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Wikileaks volunteer and American fugitive currently in self-imposed exile in the Netherlands and Germany Jacob Appelbaum recently did a public lecture in which he claimed that he risks going to jail for a maximum of 45 years in his home country of America if he gets indicted with regards to the Grand Jury criminal investigation that was launched against him and others associated with Wikileaks for the purpose of investigating the nature and extent of their involvement with Wikileaks at the time of the Bradley Manning leaks in the winter of 2009-2010.

Source of the 45 years claim:

Youtube video of Appelbaum’s lecture claiming he risks going to jail for 45 years:

Start 4:06:

We see that targeted surveillance happens through mass-surveillance. So, there is this part of the discourse which I also wanna call out, which is… a lot of really respectable people talk about how mass surveillance bothers them but targeted surveillance doesn’t bother them at all, because everybody knows there’s, like, somebody who is a valid target.

But as a person who is being targeted in an espionage investigation in the United States and looking at 45 years in prison, I personally would like to say just because you might be a “valid target” doesn’t mean that we should end the discussion there.

Below is a list of the public tweets that Jacob Appelbaum tweeted while he was in Iceland in the winter of 2010. As you can plainly see any reference to Wikileaks or him being involved with Wikileaks or being around Wikileaks is absent from these public tweets.

Wikileaks number two man at the time Daniel Domscheit-Berg confirmed in his book Inside Wikileaks that Jacob Appelbaum was in Iceland in the winter of 2010 to work with Wikileaks. Other than this confirmation, the nature of the work that he performed with Wikileaks while in Iceland is unknown and Domscheit-Berg does not disclose any details in his book.

In 2011 a televison documentary was screened by the VPRO channel in their Tegenlicht program titled The Wikileaks Code. The events in Iceland in the winter of 2010 were discussed, but Jacob Appelbaum’s involvement was never brought up or addressed. This documentary (partially in English, Dutch subs) is available here:

In this documentary we learn the following:

“There was a conference on the 1st of December [2009] which was held by the Icelandic Digital Freedom Society and I asked if anyone from Wikileaks would be interested in coming to a conference in Iceland to give a speech. Julian only finally confirmed that he was coming a week beforehand.”

This statement suggests that Daniel Domscheit-Berg and Assange were in Iceland before Appelbaum showed up a month later.

BesidesAppelbaum’s tweets I am also including links to various timelines that have been posted online by the mainstream media detailing the dates Bradley Manning began communicating with Wikileaks, when he began leaking, when the investigation started, etc. The reader is encouraged to compare these timelines to the time frame that Jacob Appelbaum was posting the public tweets from Iceland, presumably between the 15th of January 2010 and around the 26th of January 2010 or the 3rd of February 2010. It is in this context that one should understand the Grand Jury criminal investigation into Jacob Appelbaum and the US Department of Justice’s attempts to uncover the nature and the extent of his involvement with Wikileaks in Iceland before, at or around the time of the Bradley Manning leaks.

I am beginning the list with some tweets from December of 2009 which show that Appelbaum was aware of Wikileaks’ existence in that month prior to his trip to Iceland a month later:
Jens Kubieziel ‏@qbi 3 dec. 2009
@ioerror IIRC Daniel Schmitt was quoted saying three journalists were killed in Kenia. AS far as I understood it they worked for @wikileaks

NOTE: “Daniel Schmitt” was Daniel Domscheit-Berg’s alias at the time.
wikileaksbot ‏@wikileaksbot 3 dec. 2009
TwSearch: @ @ioerror IIRC Daniel Schmitt was quoted saying three journalists were killed in Kenia. A..

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 3 jan. 2010
Train tickets to Hamburg, Aarhus and Stockholm acquired. Next up: A ticket to Iceland by airplane?

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 3 jan. 2010
@stacythayer I wonder if I can get a ticket to Canada from Stockholm via Iceland? I guess probably.

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 4 jan. 2010
@stacythayer Yeah, I’ll be in Reykjavík for about two weeks.

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 7 jan. 2010
Time to take a train from Hamburg to Aarhus. Auf wiedersehen Deutschland…

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 9 jan. 2010
I needed an airplane sleeping mask. I found a one in a BDSM store in Aarhus:

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 9 jan. 2010
An interesting perspective on Icelandic banking issues:

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 11 jan. 2010
I wish Stockholm and Berlin could merge into one super city floating in the sky.

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 14 jan. 2010
My last night in Stockholm. I need to pack for my insanely early flight to Norway. I can’t wait to finally arrive in Iceland!

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 14 jan. 2010
“But my faith is like a bullet; my belief is like a bolt. The only thing that lets me sleep at night. A little carriage of the soul.”


Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 15 jan. 2010
Iceland is shaping up to be as awesome as I had imagined.

Iceland ‏@thisisiceland 15 jan. 2010
@ioerror Welcome Jacob, nice to finally meet you. Did you have a pleasant flight? <–?!

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 17 jan. 2010
This is a better video of the Icelandic president ripping into the BBC with wit and style:

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 18 jan. 2010
Things are fast in Iceland. I wanted to see the DNS root servers and ten minutes later, I’m in the Reykjavik Internet Exchange touching it.

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 20 jan. 2010
Only in Iceland can your shoes be stolen and you’ll make the paper.

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 20 jan. 2010
I’m giving a talk at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik today at 12:30.

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 20 jan. 2010
I really enjoyed 101 Reykjavik. It was hilarious. I’ve already visited nearly every place in the film.

Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 21 jan. 2010
Only Iceland can make swimming in a waste water treatment pool beautiful, relaxing and clean. Best spa in the world.

NOTE: 21st of January 2010 was possibly the day this picture of Appelbaum and Assange was shot.
Jacob Appelbaum ?@ioerror 26 jan. 2010
“Have you seen much of Iceland?” … “Just the wildlife.”

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 3 feb. 2010
Seven hours before my flight takes off; I’m pretty certain that I won’t sleep tonight. So it goes and goes and goes.

Jacob Appelbaum ‏@ioerror 19 feb. 2010
Iceland is my favorite country in the entire world.

stacythayer ?@stacythayer 19 feb. 2010
RT @ioerror Iceland is my favorite country in the entire world.[<—- It’s probably mine too. I can’t wait to go back]

Below are links to some of the online timelines from the mainstream media:

Timeline published in The Guardian:

November 2009 [Manning] Makes contact with WikiLeaks for the first time after it leaked 570,000 pager messages from 9/11

An interactive timeline by Wired:

But if prosecutors could show that Assange directed Manning in leaking government documents that he then published, this could complicate Assange’s defense that WikiLeaks is simply a journalistic endeavor.

Johnson says he also examined an external hard drive found in Manning’s bunk room in Iraq that contained a text file called wl-press.txt that was created on Nov. 30, 2009, right around the time that Manning told Lamo that he first made contact with WikiLeaks.

The file included the line: “You can currently contact our investigations editor directly in Iceland at 354.862.3481 : 24 hour service : ask for Julian Assange.”

Manning allegedly downloaded the War Logs between December 31, 2009 and January 8, 2010, and leaked them on or before February 5 — at least 10 days before leaking Collateral Murder.

If the Army is right, though, Manning had already leaked at least one thing to WikiLeaks: an encrypted copy of a video named BE22 PAX.wmv, which is likely the classified video of the notorious Gharani massacre in Afghanistan.

In the first hint that it had an important new U.S. source, WikiLeaks tweeted about its possession of that video on January 8, 2010. But the organization has never released it, possibly because its failed to crack the encryption.

The highlights of the conversation — from a prosecutor’s perspective — have already aired in Manning’s court martial and earlier hearings: in particular, Assange’s offhand agreement to try and crack an Army desktop password for Manning was offered as evidence that WikiLeaks was more like an intelligence agency than a publisher. But the full transcript is fascinating in its own right for what it shows of the give-and-take between Assange and his key source at this historically important moment in the WikiLeaks story.

In a statement to reporters Monday, WikiLeaks says it plans to file a criminal complaint in Sweden Tuesday morning, ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to the country. The complaint, published on, claims that a suitcase was seized containing three of Assange’s laptops, which he had checked during a September 2010 flight from Stockholm to Berlin. Those laptops’ encrypted hard drives, Assange says, included the Garani massacre video, as well as evidence of U.S. surveillance of Assange and a fellow activist in Germany and privileged communications between Assange and his lawyer.


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