Saturday 18 November 2017

WikiLeaks source 'should face death penalty'

Nick Collins

Bradley Manning should face the death penalty, a former Pentagon official has claimed, as anger intensified in America against those thought to be responsible for leaking sensitive documents to whistle-blower website WikiLeaks.

KT McFarland said Pvt Manning, who is in prison accused of passing a quarter of a million sensitive papers to WikiLeaks, should face charges of treason and executed if found guilty.

Pvt Manning, whose family live in Pembrokeshire, Wales is currently accused of transferring classified data and “delivering national defence information to an unauthorised source", but McFarland called for the charges to be raised.

Writing on the Fox News website, Ms McFarland, who held national security posts under the Nixon, Ford and Reagan governments, said: "It's time to up the charges. Let's charge him and try him for treason. If he's found guilty, he should be executed."

She also called for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to face terror charges, claiming: "He’s waging cyberwar on the United States and the global world order. Mr. Assange and his fellow hackers are terrorists and should be prosecuted as such."

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee backed the calls for those responsible for the leaks to face the death penalty.

He said: "Whoever in our government leaked that information is guilty of treason, and I think anything less than execution is too kind a penalty.

"Any lives they endangered, they’re personally responsible for and the blood is on their hands.”

The comments came as an adviser to Stephen Harper, the Canadian prime minister, suggested a different solution to the international diplomatic crisis – assassinating Mr Assange.

Prof Tom Flanagan said Barack Obama should “put out a contract and maybe use a drone or something” to rid the world of Mr Assange.

As the anchor on the CBC news programme warned him that his comments were “pretty harsh stuff”, Prof Flanagan responded that he was “feeling very manly today”.

He rounded off his interview by claiming the leak of the documents could "conceivably lead to war," adding: “I wouldn’t feel unhappy if Assange disappeared.”

Prof Flanagan was speaking on Tuesday evening, after the second day of WikiLeaks revelations from US State Department documents.

Interpol has issued a “Red Notice” alert for Mr Assange, in relation to two rape charges issued by Swedish police.

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