Abandoning Private Manning - Listening Post - Al Jazeera English
On the Listening Post this week: Wikileaks suspect Bradley Manning versus the US government - but where was the media? Plus, a look at Thailand’s controversial lese majeste law.
It was one of the biggest stories of 2010. Millions of classified US government documents leaked onto the internet through the Wikileaks website. Although it made the name of the site founder Julian Assange, the man accused of actually giving him the material is rather less well known. That man, US soldier Bradley Manning, is currently in a US prison awaiting trial over the case.
Of the 22 charges against Bradley Manning, the most serious include revealing classified information to unauthorised persons, violating orders and aiding the enemy. That last charge could lead to life imprisonment for the 25 year-old.
Two weeks ago, he spoke publicly for the first time in over two years in a pre-trial hearing where he claimed he was treated unlawfully whilst being held in military custody. This should have been an easy story for the media - an American whistleblower allegedly the source of many of the most important stories of the past two years speaking for the first time.
But the coverage, especially in the US, has been surprisingly sparse; it is conspicuous by its absence not least in the New York Times. Despite partnering Wikileaks on the story, they did not send anyone to cover the event preferring to use agency copy. Listening Post examines Manning’s treatment by the media.