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    Chelsea Manning

    Chelsea Manning’s WikiLeaks Release Didn’t Damage US Interests, Pentagon Admits

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    The Pentagon’s assessment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s leak of 700,000 classified documents indicates "there is not any significant 'strategic impact' to the release of this information" for military operations in Afghanistan.

    The “Final Report” on Manning compiled by the Department of Defense Information Review Task Force was sent to policymakers on June 15, 2011. Thanks to Jason Leopold, a Freedom of Information Act warrior, the documents have been unsealed for public view.

    The report does stress that the leak created “risks to intelligence sources, informants, and the Afghan population” and caused “serious damage” to SIGINT, or signals intelligence, collection. SIGINT is gathered via satellites, radars, and communications and weapons systems, according to the NSA’s website.

    Likewise, in the Iraqi theater, the DoD’s task force asserted “with high confidence” that the release of information relating to active operations “will have no direct personal impact on current and former senior US leadership in Iraq."

    Manning’s leak of thousands of documents and videos from intelligence databases included the “Collateral Murder” footage, which showed a US helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed civilians and Western journalists. 

    In January, Manning’s sentence was commuted by outgoing President Barack Obama, and she was released in May. Nevertheless, her leak of to WikiLeaks led to seven years behind bars, in conditions the UN denounced as torturous. Manning originally faced a 35-year sentence and attempted suicide on a number of occasions.

    ​"Whatever is ahead of me is far more important that the past," Manning said in a statement released by her legal counsel upon exiting the prison walls of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Manning told ABC in her first interview that she did not expect the disclosures to endanger national security. If she could say anything to President Obama she would say, "thank you, I’ve been given a chance, that’s all I wanted."

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    Tags:
    NSA, US Department of Defense (DoD), President Barack Obama, Chelsea Manning
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