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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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bomazi (1875554)

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

      • Philosophically speaking, what does it mean to be responsible?
      • He claims he was concerned about Manning's mental health??? Manning has ended up locked in solitary confinement for YEARS on end. That is cruel and unusual punishment, a stone's throw away from medieval dungeons with assorted torture devices.

        • by sco08y (615665)

          That is cruel and unusual punishment, a stone's throw away from medieval dungeons with assorted torture devices.

          Yes, except for the three meals a day, regulation cot, freshly laundered clothes, shower, toilet, heating and air conditioning, material to read, contact with family, mental health counseling, religious counseling, legal counsel and lack of torture devices, it's almost identical to a medieval dungeon with torture devices.

          • 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 tlhIngan (30335)

              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

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Lamo did not know this would happen to Manning. All he knew at the time was that Manning was unstable and was going to release classified materials.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Jiro (131519)

      He didn't say he was concerned with his mental health and stability. The Slashdot summary is inaccurate (gosh, how could that happen?)

      From TFA:

      His statements there â" and others, such as his reference, seemingly in half-jest, to having his firearm ready after I mentioned (I think) that I'd been away from the keyboard for a phone call, and his anecdote about striking a fellow soldier â" did seem to indicate personal issues which might be coming to a head. But however I personally felt about his is

      • by EasyTarget (43516)

        Your careful analysis/teardown of TFA is rather hampered by the fact that it's Bradley Manning that Lamer is talking about, not Assange.

  • 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.
    • by kamapuaa (555446)

      Well in the "life lessons from a science fiction" category, he also quotes a science fiction story with an opposite message, where he realized a greater good beyond an individual's personal interests.

  • "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!"

    • Im sure it was on his orders that Manning was held in solitary as well.

      Your reasoning isnt much better than his TBQH.

  • 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.

  • I can't believe these were his primary goals at the time. I think he got into something that was way more than he expected, and he pulled a c.y.a. move and sent Manning down the river. Saying he did it for the good of the Afghan people that might be named in the documents seems revisionist. But I guess only he knows, so he gets to tell whatever story he wants.

    • by Dwonis (52652)

      I think he got into something that was way more than he expected, and he pulled a c.y.a. move and sent Manning down the river.

      Exactly.

      Saying he did it for the good of the Afghan people that might be named in the documents seems revisionist.

      It's not just revisionist, it's obviously false. He's acting as if those documents were transmitted in secret to the Taliban, and that if it weren't for him, nobody else would know about it. In reality, Wikileaks published the documents, so those Afghan people already had just as much warning, regardless of Lamo's involvement.

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:05PM (#42480967)
    1. used their real name w the accounts they used to commit their crime
    2. told somebody what they're doing
    3. don't understand enough about computers to not get caught
    4. used their home IP

    Missing anything? There's a trend forming here...
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Used an actual machine instead of a throw-away virtual one?
      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        Uhhh... the only incrementing evidence there is the MAC address, which is hardware specific, but it's easily spoofed without loss of functionality of the machine. Of course VMs auto-assign MAC addresses themselves.
  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sco08y (615665)

      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 tak

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

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

        Yes. Manning himself, if you bothered to read the message logs between Manning and Lamo. Unfortunately the military decided not to investigate, which makes sense, because "leadership" is very seldom punished when they are only following orders. Under the Bush administration even Generals were fired for not towing the line (you can Google it, though it's common knowledge for anybody who pays attention to the news). When the political leadership is corrupt, it makes sense that the career soldiers who want to

  • 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 Darinbob (1142669)

      There are people so religiously devoted to the idea that information should be free, all information, that they refuse to see any alternative. Someone who sets the information free is a hero of the highest caliber to them.

    • If you leak only certain things, well then the argument can be made that you did it out of conscience. You saw these things and said "The public needs to know this. Even though I took an oath not to reveal this, this public needs to know, it is more important." This is the kind of thing that happened with the Pentagon Papers.

      However when you just go and wholesale release whatever you can grab, well that kinda goes out the window. You didn't do it for conscience reasons, you did it for other reasons, ego it

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:10PM (#42481047)

    Lamo was arrested in 2003 for breaking into the NY Times website along with Yahoo, Microsoft and other. Before that he broke into various corporate networks, Lexis-Nexis, etc. [wired.com] Facing a possible 15 year prison sentence he took a plea bargain with reduced it to 6 month to be spent under house arrest at his parent's home. How did he get such a sweet deal? Was part of the deal an agreement to become an FBI informant possibly? Because if the Anonymous arrests have proven one thing, when hackers are faced with serving serious jail time, they will rat their own mothers out to cut a deal.

  • 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.

     

  • And I'm of the opinion that Manning will be the winner.

  • 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 Spectre (1685)

      ...

      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?

      ...

      I really, really hope the parent poster is some type of forum robot (pseudo-AI) whose algorithm/database has run amok ...

    • That's the most vitriolic and agreeable post I've ever read. You had me at the first paragraph, the rest was just icing. Nice work, I've vote you up if I had mod points.
  • not really. (Score:4, Informative)

    by flip-flop (178593) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:40PM (#42481559)

    This submission text is tainted by the poster's personal opinions - opinions which are, to say the very least, not unanimously shared. If you read the article it is striking how Lamo seems completely bereft of any sympathy for Manning, how he might have possibly fooled him into confessing by promising to treat it in confidence - and how he likes to hide behind complex (made up?) words and phrases instead of answering the interviewer's questions directly. One for the psychologists...

  • 'Although none of the Wired articles ever mention this, the first Lamo-Manning communications were not actually via chat. Instead, Lamo told me that Manning first sent him a series of encrypted emails which Lamo was unable to decrypt because Manning "encrypted it to an outdated PGP key of mine" [PGP is an encryption program]."

    What self-respecting hacker loses his old PGP key?

    "After receiving this first set of emails, Lamo says he replied - despite not knowing who these emails were from or what they w
    • by Rockoon (1252108)

      What self-respecting hacker loses his old PGP key?

      The kind that never wants old stuff decrypted.

  • He either had no concern for the well-being of Manning and is just saying so or he is utter and complete fool for thinking that ratting him would result in anything other than utter persecution and kafkaesquely hellish existence.
    Either he is an informer and enemy of free men pleading for forgiveness or a fool so bad he's got to suffer at least some repercussions.
    I've no mercy to spare him.
  • Real Reason (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The real reason is that he hasn't had any attention for almost a decade, when he was on The Screen Savers and stuff after all of his hacking pursuits, so he had to do something to get back on the news.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Saturday January 05, 2013 @06:13AM (#42486365)

    Trying to make it look like he was concerned. When you look at the chat transcripts [wired.com], Lamo just badgers Manning for info.

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