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US v Manning | Coffey says Patrick Kennedy briefed Congress in Nov & Dec 2010 about WikiLeaks, State Dept says no records, no memory, no damage

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[Update, August 23, 2012]

At the June 7, 2012 Article 39(a) session of US v. Pfc. Manning, Marguerite Coffey, former State Department director of the Office of Management Policy, Right Sizing, and Innovation who also acted as the supervisor of the WikiLeaks Mitigation Team, states that, Patrick Kennedy, Undersecretary for Management at the Department of State, briefed Congress about WikiLeaks in late November, early December 2010:

Defense (Coombs)
Are you aware of any of the Department of State's briefings to Congress or the Senate other than I guess Ambassador Kennedy's briefing?

Marguerite Coffey
I was aware of Ambassador Kennedy's briefings in late November and early December of 2010.

Defense (Coombs)
Any other briefing by the Department of State [missed word]?

Marguerite Coffey
Under Secretary Kennedy briefed the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on March 10, 2011.

Defense (Coombs)
The late November, early December was that also Ambassador Kennedy?

Marguerite Coffey
Yes.

[Published July 20,2012]

At the July 19, 2012 Article 39(a) session of U.S. v. Pfc. Manning, the U.S. Government informed the Court that the State Department - whom the Government also said was opposing a defense motion for discovery information from the and which is also an inter-agency partner in the joint criminal investigation of WikiLeaks - could not find any records, nor did the State Department know which of their officials testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSC/I) on December 7 and 9, 2010.

This writer finds that information disturbing and unbelievable.

We know from Ambassador Kennedy's March 10, 2010 testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that State Department officials briefed the House and Senate on December 2, 2010, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSC/I) on December 7 and 9, 2010.

The Department convened two separate briefings for members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate within days (December 2, 2010) of the first disclosure by WikiLeaks and appeared twice before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (December 7 and 9, 2010). (Source: Ambassador Patrick Kennedy, Under Secretary for Management, State Department)

We also know that a congressional official, who was briefed by the State Department told Reuters "the administration felt compelled to say publicly that the revelations had seriously damaged American interests in order to bolster legal efforts to shut down the WikiLeaks website and bring charges against the leakers."

Reuters reported that the internal USG reviews said that cablegate and [Added: "tens of thousands of military field reports from Iraq and Afghanistan"] had "caused only limited damage to U.S. interests abroad, despite the Obama administration's public statements to the contrary."

Further a congressional aid who spoke to Reuters, and who was also "familiar with the late 2010 briefings" by the State Department, said, "We were told (the impact of WikiLeaks revelations) was embarrassing but not damaging."

What the State Department says it does not have, of course, is what Manning's defense cannot obtain and use to impeach the 22 State Department witnesses-- some of whom will testify in the sentencing phase about purported played up damage and harm to U.S. National Security.

[Added the word "criminal" to the 10th paragraph and the word "purported" to the last sentence of this entry on August 23, 2012.]

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