Saturday, 16 December, 2017

No bond for woman accused of leaking top-secret documents

Melinda Barton | 20 June, 2017, 02:14

She is accused of revealing classified information, used as the basis for an article published Monday by The Intercept, which detailed a classified National Security Agency memo.

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and leg shackles, victor pleaded not guilty in US district court to charges that she illegally retained and transmitted national defense information.

What led investigators to victor was an audit that revealed she was one of only six people who had printed the report, and the only one who had had email contact with The Intercept.

Victor was held at the jail in Lincoln County, Georgia, where she had an 11-minute court appearance. She stood with her hands behind her back and said, "Yes, your honor" when asked whether she has gotten a lawyer.

The 25-year-old federal contractor was arrested and now stands charged with leaking classified information to a media outlet. In numerous news stories, unnamed sources allege victor gave it to a reporter at The Intercept. Winner's social media profiles (her Facebook page was taken down on Tuesday) show a socially-conscious twenty-something who loved to post photos of her pets and weightlifting sessions in between calls for solidarity with Dakota Access pipeline protesters and action on everything from climate change to police reform.

The arrest of the suspected leaker was announced on Monday about an hour following the publication of a report by the The Intercept, which describes Russian hacking efforts in the days before the USA presidential election in November a year ago.

Now, Winner could be facing up to 10 years in prison if she is convicted under the Espionage Act.

Neither prosecutors nor Winner's parents have identified the government agency where she worked at the time of her arrest. Davis called victor "a good kid" with "a great big heart" who followed her older sibling into the Air Force.

"She said ... she was very scared, ' " her mother Biller Winner-Davis told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday.

Now, Winner currently lives in Augusta, so that little hint really helped narrow the federal government's scope.

Gary Davis said his stepdaughter isn't a flight risk. She said that during one of her jailhouse phone calls, which were recorded, victor said she planned to "play that card: being pretty, white and cute".

"She still continued to serve after she got out of the Air Force". The real culprit behind this was Reality Leigh Winner.

The possible price of leaking is well known, yet it is consistently true that some government workers and contractors are willing to take risks to publicize information that they believe the public ought to know. "Reality Leigh Winner, an NSA linguist trained in Farsi and Pashto, who received an Air Force commendation medal, described by family as a patriot", reported Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

Victor was among four million people who had access to top-secret files from different security agencies among the country.

"She said that she had been arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that she couldn't really talk about it", Winner-Davis told the Guardian.

"I was aware she was a government contractor but didn't know the extent of that, or which particular branch of that", Adams said.

In an affidavit, an FBI special agent said the bureau was contacted last Thursday about the classified document; by Saturday, the special agent said he had interviewed victor and that she had admitted to leaking the intelligence.