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U.S. Govt.: Manning Sole WikiLeaks Thief

U.S. Govt.: Manning Sole WikiLeaks Thief

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Investigators into the source of U.S. government documents published by WikiLeaks have not been able to find evidence that site founder Julian Assange (pictured, left) persuaded gay Army private first class Bradley Manning (right) to steal documents, reports TheWall Street Journal.

The investigation on how the data was stolen indicates that Manning, an intelligence analyst, was solely responsible for the theft and that he chose to deliver the documents to WikiLeaks, according to the report. The results of the investigation are at odds with Defense Department officials' description of Manning as a young man whom Assange coerced to steal.

The findings could thwart the efforts of some government officials to prosecute Assange for inducing the leak, including Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, who has said the publication of the documents was a crime. To prosecute Assange for coercing Manning, the government would have to show that Assange encouraged Manning to deliver thousands of State Department cables and intelligence reports on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Little evidence of a link between Assange and Manning has been uncovered thus far.

Manning is being held in a military brig in Virginia, and his attorneys have never commented on the charges against him. Assange is facing extradition to Sweden from the United Kingdom on sexual assault charges.

For the full article, click here.

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