The military has formally charged an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq in connection with the leak of a video of a U.S. helicopter attack in Iraq, according to a redacted version of the charge sheets against him.
The charges against Private First Class Bradley Manning, 22, stem in part from a video made public by Wikileaks.org, a Website dedicated to posting secret government information sent to it by whistleblowers. The video showed a U.S. helicopter strike in Iraq that killed two Reuters employees and wounded two children.
Manning now faces charges, among them that he: moved numerous classified or sensitive documents onto his own personal computer; installed unauthorized software on a computer running on the military's classified network; transmitted classified video and 50 State Department cables to a person not entitled to receive it "with reason to believe that such information could be used to the injury of the United States;" and exceeded his authorized access to obtain more than 150,000 diplomatic cables and a classified PowerPoint presentation.
According to the charge sheets, the improper access and leaks occurred over a period between November 19, 2009 and May 27 of this year. In early June, reports emerged that Manning had been arrested following online exchanges with Adrian Lamo, a hacker who himself once served jail time after hacking various institutions including the New York Times, in which Manning told Lamo of his deeds.
The charges only refer to one of those State Department cables by name, one titled "Reykjavik 13." While Wikileaks does not reveal its sources, on the date referred to in the charging document, Wikileaks disclosed a classified cable describing meetings between Sam Watson, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Iceland, and Iceland's leaders about Iceland's financial crisis. The document includes assessments from Icelandic officials that Iceland could default in 2011.