Saturday, December 25, 2010

Manning’s message on Christmas Eve: ‘I greatly appreciate everyone’s support’

Pvt. Bradley Manning, the lone soldier who stands accused of stealing millions of pages of secret US government documents and handing them over to secrets outlet WikiLeaks, wants his supporters to know that they've meant a lot to him.

"I greatly appreciate everyone’s support and well wishes during this time," he said in a Christmas Eve statement released by his lawyer.

"I'm also thankful for everything that has been done to aid in my defense," Manning continued. "I ask that everyone takes the time to remember those who are separated from their loved ones at this time due to deployment and important missions.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has suggested that US authorities want Manning to take a plea deal in exchange for claiming Assange was involved in the initial leak of sensitive information.

Assange claimed he had never even heard the soldier's name until after he was arrested, and that WikiLeaks, by its very nature as a technology platform, protects the anonymity of its sources.