[This is the required apologies/acknowledgment-of-searching if this has already been explored.]
"if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time... say, 8-9 months... and you
saw incredible things, awful things...
things that belonged in the public
domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC...
what would you do? ... say... a
database of half a million events during
the iraq war... from 2004 to 2009... with reports, date time groups,
lat-lon locations, casualty
figures... ? or 260,000 state department
cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how
the first world exploits the
third, in detail, from an internal
Like a lot of you probably are, I've been following the goings-on of Wikileaks, particularly after the last big-time release and the announcement of
forthcoming heavy-duty stuff.
Then, of course, once Private Bradley Manning was arrested in Kuwait, the plot thickened. Manning is the alleged leaker of the "Collateral Murder"
video evidence of an Apache helicopter attacking what appeared by many to be innocent and unarmed civilian journalists and children.
Next, it was revealed that Manning's alleged crimes were shared with authorities by infamous hacker, Adrian Lamo. Lamo, once in hot water himself
(and still suffering consequences of federal crimes involving hackin) had become Manning's sorta underground confidant.
Here twists a story worthy of any good soap opera and though it's easy to be amused by the drama and salaciousness, we have to remember the potential
crimes all over the place, determine which ones were/are real crimes, which ones were/are necessary disclosure and which ones are not just back stabs
to individuals, but also, perhaps back stabs to the American public, the people of Iraq and, considering the fever pitch over the contents of
yet-to-be-released material from Wikileaks, perhaps serious stuff affecting the people of countries all over the world, if not every person on the
planet. This saga already has a death toll and it's not easy to imagine that before it's complete, that death toll will be higher than it stands
Manning pursued Lamo as a confidant using his knowledge of the hacking world and alias instant messenger identities. It's important to note that by
this time Lamo has been released from custody for his crimes and is working as a "hacker/journalist" with a position at Wired
While conducting communication with Manning, Lamo was doing so as a journalist and under the supposed supervision of his editor at Wired
It appears Manning developed a relatively intense relationship with Lamo from the perspective that they had both been somewhat isolationist hackers
who had major successes and either had experienced getting caught and prosecution or would soon. Furthermore, there seems enough evidence to easily
conclude that both Lamo and Manning had feelings of being separate from most of the rest of the world ... but not just because they were hackers.
Former friends and acquaintances of Lamo have indicated his sociopathic personality goes beyond his hacking skills and proclivities to include a need
to capture a person's trust for the purpose of being able to dominate that person through, almost a subliminal persuasion inflicted on their will.
In addition, Lamo actively recruits for "wayward young hacker wannabes," for the purposes, one can only assume, of directing them to a more robust
future without the pitfalls he has suffered? Needless to say, if this is the case, Manning could not have picked a worse person in whom to confide.
It has come out that Lamo relieved Manning's apprehension of sharing information by indicating her was an ordained priest (and therefore protected by
law form disclosing confidential information), as well as a journalist, protected by shield laws.
has released quite a bit of the transcripts of the IM sessions between Manning and Lamo, but not all of them and some information has
. Upon reading them, and to cut to the chase, it's possible to conclude, though not a fact, that Manning is a young man struggling
with his identity and that he's potentially not a homosexual, but a person experiencing a gender issue. He talks of "figuring things out" and
indicates his "CPU wasn't made for the motherboard."
Once married, Lamo has come out as bisexual as has worked pretty extensively with LGBT groups and causes. Likewise, on this Facebook profile, Manning
had self-identified with a variety of liberal causes, as well as LGBT causes and organizations.
Lamo turned Manning in and Manning was apprehended and arrested in Kuwait in May 2010. Four weeks later, he is still being held, though has not been
charged. What has the military justice system got on their hands? Is Manning guilty of treason? A whistle-blower deserving commendation? A person
responsible for death? Or a person responsible for saving lives? Or, will Manning be charged with telling, even though he wan't asked?
How far did Lamo go to get information out of Manning? Does it matter? What is Wired
magazine's true involvement and what is the role of
Lamo's editor, Kevin Poulsen? Lamo has refused comment except to say he is preparing a press release for late this week or next. To my knowledge,
has not printed, nor expressed any interest in printing the full transcripts of Manning and Lamo's instant messaging sessions. They
have indicated a desire to protect the privacy of the involved parties ... is that funny? Or were Manning's personal struggles utilized as a way to
reel in the catch of the year? decade? century?
Meanwhile, Wikileaks has denied the possession of 260,000 classified US embassy cables that Wired
has alleged Manning indicated he turned over
to them [Wikileaks]. Reportedly, Manning has indicated [the cables will reveal] the presence of a diplomatic scandal wherever there is an American
post. Wikileaks has also indicated an inability (and lack of desire) to determine whoever the source of the Apache helicopter video is (or any
, for that matter).
Wikileaks has taken measures to finance Manning's legal defense.