News Coverage of Reality Winner
December 28, 2017, Source: The Intercept
The Espionage Act is a law that was passed in 1917 during World War I to target those who challenged the U.S. military or anyone who supported “enemies” of the U.S. during the war. Especially since President Barack Obama’s administration, the law has been used by the Justice Department to make an example out of whistleblowers and deter others from revealing information that the government has classified, which may be of value to citizens.
The law, as the government applies it, makes it very difficult for the accused to defend themselves, Nichols said.
December 28, 2017, Source: The Intercept
The exact methods of the FBI’s preliminary interrogations are somewhat mysterious, because the bureau’s agents are not required to record them . . . The combination of recording one and releasing the transcript, as was done in the Winner case, is extremely unusual . . .
December 22, 2017, Source: New York Magazine
Reality did not have a college degree, but she was one of 1.4 million Americans with Top Secret clearance, which is to say that she had something to sell. Contractors are sometimes called body shops, and the bodies they want are security-cleared, readily found on sites like clearedconnections.com, which Reality frequented. Augusta was full of contractors paying good money for cleared linguists, and Reality accepted a job with Pluribus International, a small operation owned by the son of a former CIA operative.
December 5, 2017, Source: The Intercept
The defense team is prohibited from doing internet searches for public news articles outside the SCIF if they may contain classified information — even those that don’t cite Winner’s alleged leak. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of public news articles on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election that contain such information. But, because they can’t take the information out of the SCIF in any form, the defense cannot run standard Google searches for these types of articles to determine how they are related to the case.
November 2, 2017, Source: Associated Press
The hackers who upended the 2016 U.S. presidential election had ambitions well beyond Hillary Clinton’s campaign, targeting the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list obtained by The Associated Press
October 10, 2017, Source: Democracy Now!
Assange: “Yeah, look, she is a working-class whistleblower. She is not a whistleblower – she is not a leaker or a whistleblower who has access to power. And so, as a result, we see what happens to her. She goes to prison, where – even in pretrial detention, is clearly not of harm to anyone. It’s come out that the FBI faked a transcript of hers, where she said she had acquired more than one document. It turns out that that was fake. And they’ve used that to keep her in prison.”
October 6, 2017, Source: ShadowProof
The argument that Winner “hates” America depends upon one singular text exchange that was not reproduced in the court order. The exchange is not explicitly quoted so it is hard to tell if this was language Winner used when sharing her frustration on a recent political development or perhaps something President Donald Trump said . . . Notably, Epps does not quote any emails or messages, where she specifically says she hates America. It seems far more likely—given what is known about Winner—that she meant she would fail a lie detector test because she has complex attitudes about the role of the United States in the world.
“This is the opening salvo in the new war on whistleblowers and sets an extremely dangerous precedent,” explained government transparency advocate Rainey Reitman, who is affiliated with the support group. “By this logic, anyone who has ever held a security clearance and disagrees with the U.S. government is a danger to society and should be in jail. But where does this end? Should Winner be in prison for life because of opinions and information she has in her head?”
October 5, 2017, Source: AP
U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps sided with prosecutors in ruling that keeping Winner jailed is the only way to ensure she doesn’t flee overseas or leak more secret information. The judge referenced prosecutors’ transcript of a Facebook chat in February in which Winner wrote to her sister: “Look, I only say I hate America like 3 times a day.”
October 5, 2017, Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“We’re obviously disappointed by the ruling,” Titus Nichols, one of Winner’s attorneys, said. “However, this will not stop us from continuing to fight for Reality as we move forward.”
Winner’s parents objected to the judge’s ruling in statements they issued through the Stand With Reality support group late Thursday evening.
“I am truly heartbroken and crushed,” said her mother, Billie Winner-Davis. “I am disappointed in the court’s decision and believe it is unfair. Her service to the country, and every commuity she has ever lived in, should have been weighed.”
September 30, 2017, Source: MintPress News
Last December, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp decried a hack attempt of the state’s voter database that was traced to an IP address linked to the DHS’ federal offices. DHS responded to the incident by stating that their alleged intrusion of Georgia’s voting system was not “unusual.”
Other states, including Indiana, Idaho, West Virginia, and Kentucky, later came forward claiming that DHS had also tried to hack their election systems and that the federal agency had scanned their voting systems tens of thousands of times without permission.
September 28, 2017, Source: Cosmopolitan
So who is Reality Winner, and what’s going to happen to her? Here’s what you need to know.
- Yes, that’s her actual name.
- The government says she’s a spy.
- She’s a decorated military veteran.
September 27, 2017, Source: Politico
The transcript filed publicly with the court Wednesday initially included Winner’s social security number and date of birth, information excluded from public court filings under court rules. The password for the computer she had at home at the time of the search was also included.
Some information detailing the nature of the specific intelligence report Winner is accused of leaking was blacked out from the transcript placed in the court record. Quotes from portions of the transcript were included in previous court filings.
After POLITICO inquired with a Justice Department spokesman about the appearance of Winner’s social security number and date of birth in the publicly filed document, prosecutors refiled the transcript with that information removed.
September 23, 2017, Source: AP
The federal government on Friday told election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems before last year’s presidential election.
The notification came roughly a year after U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials first said states were targeted by hacking efforts possibly connected to Russia. The states that told The Associated Press they had been targeted included some key political battlegrounds, such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin . . .
Earlier this year, a leaked National Security Agency report detailed that hackers obtained information from a company that provided software to manage voter registrations in eight states. The May report said hackers sent phishing emails to 122 local election officials just before the November 2016 election in an attempt to break into their systems.
August 25, 2017, Source: Reuters
“You’re absolutely never going to learn it, because we don’t even know it,” Judd Choate, state election director for Colorado and president of the National Association of State Election Directors, said in an interview on Thursday during the group’s summer conference.
Nearly 10 months after Republican Donald Trump’s upset presidential victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton, Choate said he had not spoken to a single state election director who had been told by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security if their state was among those attacked.
August 19, 2017, Source: Kingsville Record
Winner-Davis shared a letter that Reality sent on Aug. 7 that was meant to be shared with the community she called home. In the letter, Reality shared her appreciation for Kingsville and the many memories she built as a child growing up in the small town.
“You gave us what you could in the form of truly extraordinary teachers, coaches and neighbors, and what you lacked, you gave us the tenacity to overcome,” she wrote. “Like a mother bird, you did everything to push me beyond the nest, but while you taught me to aim high and fly, you reminded me to keep the small town communities like yours in my peripheral.”
“Kingsville, you are the bittersweet nostalgia of my past, the dreamscape of my present, and the vision of my future,” she wrote. “You made me inquisitive, but demanding, a person who sees a world of potential, and yearns to be the hands that repair.”
August 4, 2017, Source: BBC
Mr Sessions did not share details of the four leak arrests.
But in June a 25-year-old National Security Agency contractor, Reality Winner, was arrested for removing classified material from a federal site in the state of Georgia.
The American Civil Liberties Union said “a crackdown on leaks is a crackdown on the free press and on democracy as a whole”.
July 6, 2017, Source: Vanity Fair
Since Trump has ostentatiously threatened leakers and journalists already — again today in Warsaw he gratuitously bashed “fake news” CNN and NBC at a press conference — why not use the Espionage Act as a weapon?
The law was once used to prosecute World War I dissenters, is deemed by most scholars to be poorly drafted, and aims to ensure national security. And it’s really been sparsely used, most recently to prosecute NSA contractor Reality Winner.
“They just used like a piece of a conversation and they used it against her,” Winner-Davis said.Winner-Davis said her daughter did email The Intercept twice from her personal email, but claims they had nothing to do with classified documents.“The first one, she was requesting a transcript to a podcast that they had done with regard to climate change,” Winner-Davis said. “The second email was a follow up asking the status of the transcript.”
June 21, 2017 Source: CBS News
However, Connie Lawson, President-Elect of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), expressed to lawmakers that state’s are increasingly concerned DHS is not communicating enough about potential cyber attacks or threats, saying officials only recently learned about. This was after DHS had repeatedly told state election officials that no credible threats existed in the Fall of 2016.
“It remains unclear why our intelligence agencies would withhold timely and specific threat information from chief state election officials, who can use it to better defend their systems and neutralize specific threats,” said Lawson.
Steve Sandovoss, Executive of Illinois’ State Board of Elections said that FBI officials never even informed them that it was the Russians who were behind the attacks on voting systems, a move Warner called “stunning.”
June 10, 2017, Source: Kingsville Record
“Must a hero be large and powerful to sustain the world?” Winner wrote in one passage. “Or rather, with the simple act of love can one change the world?”
“At every level of American society, heroes reveal themselves, regardless of whether or not that particular label is used,” she later added.
June 6, 2017, Source: Freedom of the Press Foundation
No matter one’s opinions on the propriety of the charges against her, we should all agree Winner should be released on bail pending trial. Even if you take all the government allegations as true, it’s clear she is neither a threat to public safety nor a flight risk. To hold a citizen incommunicado and indefinitely while awaiting trial for the alleged crime of serving as a journalistic source should outrage us all.
June 6, 2017, Source: CNN
On CNN Outfront with Erin Burnett, Titus Nichols is the Attorney for the accused Leaker, Reality Winner. Winner is the former NSA Contractor accused of leaking classified information to the media. Her Attorney talks about his client saying his goal is to make sure his client get a fair trial under the constitution.
President Trump, like his predecessor Barack Obama, has signaled a willingness to pursue and prosecute government leakers. On Monday, the Trump confidant Corey Lewandowski used Twitter to post an article about Ms. Winner’s arrest and added the caption “If you leak, you will be caught!”
Mr. Gellman said, “It’s bound to scare the pants off some sources.”
June 5, 2017, Source: Department Of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, Justice News
A criminal complaint was filed in the Southern District of Georgia today charging Reality Leigh Winner, 25, a federal contractor from Augusta, Georgia, with removing classified material from a government facility and mailing it to a news outlet, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 793(e).
Winner was arrested by the FBI at her home on Saturday, June 3, and appeared in federal court in Augusta this afternoon.