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Pentagon Transcript on WikiLeaks Suspect Omits an Interesting Question

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By Dawn Lim April 20, 2011

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Bradley Manning, the former intelligence analyst detained in Quantico's brig for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks will be moved out of the facility to the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., where Pentagon officials said more extensive support will be available to him as he awaits opinion on his competence to stand trial. The announcement was made at a Pentagon press conference late Wednesday.

Manning, a soldier who had been drawn to hacker culture, has been charged with leaking more than 250,000 State Department cables and classified war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Interestingly enough, the answer to the last question asked at the press conference -- on whether Manning would be able to use a computer at the new facility -- never made it into the transcript released by the Pentagon.

The department got a very public reminder when Wired reporter Kim Zetter tweeted late last night:

@DeptofDefense That Manning transcript is missing a question and answer about whether Manning will have access to a computer at Leavenworth.

@DeptofDefense Reporter asked [Fort Leavenworth's Lt. Col. Dawn] Hilton if Manning would have a computer; she replied he'd have access to law library where a PC is available.

Defense has not responded to a request for comment.

Agencies have had to deal with the consequences of media scrutiny around Manning over the last few months. In March, State Department spokesperson Phillip Crowley resigned after a blogger published his take on how the Pentagon's treatment of Manning was "counterproductive and stupid."

During the press conference, Defense General Counsel Jeh Johnson said that senior management had been involved in the decision to move Manning out of the brig. "Because this has been in the newspapers, people at our level have been involved in taking a look at that as well."

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