Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lamo vs Wikileaks + Manning

The recent emergence of the alleged source of the 'Collateral Murder' video has left a bitter taste in everyones mouth. 22 year old Bradley Manning was an Army Intelligence Analyst with Top Secret clearance has been arrested (and at my last check, held in a Kuwait prison) awaiting a hearing. He has allegedly provided Wikileaks vast volumes of classified data. The most controversial which - has not yet been disclosed - over 260,000 pieces of classified US State Department diplomatic cables. Manning was arrested on the basis of chat evidence provided by one time hacker, full time 'journalist' Adrian Lamo. Lamo, rather than disclose this to the police, feds, military, anonymously if need be - decided to go to, his mate Kevin Poulson to get the story out ( has all the key articles on this topic. This one being the latest). Patrick Grey, producer of the Risky Business podcast also interviewed Lamo and actually did a good job of putting the hard questions to him (so I thought).

I won't say too much but I think Lamo did the right thing but for all the wrong reasons. I hope he's being truthful with himself because he's got a lot on his conscience. If it is true that Manning was behind it, then God grant him mercy because I don't think the U.S. military will give him any.

I think there's a lot of interesting issues that should/could be explored. I won't prattle on but I'd be very keen on hearing views from anyone reading as to what they think.

- J.

EDIT: Now the transcripts are out on Wired, I'm kinda torn. On one hand it seems blatantly obvious Manning was heavily disillusioned based on the crimes of his government. Actions such as the disclosures he allegedly made (it is still alleged isn't it?) are how government imbalances and abuses of power are identified and called to task. All the same, should there be no penalty attatched for people who abuse their access? I mean this is the classic insider threat scenario that all security professionals should be dreading. It isn't a textbook answer here. I guess both parties can only take action as their conscience deems prudent. It just seems unfortunate that Manning is probably going to get roasted alive for following his.

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