Private Bradley Manning was the man U.S. authorities allege stole classified military files, providing them to WikiLeaks for publication.
While WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange battles to avoid extradition from the United Kingdom to Sweden, on the other side of the Atlantic Bradley Manning is facing a court martial. If found guilty he could spend the rest of his life in prison.
It’s a case that has all the hallmarks of a spy thriller. Bradley Manning was a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq, when he allegedly downloaded classified files onto a disk storing Lady Gaga songs. It’s alleged he then confided what he’d done to a computer hacker. A short time later the authorities arrested Manning and he’s been in a military jail ever since.
Early last year reporter Quentin McDermott told the story of Bradley Manning and the people who’d helped the United States government build a case against him. Now Four Corners reprises the program, updating it with crucial new elements describing the ferocious battle between hackers and the U.S. government as they pursue Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
The program also talks to Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, about the treatment of Bradley Manning. Mr Mendez says Manning was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment during his “excessive and prolonged isolation” at Quantico Marine Corps Base outside Washington.
The question remains: will Bradley Manning attempt to avoid a life sentence by turning against Julian Assange?
The reprise of”WikiLeaks- The Forgotten Man”, reported by Quentin McDermott and presented by Kerry O’Brien goes to air on Monday 18th June at 8.30 PM on ABC1. It is replayed on Tuesday 19th June at 11.35 PM. It can also be seen on ABC News24 on Saturday at 8.00 PM