The Digital Divide on 12/14/12
This month on The Digital Divide we'll listen to the recent Bradley Manning press conference which includes extended statements by Julian Assange's attorney and David Combs, Bradley Mannings attorney.
Bradley is accused of releasing to Wikileaks the famous Collateral Murder video depicting the killing of journalists and wounded civilians by an Apache helicopter in Iraq as well as the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and U.S. Diplomatic Cables. The documents contain information about war crimes and government corruption and have played a role in motivating recent pro-democratic protests around the world, in particular the revolution in Tunisia. Wikileaks has received much attention following the release of this material, with its director Julian Assange named Reader’s Choice Person of the Year for Time Magazine in 2010 and nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Daniel Ellsberg has compared Bradley Manning’s intent and actions to his own when he famously leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, exposing government lies and contributing to the end of the Vietnam War. The full charges against Manning, for his alleged role, were released on March 2nd, 2011. The tenuous charge of “Aiding the Enemy” means that he could face the death penalty and came as a shock to many who feel whistle-blowers are instrumental to holding governments accountable.
Meanwhile JULIAN ASSANGE continues to live in exile inside the Ecuadorian Embassy. In a recent announcement *Assange says will run as an Australian Senate candidate in 2013 and will announce formation of a WikiLeaks political party.
Assange, who was born in Queensland, has been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London since June in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over rape and sexual assault allegations. He has stated he would happily go to Stockholm, providing the Swedish government guaranteed he would not be extradited on to the US.
The WikiLeaks party would require 500 members listed on the electoral roll for it to be registered with Australia's electoral commission. If Assange is elected but unable to return to Australia to take up his position, a nominee would occupy a Senate seat.