Is Obama Cracking Down on Whistle Blowers? The Pentagon Seeks Wikileaks Founder

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Pentagon is searching for Julian Assange, founder of the website Wikileaks, amidst concerns that the site could publish thousands of international cables from the State Department. The cables are allegedly part of a larger package of material given to Wikileaks by 22-year-old Army Specialist Bradley Manning. In late May police arrested Manning, an intelligence analyst in Iraq, accusing him of downloading confidential material from computers on his base and posting it to WikiLeaks.

We speak with Scott Shane, the National Security reporter for The New York Times. He says that while President Obama's administration was elected on a campaign of government transparency, it is actually following a doctrine of extreme media secrecy. Shane says Obama has, in two years, prosecuted more information-leakers than any other president in history.

The information Manning released included the widely seen video of a 2007 American helicopter strike in Iraq that killed twelve people, including two Reuters reporters. Manning was caught after bragging about his leaks to a former hacker.  

Through Manning, Wikileaks reportedly has over 250,000 cables sent by U.S. diplomatic missions. This has led the Obama administration and the Pentagon to initiate the hunt for Assange. It may prove difficult to track him down; the Australian-born Assange has no fixed address, and canceled a scheduled appearance in Las Vegas last week.


Scott Shane

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

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