Lamo is as Lamo Does

Posted on December 30, 2010


One of the lesser covered stories in the wake of Wikileaks publication of military and diplomatic records and communiques has been the story of the capture of Bradley Manning. Beyond the concrete harsh aspects and conditions of Manning’s arrest, which are finally receiving some level of media coverage, the issue of just how Manning was outed has been poorly covered by mainstream media outlets. The mainstream account has Manning contacting Adrian Lamo via chat room and confessing, Lamo reporting him to authorities, and Wired publishing partial records of the chat room logs courtesy of Lamo. But there are so many questions in this version of the story, and they have been conspicuously ignored by the mainstream media.

What’s odd is how juicy the story potentially is. It really has everything that corporate media bring up whenever they excuse their compulsion to focus solely on sleaze and political intrigue as their mandate from the superficial American public. Lamo alone is the stuff media orgies are made of. Just look at Lamo during this appearance on CNN in July:

He’s either hyper-medicated or simply high or drunk. Though the New York Times published petty smear-articles on both Manning and Assange, based on gossip and innuendo, Lamo, the most flame-ingly weird of the trio escapes any kind of personal scrutiny whatsoever, despite the fact that he admitted himself into a psychiatric facility right before his encounter with Manning. While he’s made several media appearances since, none have ever held him to the rigorous personal intrusion that seems to be the rubric for interviews with Assange and stories about Manning.

Just how did Manning get in touch with Lamo, a notoriously unreliable (to be generous) self-promoting hack-hacker shunned by the transparency and hacking community? Why did Manning reveal himself to such a person? Why do Lamo, the publisher of Wired and a quasi-federal security professional have such an extensive history together, and why are they all so directly linked to one another in this particular instance?

There are plenty of possible answers out there, but the corporate media, with its arsenal of informants and resources has apparently no interest. Glenn Greenwald and Fireddoglake have been picking up the slack. Greenwald has had a particularly adversarial and instructive series of articles on Wired’s  peculiar relationship with Lamo and their refusal to release the chat logs in full, which you can read here. FDL has put together chat logs from several different sources and is the most complete source of the logs at this point in time. Wired claims it has only released 25% of the logs that they were given by Lamo, though Lamo has made many assertions about what Manning told him in the logs that do not appear in any of the published accounts to date.

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