The controversial intelligence-leaking website Wikileaks [website; JURIST news archive] on Thursday began releasing [press release] a series of confidential US detainee policies [Wikileaks page], according to the website. The site said that it will release "more than 100 classified or otherwise restricted files from the United States Department of Defense" over the next month. Wikileaks said that many of the documents that will be released exemplify US "policies of unaccountability." One of the first documents to be released is the standard operating procedure (SOP) manual for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder]. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange [Telegraph profile] said of the documents:
The "Detainee Policies" show the anatomy of the beast that is post-9/11 detention, the carving out of a dark space where law and rights do not apply, where persons can be detained without a trace at the convenience of the U.S. Department of Defense. It shows the excesses of the early days of war against an unknown "enemy" and how these policies matured and evolved, ultimately deriving into the permanent state of exception that the United States now finds itself in, a decade later.The US government has not commented on this newest leak.
The US government has struggled to deal with the release of confidential files on Wikileaks. Army Col. Denise Lind in June ordered [JURIST report] the prosecution in the case against Pfc. Bradley Manning [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] to submit to her a number of files that were allegedly withheld from the defense during discovery. Manning is accused of transferring more than 700,000 confidential documents and video clips to Wikileaks, the largest intelligence leak is US history. Manning's defense has argued the leaks did not hurt US national security, but the US Army has responded that Manning's actions indirectly aided al Qaeda. Manning was formally charged [JURIST report] in February with 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, under the Espionage Act. In April 2011 WikiLeaks began publishing the Guantanamo Files [JURIST report], a collection of more than 700 classified documents relating to the evidence and treatment of almost all detainees held at Guantanamo Bay between 2002 and 2008. In December 2010, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay criticized [JURIST report] actions by governments and corporations worldwide to cut off funding to WikiLeaks, saying it could violate the website's rights to free expression.