Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Interesting Chat With Timothy Matusheski

I had an interesting chat this morning with some-time US WikiLeaks lawyer Timothy Matusheski (@SLMCORP1 on Twitter).

Mr Matusheski is a lawyer who found himself in the middle of negotiations between the US Defense Department  and Julian Assange, prior to the release of  the Afghan War Logs, when it was suggested that the US government might want to review and redact the files before they were published. Read this Wired account of the story to better understand the chat below.

Given my own suspicions about Wired's editorial agendas, I first asked if all the details in that story were true.

"Wired reported the facts as I related them to reporters accurately," confirmed Matusheski. "The Pentagon's statements are untrue."

I asked if he'd had any further contact with WikiLeaks or the US government since then.

"I have had contact with the Ames, FBI, etc since that interview," said Matusheski. "Assange too."

I asked if he had been asked to provide evidence to the US Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks.

"The grand jury is not an investigation," explained Matsusheski. "The U.S. Constitution requires the gov. to convince a grand jury that it has enough evidence to try case. The grand jury decides this issue - in secret - and enters a true bill if Gov. meets their burden. If an indictment is returned "True Bill" by a grand jury, the suspect or target is indicted. If it does not return true bill, target is not indicted and does not stand trial, or face charges."

"If I had given testimony before the grand jury, I could not tell you about it. I can tell you that I did not give any evidence to a grand jury ever about anything."

"Would you say that being targeted has effectively stopped you helping WikiLeaks?" I asked. "Or are you still involved?"

"U.S. made me a target of investigation to stop me from helping WL."

Has it worked?

"Yes, it has stopped me, but indirectly only. I am outspoken and told US I would continue to help Assange. Gov. has impeded our ability to communicate."

"There is no evidence regarding me that can be used against Assange. He and WL were a client and I do not disclose confidential info from clients. As you read in Wired, I told them I would only discuss what Assange and I talked about if I saw proof that Assange or WL are an immediate threat to the lives of others. They offered no proof."

I thanked Mr Matusheski for his time and applauded him for supporting Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The USA needs more lawyers like this!

PS: Thanks to @carwinb for the original heads-up on this. Follow her for WikiLeaks info and please donate to help her go cover the #Manning court-martial.

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