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Accused NSA Leaker Reality Winner Seeks Release From Jail
Reality Leigh Winner should be released from jail pending her trial in the National Security Agency leak investigation because new information has surfaced that weakens the government’s case for keeping her behind bars, her attorneys are arguing in new court papers.
Winner, 25, the first accused leaker to be prosecuted by the Trump administration, is scheduled to ask for her release at a hearing in Augusta, Georgia, at 10 a.m. Friday. The former Air Force linguist has pleaded not guilty to a charge of leaking an NSA report about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to The Intercept, an online news publication. She worked as a federal contractor in Augusta.
In arguing for her to be kept in the Lincoln County Jail in Lincolnton, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari told a judge Winner was recorded in a jailhouse phone call discussing some “documents” — plural — raising concerns she might have gathered other top-secret information beyond the NSA report she is accused of leaking. Solari said she was also overheard directing the transfer of $30,000 from her savings account to her mother’s account because the court had taken away her free appointed counsel.
But in an email to Winner’s attorneys on June 29, Solari said Winner could be heard in the recording telling her mom she “leaked a document,” singular. And in another recorded phone call, Solari said, Winner asked her mom to transfer her money because of fears authorities “might freeze it.” Winner’s attorneys said she was afraid she would not be able to pay her bills if her account were frozen.
Reality WinnerFacebook photo
“I proffered information about the other jail calls based upon verbal summaries I was provided by the FBI just before the hearing,” Solari wrote. “Now that I have heard the recordings myself, I’d like to clarify some of the information for the court and counsel.”
In arguing for Winner’s continued detention on June 8, Solari also told a judge that Winner at one point improperly plugged a flash drive into a top-secret computer — in a sort of test run — while she was still in the Air Force last year. Winner’s attorneys pointed out she has not been charged with any additional crimes, though federal authorities have presumably completed their investigation of that incident.
Winner’s attorneys are also citing other cases in which accused leakers have been allowed to remain free pending their trials, including retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned as CIA director in 2012 before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. Further, Winner’s attorneys said, Winner has no prior criminal convictions, and she could be held behind bars far longer than the court had initially contemplated because her trial date has been postponed from Oct. 23 to March 19.
A spokesman for the federal prosecutors in the case did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
If the judge were to free Winner pending trial, her attorneys said, the court could require Winner to reside at her home in Augusta, not travel beyond Richmond County without permission, regularly keep in contact with a pretrial services officer and have her parents post their property as bond. She wants to return to teaching yoga and spin classes as well as volunteering in a local animal shelter, court records show.
Meanwhile, her attorneys are raising concerns about her health behind bars. They said Winner, who keeps a vegan diet, has developed “gastrointestinal issues” in the Lincoln County Jail.
“Ms. Winner’s continued detention,” her court filing says, “is manifestly unjust, contrary to law, and not in accordance with the presumption of liberty.”
©2017 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything
(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.
"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.