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Adrian Lamo Explains His Decision To Expose Bradley Manning 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the manning-up dept.
ilikenwf writes "Whether you agree with his rationale for doing so or not, Adrian Lamo has come forward to discuss his reasoning for exposing Bradley Manning. Manning, now in federal custody, leaked thousands of U.S. intelligence files and documents. Lamo's side of the story shows that he was concerned for Manning's mental health and stability, and for the lives Manning was risking by releasing classified material — Afghan informants, for instance. Either way, this goes to show that if you're going to release stolen/hacked documents, it's best you do it anonymously and don't brag about it."
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Adrian Lamo Explains His Decision To Expose Bradley Manning

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:38PM (#42480617)

    but I think a few years in solitary isn't the best thing for one's mental health and stability.

  • Babylon 5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kentrel (526003) on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:41PM (#42480673) Journal
    Notice his bizarre reference to Babylon 5 that seems to be without irony. He's obviously a fan, but did he miss the message the show had about how a group of soldiers had to follow their conscience and expose war crimes and corruption from their government at home. These characters had to deal with propaganda from the government, professional snitches (Nightwatch) and threats of treason and imprisonment from their corrupt government. I guess Adrian Lamo was rooting for President Clarke all along.
  • "Concerned" my ass (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#42480691)

    Yeah, because when I'm "concerned" about somebody's mental stability, the FIRST thing I think of is sending them off to be held for 900+ days in solitary confinement and psychologically tortured.

    This sort of post-hoc rationalization is actually *more* embarrassing than Lamo just coming and saying, "yeah, I did it for the fame. Suck my dick!"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:44PM (#42480725)

    It'd be nice to see Anonymous take on Lamo as a new "project." Someone ought to teach him that there's a price that comes with being a paid informant, even in a police state.

  • by Bomazi (1875554) on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:59PM (#42480893)

    He is not responsible for the way Manning was treated. You have to thank your beloved commander in chief for that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:06PM (#42480987)

    Either way, this goes to show that if you're going to release stolen/hacked documents, it's best you do it anonymously and don't brag about it."

    Manning never "bragged" about anything. He was reaching out to a fellow hacker (who claimed to be a priest that Manning could confess to without consequence).

    Manning was in a hostile environment with NO friends and with leaders who were corrupt and untrustworthy. His own father hated him for his homosexuality. He had nobody and was under an extreme amount of stress while trying to expose the corruption of his government. Almost ANYBODY would have made the mistake of trying to seek out a person that would be like-minded.

    If this Adrian Lamo were honest and not just trying to save what is left of his "journalism" career, then he would be doing everything in his power to try and free Manning for standing by his principles.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:07PM (#42481015)

    there's a good way and a bad way to leak information to the press. Wholesale dumps that destroy innocuous diplomatic relationships and endanger spies and contacts is a bad way.

  • by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:11PM (#42481073)

    One has to pick their path.

    The things that really sticks out in this saga are 1) Manning had legal resources available to him to expose wrong doing in the classified world. He chose to ignore that route and used the media instead. 2) Lamo looked at the shear number of documents and had to make a choice to either do nothing with the possibility of many people being killed, or turn Manning in with the possibility of facing the death penalty. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    This saga has parallels in history. Think back to the first atomic bombs dropped on Japan. There were those in the program that had to come to grips with the fact that the work they did led to 250,000+ dead. They had basically two choices. Accept the notion that dropping those bombs led the the end of the war and ultimately reduce the total number of dead, or go crazy thinking otherwise, since we can never know for sure.

    Right or wrong, Lamo chose his path and I will not fault him for it. Manning on the other hand choose poorly.

     

  • by Intropy (2009018) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:13PM (#42481099)

    He had evidence of espionage and turned over that evidence to authorities who could act on it. Why does he need to justify that?

  • by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:20PM (#42481231)

    Manning had legal resources available to him to expose wrong doing in the classified world.

    This assumes it is considered wrong-doing by the people he is required to report to.

    So how did they view the wrong-doing? You'll notice the lack of arrests other than Manning.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:23PM (#42481279)

    ...So, Manning's rationalization for exposing many more people and putting them in a much graver situation must be worse, right?

    Proven to be false, a complete "red herring".

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:24PM (#42481295) Homepage Journal

    ...So, Manning's rationalization for exposing many more people and putting them in a much graver situation must be worse, right?

    Yea, about that...

    It's been what, 2 years since Manning dumped those files, right? So, if there was any chance that said data would literally endanger the lives of agents in the field, as the government insists, surely said mortal danger would have occurred by now, or the agents would have been pulled, right?


    OK, so where's the evidence that Manning's actions really did cause all this personal danger that the prosecution insists occurred? 'Cuz I haven't seen it, and as the months of nothing happening continue, I'm more and more inclined to call bullshit on the claims.

  • Re:Babylon 5 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:26PM (#42481327)

    Yeah, the people who started these wars and set up the whole situation to begin with are COMPLETELY blameless and aren't responsible for the situations they created or the harm they've done! Fuck Manning! Asshole, making us aware of the horrors the US government commits on a daily fucking basis. What a selfish jerk!

  • Re:Babylon 5 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by niftydude (1745144) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:29PM (#42481371)

    Ugh, quoting a Sci-Fi show in any context for facts and reality - you are excused from the table young man, go to your room and play with your toys.

    Science fiction (both literature and tv shows) has a long and noble history of using future scenarios to make in-depth political and social commentary.
    In fact, I recall one Star Trek OST episode was considered to be too critical of the Vietnam War, and so was censored down to 9 minutes (!) when it was first aired in Australia to make it less subversive.

    If you've never seen past the future tech and aliens to understand the underlying themes to be found in good sci-fi, then I pity you.

  • by copponex (13876) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:29PM (#42481375) Homepage

    He's the kind of fuckhead who would be ratting his friends out an invading force the week after they rolled over his town. He's loyal to power, doesn't have any semblance of principles that exist outside of worshiping power, and therefore he's a fucking model American (or German or Frenchman or whomever is running the show).

    He probably spends weekends having wet dreams about exposing plots that discredit Old Glory, or any of the principles she has pretended to have over the past 200 years. He sleeps with on hand on a flagpole, stroking it erotically as he tries to imagine a thousand dead bodies and ten thousand eviscerated limbs and container ships full of blood pouring over his naked body to celebrate the March of Freedom -- making a pitstop in weak Arab States before it returns to bring justice to the nigger Filipinos and nigger Mexicanos and Panamanians and Nicaraguans and Hatians, fouling his financial lebensraum and ruining a diverse America predicated on the phallus worship of power and of the gun and all her related orgasms of control and death -- as long as Freedom worships American Freedom unconditionally. Unconditionally, as judicious as God: you are either with Us, or you are against Us and you are doomed to die if you do not obey. But you won't have to wait for hell in the afterlife. This is currently available for overnight delivery, if you call now.

    Just before he climaxes, a tear forms in Adrian's eye as he imagines how glorious and good he is, offering the savage Arab a chance to get on their knees and sign up for slavery instead of being killed on the spot. He revels in the moment that God was in the room when his Lord and Savior, George Herbert Walker, decided in his infinite wisdom to kill a few hundred thousand Iraqis and displace two million more in order to improve women's rights by sending tens of thousands of them into prostitution after killing their husbands on the battlefield. In his own way, Adrian has freed the Iraqi people from the tyranny of owning their own resources, and replaced their struggle against corruption of their government with a loss of basic security, infrastructure, and education.

    And when he does climax, Adrian thinks about the power he protects. He thinks about raping and murdering a prisoner and then helping cover it up without having to answer to any semblance of a court. He heaves his entire body into rapture as he pictures an innocent man being electrocuted to death by someone from the Agency while Bradley Manning is forced to watch from a prison cell, crying for mercy, as part of his "non-torture" permanent solitary confinement that Adrian bravely initiated because... why?

    Because in Adrian's sick fantasy, Bradley Manning is the individual who needs to be cured of dangerous fantasies. But the truth is that Adrian Lamo is a hallow imitation of a human being, and when he passes away there probably won't be a soul left to save. Lamo will worship whoever has the biggest gun, and it will serve him well because parasites make up for their lack of intelligence and abandoned independence with dependence on larger, more powerful entities who will accept fealty from any random piece of shit from the street, including Adrian Lamo.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:31PM (#42481403) Journal

    Because the "espionage" is actually evidence of crimes, and the authorities are criminals. I know it's hard to accept, but the people in charge are not always right and good.

  • by sco08y (615665) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:15PM (#42482119)

    Manning was in a hostile environment with NO friends and with leaders who were corrupt and untrustworthy.

    Talk about prejudices, do you have any source that shows his leadership was corrupt?

    I was in the Army for six years... there have been guys who were fairly universally disliked, but there are enough personalities that everyone inevitably has buddies.

    while trying to expose the corruption of his government.

    If he wanted, to, he could have made an IA complaint, or wrote to his Representative or Senator, both of which bypass his leadership. And everyone knows about those channels because people will file complaints against their drill sergeants in basic.

    He didn't take that course of action. What he chose to do cost lives, mostly likely some poor bastards in Afghanistan who we paid for information were tortured to death by the Taliban. He didn't care about their lives, he didn't care about the lives of his fellow soldiers, he just wanted revenge on everyone who he felt had wronged him, and he wanted attention.

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday January 04, 2013 @07:33PM (#42482343)

    One committed treason and violated the code of ethics he agreed to. The other did not.

    This is why one is being punished and the other is not. I am not aware of a precedent for the US government punishing someone for reporting treason.

  • by lawpoop (604919) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:35PM (#42483295) Homepage Journal
    But Lamo could not have known beforehand that there would be no fallout from the release. It seems a reasonable fear to be had.
  • by greenbird (859670) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:53PM (#42483523)

    My god. Does anyone think about consequences, or anyone but themselves, before acting anymore?

    Yeah. Problem is people like you are blind to them. We need far more of our government's secrets leaked. 99% of what the US government is keeping secret has no business being secret. And a fair percentage of that is being kept secret to cover up illegal activity by the US government. When you have crap like this [techdirt.com] going on consistently something needs change and don't give me any crap about voting either. There are no options to vote for.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:06PM (#42483677)

    Manning didn't know what he uncovered. He just grabbed all the stuff he could.

  • by copponex (13876) on Friday January 04, 2013 @09:11PM (#42483727) Homepage

    That's why I love my fellow citizens. They're more offended by talking about death and destruction than they are about paying for it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @10:19PM (#42484289)

    One committed treason and violated the code of ethics he agreed to. The other did not.

    This is why one is being punished and the other is not. I am not aware of a precedent for the US government punishing someone for reporting treason.

    Being punished before being convicted is a fucking crime against humanity. Fuck my government's asshole raw until it bleeds then give a seawater-lemon-juice enema.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Friday January 04, 2013 @11:34PM (#42484725) Homepage

    Naked does not equal freshly laundered clothes, cot with no bedding is not comfortable especially when you are regularly denied it use, air conditioning does not necessarily equate to comfort when gutless psychopaths adjust the controls and counselling services were severely restricted and used more in the content of the carrot and the stick. So as always distortions by a propagandist based upon the truth being left out.

    Lamo is just a gutless coward who went for a personal grab for glory all else is a lie. Like your typical narcissist he personally has no real idea of what is appropriate social behaviour and what is not, hence his criminal past and then of course time spent setting up his 'sic' friends (narcissists have no friends everyone is there to be used). So typical self serving selfish disconnect from what is real human social behaviour and the arse hat makes a big grab for notoriety and fame by stabbing a true hero in the back. Let's not forget all the other arse hats at Wired who similarly could not differentiate between a hero and the criminals the hero was exposing, so a piece of shit web site that should be avoided. Even now Lamo focusing is on how traitorous behaviour is affecting him and not how it is affecting Bradely Manning nor and more importantly how it is affecting other whistle blowers. The shit head still can not see how his disgusting behaviour is serving to protects liars and criminals, how it allows corrupt governments to hide the truth, how other people in similar positions to Bradely Manning have to hide corruption in fear of being stabbed in the back by the gutless back stabbing Adrian Lamo's of the world. Two years and he is over it, a hundred lifetimes wont bury that deceit and it's attack upon the truth, for the self serving glory of some worthless jerk.

  • by greenbird (859670) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @03:53AM (#42485937)

    ...and you know this how?

    I read the news. Note I said read and not watch. I could list dozens of stories (probably hundreds if I took some time to research) of questionable if not down right illegal actions by the US government in the last few years. I'll name 2 quick ones other than the one I linked to just to get you started. The Kim Dotcom fiasco and the retroactive immunity for the illegal monitoring at the behest of our government by certain telecoms. Just friggin read some news and open your friggin eyes. It's not hyperbole. It's reality and it's getting worse rapidly.

  • by Uberbah (647458) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @01:40PM (#42488593)

    You're an idiot.

    You're projecting. If this is just about "proper channels", then why aren't military and CIA officials being prosecuted for the crimes revealed by Manning? Why is it that only the whistleblowers are facing prosecution, not those who committed torture and war crimes?

    Idiots.

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