PENTAGON SOURCES: U.S. Investigators Unable To Establish A Connection Between Manning And Assange

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THE GUARDIAN: US investigators have been unable to find evidence directly linking WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, the army private suspected of passing on confidential documents to the whistleblowing website, according to a report last night. Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News’s chief Pentagon correspondent, reported sources inside the US military as saying they could detect no contact between Manning and Assange. If accurate, then US authorities have no realistic chance of successfully prosecuting or extraditing Assange for the leak of thousands of classified documents. MORE

RELATED: Manning, a 23-year-old Army private suspected of passing thousands of classified documents to the online site WikiLeaks, was placed suicide watch for two days this week – against the recommendation of the jail’s forensic psychiatrist, attorney David E. Coombs said. During this time, Manning was forced to stay in his cell around the clock, stripped to his underwear, the lawyer said. His prescription eyeglasses were taken from him, except for the hour of television he is allowed to watch or when he was reading, Coombs added. The circumstances of Manning’s confinement have drawn public attention. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture has said he submitted to the State Department a formal inquiry about Manning’s treatment. MORE

RELATED: Many of Manning’s defenders say the US is trying to use its leverage against the Army private to pressure him into testifying against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, something the New York Times suggested last month. Manning has been held in some form of solitary confinement for at least the past six months. He faces charges the Army says could result in up to 52 years in prison. MORE

RELATED: On Monday, U.S. military officials also strongly denied allegations that Manning, being held in connection with the WikiLeaks’ release of classified documents, has been “tortured” and held in “solitary confinement” without due process. The officials told NBC News, however, that a U.S. Marine commander did violate procedure when he placed Manning on “suicide watch” last week. Military officials said Brig Commander James Averhart did not have the authority to place Manning on suicide watch for two days last week, and that only medical personnel are allowed to make that call. MORE

RELATED: These are nervous times for the smartly suited private bankers of Geneva, Liechtenstein and Grand Cayman. Rudolf Elmer, the former Baer staffer, has the potential to blow the business sky-high. He has handed over a pile of data on about 2,000 accounts to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. The material hasn’t been published online yet, but it’s only a matter of time before it turns up somewhere. It will make fascinating reading for financial journalists, real-estate agents, and, more importantly, tax inspectors in the home countries of the people on Elmer’s list. MORE

RELATED: Nearly two months after WikiLeaks outraged the U.S. government by launching the release of a massive compendium of diplomatic documents, the secret-spilling website has published 2,658 U.S. State Department cables — just over 1 percent of its trove of 251,287 documents. Here’s a look at what the consequences of the cables’ release has been so far, and what the future could hold for WikiLeaks. MORE


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