Congressman suggests WikiLeaks data release is punishable by death

Rachel Rose Hartman

Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, in a radio interview yesterday, called for the execution of Army analyst Bradley Manning if investigators conclude that Manning leaked classified information to WikiLeaks, NPR reports.

"If they won't charge him with treason, they ought to charge him with murder," the Michigan congressman, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said during an interview with  WHMI. The host asked Rogers whether treason during wartime qualifies as a capital offense. "Yes," Rogers responded. "And I would support it 100 percent."

While Manning awaits trial, WikiLeaks is planning another document dump — and this time, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is asking for the government's help in protecting informants, according to a report in the Daily Beast. Philip Shenon, a correpsondent for the news site, writes that Assange has requested Pentagon assistance in redacting information that could put informants or other innocent people in harm's way. The Taliban has suggested it will use the leaked documents to find and harm Afghan informants.

WikiLeaks claims that the Pentagon refused an initial request for help redacting the first batch of documents. A Pentagon spokesman says the Defense Department fielded no such request for the online document clearinghouse — but indicated to the Daily Beast that some Defense officials are reviewing Assange's current request.