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  (Source: Flickr)

Taliban gunmen mudered a tribal elder, who they believed was revealed as a U.S. "spy" by Wikileaks documents.  (Source: Sky News)

Wikileaks founder and convicted computer criminal Julian Assange  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Over 70 other tribal elders receive death threats, U.S. Congressman calls on death penalty for leaker Manning

It's been a nightmarish last few months for U.S. Military officials.  First they discovered that a young soldier serving in Iraq had acted as a spy passing documents to the site Wikileaks.  Then they endured Wikileaks release of 90,000 U.S. Military documents -- many of them classified -- detailing their operations in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, a radical Islamic militia in Afghanistan, announced its gratitude to Wikileaks for the release and vowed to hunt down those revealed in the documents to be collaborating with the U.S.  It appears that they have now made good on that threat.

Khalifa Abdullah, a tribal elder, was removed from his home in Monar village, in Kandahar province’s embattled Arghandab district, by gunmen.  He was then executed.

At the same time, 70 other tribal elders received death threats warning them that the Taliban had obtained reason to believe they were collaborating with the U.S.  One such threat is signed by Abdul Rauf Khadim, a senior Taliban official who was imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  When the Cuban prison was partially shut down by President Obama Khadim was transferred to Afghan custody in Kabul, where he subsequently escaped.

The note reads:
We have made a decision for your death. You have five days to leave Afghan soil. If you don’t, you don’t have the right to complain.
NewsWeek first reported on the murder.  They report that the Taliban believes the documents showed it U.S. sources, including the murder victim, Abdullah -- whether or not they truly do.

founder and convicted Australian computer criminal Julian Assange claimed in a TIME interview that the leak was justified in the name of transparency.  He assured that no one would be harmed by the leak, stating:
We feel confident. The material is seven months old; we reviewed it extensively. We held back 15,000 documents that we felt needed further review because the type of classifications they had. We've been publishing for four years a range of material that has caused the changing of constitutions and the removal of governments, but there's never been a case that we are aware of that has resulted in the personal injury of anyone.
In related news, U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) has called on the U.S. Military to pursue the death penalty in the Manning case.  He says Manning's actions constitute treason in a time of war and thus should be punishable by death.  His statements came in an interview, which is preserved here in an audio recording.

We spoke with key government witness Adrian Lamo, who turned Manning in, about Rogers' remarks.  He tells us he doubts the U.S. government would pursue the death penalty given that they didn't in the case of Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent-turned-Russian spy.  Lamo states, "The damage done by Bradley Manning doesn't begin to approximate the damage Robert Hanssen did."

Hanssen received a life sentence, which he is currently serving.

If the government were to pursue such a sentence, though, Lamo says he would refuse to testify.

He states,"I elected to turn Manning in, in the hopes of saving lives.  I'm not going to participate in a process that's going to take a life.  There should be no other blood spilled by Wikileaks."

He concludes, "Under any other circumstances I will testify in the case.  [But] my concern for human life comes first."

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RE: Link between murder and wikileaks?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/2010 9:21:36 PM , Rating: 0
But that proves right there that they DID kill a man because of the leak. A man is dead, hello? Why does it matter if they killed the "right" man? He's still dead.

It's a pretty safe assumption to say he wouldn't be dead today if it wasn't for the leak. Weather or not he was directly connected, it matters not. The leak set in motion a chain of events that directly lead to him being murdered.

RE: Link between murder and wikileaks?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Link between murder and wikileaks?
By rdeegvainl on 8/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Link between murder and wikileaks?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/4/2010 12:41:03 AM , Rating: 2
You call my statement weak, then follow it up with several weaker hypothetical statements yourself.

The parents of anyone who committed murder set in motion the chain of events that lead to murder, same of the parents of anyone else who committed a crime.

Are you serious? How is this even remotely comparable to my statement? Reaching a bit much...

What is absolutely not in dispute is the lives of at least 70 people are ruined by terrorists in a different country that believe they can do or kill whoever they want as long as the claim in it the name of jihad.

Of this we are in perfect agreement. But exposing our Afghan informants isn't exactly going to help us stop those terrorists.

By rdeegvainl on 8/4/2010 4:21:38 PM , Rating: 4
Show where the afghan informants were exposed.

By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:08:10 AM , Rating: 1
It's not weak at all - it's how the world works. It's more on par with a Polish family during WW2 that ratted out their neighbors and all the Jews hiding in their basement.

It's pretty fucking obvious that it's going to lead to their death. Get a clue, dude.

RE: Link between murder and wikileaks?
By AEvangel on 8/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: Link between murder and wikileaks?
By clovell on 8/4/2010 11:45:09 AM , Rating: 2
Prove it? That's not really the point - it doesn't matter if these 70 people are informants or not. Their lives are still ruined all the same.

Still - I can see where you're coming from (even though I don't find the story unbelievable at all), and I, too, hope we get some confirmation soon.

By AEvangel on 8/4/2010 5:49:32 PM , Rating: 1
Prove it? That's not really the point - it doesn't matter if these 70 people are informants or not. Their lives are still ruined all the same.

I guess your right to some extent people need to realize this is someones simple opinion a "blog post" and as much as they would like to make it seem credible with links to Newsweek, it's quite obvious their personal bias shows through.

Also at the end of the day it's all done to get hits on his blogs and the website to generate more internet traffic, so his employer can make more money.

This has nothing to do with spreading the truth, real facts, or actually helping the poor people living in this war torn land, it's about money, half truths, hearsay, and innuendos.

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