WikiLeaks fulfills pledge to support accused whistle-blower Bradley Manning

( Providence, RI, January 13, 2011 — On Monday, WikiLeaks fulfilled its pledge to contribute toward the legal defense of accused whistleblower Bradley Manning by transferring $15,100 to the legal trust account of Manning’s attorney. WikiLeaks publicly solicited donations specifically for the expenses of Manning’s legal defense following his arrest in May 2010.

In light of WikiLeaks’ current fiscal challenges — due in large part to the shameful actions of Visa, MasterCard and PayPal in cutting off services to WikiLeaks at the behest of the US government — theBradley Manning Support Network commends WikiLeaks for their contribution at this time. “This donation from WikiLeaks is vital to our efforts to ensure Bradley receives a fair, open trial,” says founder and steering committee member Mike Gogulski.

The Support Network does not name donors as a matter of course. However, WikiLeaks’ pledge and anticipated contribution have been a matter of public record and ongoing interest.

This contribution by WikiLeaks brings the total funds raised and transferred to Bradley’s civilian legal defense team, led by attorney David Coombs, to over $100,000. The minimum amount necessary to mount a vigorous defense for Bradley Manning is estimated to be $115,000.

Having funded nearly the entire legal bill months prior to court-martial, the Support Network is now turning its efforts to broadening a public education campaign regarding the charges against Bradley as well as theinhumane conditions that he currently endures in confinement at the brig in Quantico, Virginia. The issues at hand include government transparency, online freedom of expression, the content of the leaked materials in question and the urgency of bringing an end to America’s wars of occupation.

The components of this campaign will include the public “Stand with Brad” declaration, nationwide events to coincide with Bradley’s pre-trial Article 32 hearing, expected in March, and another round of events in conjunction with the court-martial itself, anticipated for this summer.

“We have seen an enormous outpouring of support internationally, in donations as well as volunteers,” stated Jeff Paterson, steering committee member for the Bradley Manning Support Network. “Internationally, people are speaking out against the unjust imprisonment of Bradley Manning, who is for all intents accused of acting out of moral conviction. Our network applauds WikiLeaks for making this donation and urges others to protest any attempt by the government to use Manning as a scapegoat or to hold a secret trial.”

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