tables are two of the most significant documents of our time.”

 

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Shiftfrequency – Worldwide Protests Ahead Of Bradley Manning’s Monday Trial – 3 June 2013

Protesters march to call for the release of jailed U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, a central figure in the Wikileaks case, outside the gates at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 1, 2013 (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst) 

Demonstrations are taking place all over the world in support of Bradley Manning, the US army private whistleblower who leaked intelligence to WikiLeaks.

Manning’s trail will start Monday at the Fort Meade military base in Baltimore, some three years after having been accused of the largest leak of classified materials in the history of the United States. Among other things, he has been charged with ‘aiding the enemy’ – which could potentially land him in jail with a life sentence without parole.

Already the stenographers who were meant to create daily transcripts of the trial have been denied press passes and will not now be at the trial.

The number of protesters at Fort Meade was over 3000 by Saturday with many of them shouting ‘We are all Bradley Manning!’ And globally, people are holding events in over 24 cities on four continents over the course of the weekend. Aside from American cities, people as far as Toronto, Berlin, Paris and even South Korea’s Seoul have joined in a chorus of support for Manning.

A number of high profile people have come out in support of Manning including Daniel Ellsberg, a former Department of Defense employee who leaked Pentagon papers during the Vietnam War. Ellsberg has said that Manning’s trail is one of the “defining issues of the 21st century” and believes that the “transparency and accountability of government are at stake”.

 

A protester leads chants as marchers call for the release of jailed U.S. Army Private Bradley Manning, a central figure in the Wikileaks case, outside the gates at Fort Meade, Maryland, June 1, 2013 (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

 

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Pentagon Papers’ Ellsberg backs Bradley Manning

AFP AFP

Published on May 30, 2013

Daniel Ellsberg blew the whistle on the Vietnam War by releasing the “Pentagon Papers”. He has now taken up the case of another whistleblower, Bradley Manning, who released troves of classified documents to WikiLeaks and now faces life in prison for it.Duration:02:24

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Worldwide protests planned on eve of Bradley Manning trial

Published time: May 31, 2013 16:22

Supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning protest during his scheduled motion hearing, outside the gates of Fort Meade. (Reuters / Jose Luis Magaua)

Supporters of U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning protest during his scheduled motion hearing, outside the gates of Fort Meade. (Reuters / Jose Luis Magaua)

Rallies are planned this weekend in dozens of cities across the globe in support of Private first class Bradley Manning as the former Army intelligence analyst prepares to stand trial for the largest intelligence leak in United States history.

The military court-martial against the 25-year-old soldier begins Monday in Ft. Meade, Maryland and is expected to continue throughout the summer. Manning faces a life in prison if convicted of the most serious of the counts against him — aiding the enemy — but presiding judge Col. Denise Lind previously said she’d credit the alleged leaker with 112 days due to the egregious conditions he endured while held for roughly nine months in a US Marine brig.

Manning is charged with uploading hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, including US State Department diplomatic cables, war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and detainee assessment files for men held at the military’s controversial Guantanamo Bay prison. He admitted to leaking the documents during pretrial testimony presented in February. Army prosecutors say al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula benefited by WikiLeaks’ publishing of the documents, and a member of the Navy SEALs team that executed the lethal raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad, Pakistan compound is expected to take the stand during a closed-door court hearing in the coming weeks.

Last week marked three years to the day since Manning was captured by US authorities in Iraq while on duty and brought into custody. He spent nearly two months inside of a cage in Kuwait before being transferred to Quantico Marine Base in Northern Virginia, where for most of a year he was subjected to treatment considered by a United Nations special rapporteur to be tantamount to torture. He has spent the last two months imprisoned at an Army facility in Leavenworth, Kansas, though he’s been carted to-and-from Ft. Meade outside of Baltimore since December 2011 when his pretrial hearings began.

Supporters of the soldier and his defense counsel asked the court to drop charges against the soldier not just due to the conditions at Quantico but because of the more than 1,000 days he’s been held in pretrial confinement. Demonstrators will gather at Ft. Meade on the eve of the court-martial and at other sites around the globe this weekend to pay tribute to a man hailed as a whistleblower by some but condemned by the country he swore to protect.

Demonstrations have been held at Quantico, Ft. Meade and other sites since Manning was apprehended in May 2010, but organizers of this weekend’s event near the military court expect it to be the largest of its kind ever. Rallies elsewhere will occur on at least four continents.

Daniel Ellsberg, a former Department of Defense employee who infamously leaked the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, is expected to speak at Ft. Meade on Saturday and in nearby Washington, DC on Sunday.

Americans who care about the future of our country need to be involved in Bradley’s defense,” Ellsberg wrote in a statement this month. “The defining issues of the twenty-first century, including the transparency and accountability of our government, are at stake. I believe history is on the side of those who seek to reveal the truth, not on the side of those who seek to conceal it.”

 Daniel Ellsberg, a former Department of Defense employee. (Reuters)

Daniel Ellsberg, a former Department of Defense employee. (Reuters)

Organizers expect as many as 1,000 supporters at Saturday’s rally at the Army base, and the military acknowledged this weekend that the number of press credential requests submitted for the trial is five times what Ft. Meade’s media center can accommodate. Offsite, however, rallies are expected to be held in more than two dozen major American and international cities.

On June 1, events in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy and South Korea will coincide with the rally outside of Ft. Meade as well as others planned in cities across the US.

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