We’ve heard claims that Wikileaks has a cache of Russian government documents and also that they’ve got a big dump coming on some American bank, reportedly Bank of America. But there’s one thing that oddly hasn’t gotten that much attention, even though it’s out there in plain site. That’s the role of Bradley Manning, the Army private who is reportedly (though we have no proof of this) responsible for the Afghanistan, Iraq and State Department leaks. Manning’s role is no secret. Everyone knows about him, even though we don’t have confirmation that he’s the guy. But assuming he is the guy, his role is so central that this is really more the Bradley Manning story than the Wikileaks story. Maybe Assange will bust out next week with a huge cache of BoA files, or maybe the same for the Russian government. But at the moment at least it’s not clear that Wikileaks would have gotten anywhere at all without this one kid giving them all these documents.
Would anything ever have become of Wikileaks without Bradley Manning? And can they ever pull off something remotely like this again?
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.