I broke down and bought the full version of the book. So far I'm about 100 pages into it. The bits on Manning and Assange read very well. They did a lot of research on the subject material of the book and I find it interesting on how Assange seems to run Wikileaks, and how he expects everyone to do things his way or the highway. His change of outlook with first the NYT and then The Guardian shows that he's not too happy with the traditional actions of the Journalistic world and that he likes things done only one way. His. Compromise seems to be a word he doesn't like much.
I feel a bit for Manning, he didn't have a fun childhood or young adulthood. I'm surprised that he was given the clearance he got but I can see him a bit as the sort of soldier I would have enjoyed mentoring if I could keep him focused on the job at hand but also one that was easily bored, distracted or disgruntled. Not the sort of person would would make a good analyst.
I do find it interesting that Assange doesn't like to share information about his organization despite his insistence for transparency. He comes across in the articles in the book as a very dictatorial leader who tolerates no dissent among his staff. I find it interesting that the video that Manning gave him from Iraq was 40+ minutes but the version that Wikileaks pushed was a well edited 18 minutes that left out the guy with the RPG. He has an agenda and it's very directed against the US, and now feels justified in that action due to the comments of (in my opinion ..idiots) such as Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman.
There was a BIT more information in the book on the court case but not much, I'm still 'out' on the implications but I don't think the initial charges were directed as a smear.
One thing I noted is if he hadn't worked with journalists like the people at the New York Times, The Guardian and other papers of similar stature, he would have posted ALL his documents without any manner of redaction. As it is, some of the information the journalists read would DEFINITELY put a lot of low level sources in the Middle East in danger. Particularly Iraq and Afganistan. And it is a most telling point that the way these same people write on his reaction, that he doesn't really care.
The diplomatic cables section of the book (which I have JUST started to read) has pushed one thing home so far. NO ONE, not ANYONE that has talked to the US from the Gulf trust the Iranians with an Atomic Bomb. And from what I've read so far, a LOT of them would shed very few tears if the Israelis do what they have been threatening to do for almost 5 years and take direct action. Publicly, they'd be appalled. Privately, every last leader in the Gulf region would sleep better at night.
If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were to drop dead in the street tomorrow, I doubt there would be many of his regional peers who would miss him.