Leaked Names Shuttled to Safety, Ambassador Says
By ADAM KLASFELD
Political persecution is still a real threat for people named in cables that Pfc. Bradley Manning disclosed to WikiLeaks, an ambassador who headed a “Persons at Risk Working Group” testified Friday.
Michael Kozak made the revelation as he spoke of the “mitigation efforts” to prevent harm from befalling those identified in the more than 250,000 State Department telegrams that WikiLeaks published as Cablegate.
This stash of documents was just one category of leaks that has the 25-year-old Manning exposed to a century or more behind bars as he awaits sentencing for the biggest intelligence leak in U.S. history.
As head of the WikiLeaks Persons at Risk Working Group, Kozak said part of his duties entailed “helping people relocate.”
“Getting out of the immediate environment was seen as a way of mitigating the risk to them, and really the largest one, but there were subversions of that depending on where the people were going and what kind of immigration status it might be,” the ambassador added.
Even as of two weeks ago, “some people have not been able to regularize their status in the places that they’re in and we have to help them in that respect,” Kozak continued.
Maj. Ashden Fein, the lead prosecutor, asked Kozak to estimate when “people will complete their mission.”
Kozak replied: “There’s no cutoff to this - that if people are in a bad situation, you might have a more sustainable situation.”
The State Department faces new requests for aid because media outlets around the world continue to use WikiLeaks cables as a resource, thus drawing attention to previously unknown names, Kozak said.
More: Courthouse News Service