Supporters of Bradley Manning, the Army soldier suspected of having passed restricted material to the website WikiLeaks, are planning to participate in the LA PRIDE parade in West Hollywood on June 12th.
Manning was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq and charged in July that year with transferring classified data onto his personal computer, and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source. An additional 22 charges were preferred in March 2011, including “aiding the enemy,” a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. He currently awaits a hearing to decide whether he will face a court martial.
In April 2010, WikiLeaks published gunsight footage from a Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed by an Apache helicopter. The video was allegedly provided by Manning.
WikiLeaks then released Afghan War Diary, a compilation of more than 76,900 documents about the War in Afghanistan not previously available to the public. In October 2010, the group released a package of almost 400,000 documents called the Iraq War Logs in coordination with major commercial media organizations.
In November 2010, WikiLeaks began releasing U.S. State department diplomatic cables, creating headlines around the world.
Manning had been assigned to a unit based near Baghdad where he had access to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), used by the United States government to transmit classified information. He was arrested after Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker, reported to the FBI that Manning had told him during online chats in May 2010 that he had downloaded material from SIPRNet and passed it to WikiLeaks, which had already started publishing it.
The group organizing to participate in the parade is the Bradley Manning Support Network, an “ad hoc, international grassroots effort to help accused whistle blower Pfc. Bradley Manning.”
They group says it is not affiliated with WikiLeaks and works to raise funds for Manning’s defense while also publicly advocating for him.