Did Bradley Manning Almost Blow The Operation To Capture/Kill Osama Bin Laden?
I want to start out by saying don’t read this if you may be someone who will pass judgment on Bradley Manning in the future. He does deserve a fair “trial”, but this information must be told. A fellow blogger tipped me and a few other bloggers off to a connection that hadn’t been made between two seemingly unrelated events – the latest Wikileaks leak of files from Guantanamo Bay and the operation to capture/kill Osama bin Laden. In my eyes, there is a very real possibility that information leaked recently, may have led to the Obama administration moving up the schedule of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden.
Bradley Manning and The Leaks
Now, how can Bradley Manning be connected to the release of the Gitmo papers? Well, let’s look at his own words as he laid bare his actions to Adrian Lamo, courtesy of Wired.com…(emphasis mine)
(04:32:05 PM) Manning: oh, the JTF GTMO papers… Assange has those too
(04:32:16 PM) Lamo: Read it.
(04:33:21 PM) Lamo: Anything else interesting on his table, as a former collector of interesting .com info?
(04:33:44 PM) Manning: idk… i only know what i provide him xD
(04:34:14 PM) Lamo: what do you consider the highlights?
(04:35:31 PM) Manning: The Gharani airstrike videos and full report, Iraq war event log, the “Gitmo Papers”, and State Department cable database
(04:35:50 PM) Lamo: Not too shabby.
(04:36:03 PM) Manning: thats just me….
(04:36:26 PM) Manning: idk about the rest… he *hopefully* has more
And apparently Bradley Manning’s defenders are trying to say that those weren’t the ones Bradley gave him, no, those were from before. At the least, they are trying to downplay it. Greg Mitchell at The Nation, no friend of President Obama these days, is keeping a log of Bradley updates. He says this about the above…
9:50 What was Bradley Manning’s role in the leak of the Gitmo files? In the infamous “chat logs” with Lamo he makes very few, and sketchy, references to leaking some sort of Gitmo files, but much less descriptive to his references to other leaks he is accused of (we note again, he has not been convicted of anything). Also, there were rumors and reports that WikiLeaks had Gitmo files before Manning’s alleged leaking took place. So hard to nail down right now.
He tries to cast a lot of doubt on whether it was Bradley but he left himself a rather good out, “So hard to nail down right now.” Well, Bradley Manning specifically referred to the Gitmo files twice in addition to referring to all the other files Wikileaks has already published on their site. So saying “there were rumors and reports” that Assange had other Gitmo files from before, give me a freakin break. If you believe that, I have some beach front property around the corner that I’ll sell you really cheap. None of the other Wikileak’s releases have named Bradley Manning as the source of the classified intel, since by doing so, Wikileaks would be providing evidence that Manning was the source of the material and thus would be acting as a witness against him in his upcoming trial. He is charged with violating the Espionage Act among other serious charges.
It isn’t just me who thinks it’s pretty obvious that those documents came through Manning. Andy Greenberg at Forbes says this…
As with the last four major releases from WikiLeaks, imprisoned Army private Bradley Manning remains the suspected source of the leak. In a chat with confidant Adrian Lamo published by Wired.com last year, Lamo asks which of the documents he’s leaked Manning deems most important. He lists: “The Gharani airstrike videos and full report, Iraq war event log, the “Gitmo Papers”, and State Department cable database.” All of those files other than the Gharani airstrike video–a clip that purportedly shows more than a hundred civilians being killed in Afghanistan by American forces–have now been released.
The Gitmo files, which Wikileaks began releasing daily on April 24th, 2011, came directly from DoD Classified Intelligence databases and are of the same classified categorical designations as other DoD and State Dept intelligence cables previously released by Wikileaks. The above cited Gitmo File was specifically classified as “SECRET// NOFORN.” The classified category of “SECRET// NOFORN” means that any intel labeled as such should not ever be seen by any foreign government personnel or citizens. There was a reason this intel was classified. Releasing any of this intelligence would likely compromise Top Secret operations in the planning stage or those on the verge of being executed.
This is all background for what comes next. The Osama bin Laden operation and the connection to the release of the Gitmo files. My first visit to Osborne Ink was when I clicked on a link in a Bradley Manning story. I’ve been a regular since then. A few days ago, Matt put a post up that asked a great question to the defenders of Bradley Manning, the “Hamwaldians” as he calls them. From Osborne Ink…
If Bradley Manning had blown the bin Laden Operation, would the HamWaldians still be advocating his release? It’s a fair question, because when Manning (allegedly) put those hundred thousand-plus cables on his thumb drive, he certainly had not read them all. In fact, it’s pretty certain Manning had no idea what was in them — and no clue how many potential OPs might get blown by their release.
If he had blown the OP and allowed bin Laden to get away, would he still be a hero?
My opinion of the Bradley Manning”s massive data dump has always been that it isn’t whistleblowing, how could releasing documents that you haven’t even read be whistleblowing? It can’t be. The act that protects whistleblowers is pretty specific. From Wikipedia…(emphasis mine)
The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).
What Manning did was expose to the entire world, friends and foes, information that overwhelmingly was not any violation of law, regulation etc.. He leaked diplomatic and
Top Secret (in question) secret, sensitive information as well as frivolous, stupid stuff. And his defenders, Glenn Greenwald, Jane Hamsher and Greg Mitchell think he is an innocent man, going so far as to say he is a hero and should be released. Wow, the extent that these people will go to try to hurt the President of the United State’s reputation, accusing him of torturing Manning because he was in solitary confinement, is unbelievable. Is it that hard to understand that the defense department might want to put a man who bragged about how many files he was copying, with no concern for what impact it might have on his country’s security and defense, in solitary confinement? From the government’s perspective, I imagine this kid is the worst spy they’ve ever seen. By they way, everyone in max security at Quantico is housed by themselves in their own cell. I’ve posted about his conditions in the past, go here to get caught up on that, if needed. In your mind, was this kid a hero?
So the other night, I’m on Twitter and one of my fellow bloggers, who prefers to remain nameless, put up a couple of links in a post. I dutifully clicked on them and saw this short article on The Guardian’s website detailing information from one of the latest Wikileaks of Gitmo files, here is the paragraph and sentence that caught my eye…
According to the document, Libi fled to Peshawar in Pakistan and was living there in 2003 when he was asked to become one of Bin Laden’s messengers. The document says: “In July 2003, detainee received a letter from [Bin Laden's] designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organising travel and distributing funds for families in Pakistan. [Bin Laden] stated detainee would be the official messenger between [Bin Laden] and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad (Pakistan) and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.”
WikiLeaks released the report last week, prompting speculation that the US, afraid that its planned raid might be preempted, brought forward its attack.
I actually typed in exclamation “No Shit?”. I had just read a description of what looked like the exact evidence that led to locating Osama bin Laden. How does that read to you, knowing what you do know now about how we got OBL? My jaw was on my chest. Here is a link to the actual leaked document. The pertinent information contained in this Wikileak release is found on page 5, in the paragraph starting with “(S//NF) In October 2002,” which reveals that the DoD had both the name of bin Laden’s courier and the city where bin Laden was living.
Considering that Wikileaks began releasing the Gitmo Files on April 24th and that we now know that President Obama signed the order to begin this operation on Friday April 29th, to originally be carried out the following day on Saturday, there was just 5 days from the point at which Wikileaks released the pertinent classified intelligence and when the President signed off on the OBL capture/ kill mission. This substantially supports the possibility that the classified intelligence, Bradley Manning is charged with removing from DoD classified databases and then passing to Wikileaks, may very well have caused the White House to step up the operation to get OBL. Can you just imagine how our President and his national security team felt when they saw that document get released by Wikileaks, after tracking and planning this mission since August? This innocent kid who danced around and sang while the files copied over very well could have been responsible for Osama bin Laden slipping through our fingers, once again. Unbelievable!