Pulling Some Threads on Lamo’s Inconsistencies

In her post laying out the many inconsistencies in Adrian Lamo’s account of turning in Bradley Manning, Jane says:

I only see two possibilities.  One, Wired had the chat logs before Lamo made any calls to authorities, and was a party to whatever subsequently happened.  Or two, the copies of the chat logs that have been given to the press have been done so at the instigation of the US government, and with their full approval.

Of course there’s always c) all of the above, which is what I’m guessing is the most likely scenario.

I’m not entirely sure those are the only possibilities.

To my mind, there are several questions that remain entirely unanswered:

  • When did Lamo and Manning start communicating?
  • When and through whom did Lamo contact authorities (or, did authorities find him and not vice versa)?
  • How does that relate to other dates, such as Manning’s arrest, and when did the arrest happen?

Just as a threshold issue, I think the only source dating the beginning of the Lamo-Manning conversation to May 20 is Lamo, claimed in his conversation with Glenn and with the NYT. Particularly given his squirreliness about the encrypted emails Manning sent him before they started chatting on AIM, not to mention some odd details about their earliest chats, I see no reason to treat that claim uncritically.

Then there’s Manning’s arrest date, which Lamo claimed to be May 26 based on a conversation he described to Wired having with the FBI on May 27. But Manning’s charging documents seem to say Manning’s alleged actions continued until May 27 and he was arrested on May 29. Moreover, the time lapse on the chat logs may well suggest that Lamo and Manning were chatting past the time Lamo claims the FBI told him Manning had been arrested. If, as seems almost certain, Lamo was wrong about Manning’s arrest date, we need to ask whether he is hiding his own actions (perhaps, at the direction of the Feds, Lamo got Manning to send him classified documents on May 27, but he doesn’t want to admit that publicly) or whether the Feds misled Lamo.

There seem to be at least four or five versions of how and through whom Manning contacted authorities:

Version 1: Lamo told his father that Manning was the source for the Collateral Murder video (not the diplomatic cables) and his father pressured him to contact the government (the subsequent contact may or may not have been done through Chet Uber).

Version 2: In response to learning about the 260,000 State cables (which the chat logs portray as happening on May 22), Lamo reached out to his “ex” who “worked” for Army counterintelligence.

Version 3: In response to learning about the 260,000 cables, Lamo contacted Chet Uber (as one of a number of people he contacted) one or two days before he first met with the Feds on May 25. CJR’s timeline based on conversations with Kevin Poulsen dates Lamo’s first contact with the Feds before May 24, his first meeting with them on May 25, and his second meeting on May 27.

Version 4: Another version of Uber’s story says Lamo first contacted him in early June, which would have placed it after Manning’s arrest.

Version 5: Lamo contacted Timothy Webster (who is not explicitly identified as Lamo’s ex and who is portrayed as formerly, not currently, working in counterintelligence) on May 26 and told him that Manning was the source for the Collateral Murder video. Of course this scenario would put his Webster contact after his first contacts with the Feds, per Wired.

And none of these versions make any mention of the top secret ongoing op that Manning reportedly leaked to Lamo.

Now, I lay all these versions out not to impugn anyone’s reporting. After all, only Webster claims to be certain when his contact with Lamo happened. Uber admits he is uncertain (though the May and June dates obviously conflict significantly). And Lamo has been careful to note he had contacts with people outside of the Project Vigilant chain, which presumably includes but may not be limited to Webster.

But it does open up the possibility that there were several levels of contact here: a first one from his father, encouraging him to go to the Feds about the Collateral Murder video, a second one–of indefinite time frame–that went through Project Vigilant, and a third (and possibly fourth) that went through counterintelligence people. Furthermore, remember there are at least four investigative agencies: Army counterintelligence, Army CID, which is reported to have the lead on the Manning investigation, Diplomatic Security, which according to Manning was investigating the Rejkjavik cable going back to February, and the FBI. Note, too, that another version of Lamo’s story describes him worried about the FBI agents “knocking at the door” and implication in obstruction of justice; if any of these investigative agencies were investigating Lamo, the FBI would seem to be the most logical one.

So let’s just imagine another scenario. This is just a thought exercise, mind you, that might explain these inconsistencies but would also explain why there are so many inconsistencies. I’m not claiming this is the truth–just advancing it as one possible chronology.

Suppose that Lamo and Manning started talking via encrypted email much earlier, closer to the time on April 10 when Wikileaks published the Collateral Murder video. This would have interesting implications for Lamo’s institutionalization in May. But given that one version of the story has Lamo’s father learning of that leak and pressuring Lamo to go to the authorities and given that Lamo was released to his parents’ custody after his institutionalization, it might make sense on many levels. Suppose that, rather than going to the authorities, Lamo went to the vigilantes at Project Vigilant, with whom he had previous ties. And suppose they were the ones who suggested Lamo move the conversations onto AIM chats. And suppose, once Lamo got Manning to admit to the 260,000 cables on the chats, the Project Vigilant guys advised him to go to the authorities.

Now, at some point Manning allegedly told Lamo about even more secret things, not least the investigation into the Google hack (though it’s possible that happened on email). What if that took place on the encrypted emails, and not on the chats?

In any case, I think it possible that Lamo was not entirely forthcoming with the Feds at first, that he shielded some information, possibly even that top secret information. If so, Lamo’s interactions with Kevin Poulsen might well make sense. Maybe Lamo realized he had exposed himself stupidly, and he used Poulsen to buy himself space and time to come clean to the Feds and to make his cover story public. Further, if Lamo some more secret part of his alleged contacts with Manning, the later contact with Project Vigilant might reflect Lamo’s recognition that by not being completely forthcoming, he was in legal jeopardy himself. Which might explain the later date–early June–cited by Uber at one point. And it might explain the June 11 meeting between the Feds and Lamo, at which they asked for Lamo’s computers and the encrypted emails he had stashed on a remote server.

In other words, it may be that Lamo outed Manning based on his IM chats, but something (either forensic work on Manning’s computer or Lamo’s blabbing to people even including Glenn, to whom he admitted the encrypted emails) made the Feds realize that Lamo hadn’t been entirely forthcoming, which led them to return to him for more information. That might explain why Lamo’s story is so inconsistent.

Now, I don’t pretend to know what the real story is.

But if I had to hazard a guess, I’d say the AIM chat logs are just a cover that Lamo–with or without assistance–orchestrated for some reason, perhaps even to provide a basis to get Manning arrested without, at first, turning over the real goodies he had collected via encrypted email. So while it is still important for Wired to release the parts that are substantive to this story (there are gaps that almost certainly include substantive information), the chat logs may well be a distraction from conversations that took place on another medium that may be of more interest and may explain some of the wild inconsistencies with Lamo’s story.

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

65 replies
    • emptywheel says:

      True. Though I’m suggesting that there is a scenario in which Lamo simply used Poulsen and nothing more. That doesn’t explain why Wired isn’t publishing the complete logs, or more of them, but it doesn’t mean he was involved in this.

      • Jeff Kaye says:

        As to whether Lamo used Poulsen or not, it’s clear, for instance, that Poulsen’s story on Lamo’s hospitalization was a matter of spin. (No one is involuntarily hospitalized for Asperger’s Disorder, much less for nine days. Some kind of serious mental-medical situation had to have taken place, irregardless of whether or not Lamo has AD.)

        I agree that the contact between Manning and Lamo most likely began before Lamo says it did, and the idea of earlier encrypted emails makes sense. Why, if Manning was concerned enough to use encrypted emails, would he switch to the use of unprotected IM chat? It doesn’t make sense. And as soon as he does, Lamo almost immediately starts talking about “opsec”!! Very curious.

        • emptywheel says:

          Thanks for reminding me of that.

          It’s likely that the drugs were teh issue, not the Aspergers. But is it also possible he wasn’t in a mental hospital at all, that that is just cover for something else?

          • bmaz says:

            Who knows, anything is possible with the right type of spookies involved. I will say this, while I generally agree with Jeff, 5150, psych holds, whatever you want to call them, sometimes get done and “extended” by action of the cops. It does happen every now and then that the professionals just agree to do what the cops say to do. Doesn’t really answer the question here, but it is not all such a clean “professional determination”.

            • Jeff Kaye says:

              I agree, although it’s risky to do. Some doctors have big egos, don’t you know? So it would take the connivance of the clinic director, who, btw, in California, where Lamo was hospitalized, needs to sign off, along with another doctor, on the 5250 extended (beyond 72 hours) involuntary hospitalization. I can’t see that happening for other than clinical reasons unless the cops convinced the staff and the director the patient were a serious danger to others (homicidal), and so far as I know, Lamo’s hospitalization had nothing to do with such potential threat.

              So, to get the 5250, the hospital/clinic director would have to be in cahoots with the cops. But that’s a bit of a conspiracy. Not impossible, but if the government wanted to hold Lamo, or have him incapacitated, they could use certain drugs that could effect him for days, as in my tinfoil suggestion above (BZ). I’ve opined elsewhere that Lamo entered the hospital in a delirium, “gravely disabled.” Such a state could be due to a toxic mix of medications/drugs over a long period of time, ending in a kind of overdose, and he wouldn’t have been oriented even after 72 hours. That’s a pretty bad state to be in.

              The only other reason to involuntarily hold, which I haven’t covered, is that a person is seriously suicidal.

              • bmaz says:

                Or if the extension was “voluntary”. All we really know is that it was purportedly “extended”. I do not recall seeing anything that necessarily gave any factual basis for the extension being involuntary.

          • Jeff Kaye says:

            I’m going to see what I can find out. It would be a weird story to concoct. Of course, now that I think of it, it would be a great way to disappear and then have a story no one could actually check on, due to privacy issues. If I said that I had been in a mental hospital (or really any hospital) for the past week, there’s literally no (legal) way you could find out if I was lying or not, thanks to state/local and HIPAA privacy laws.

            In any case, I have no reason to believe that the fact of his hospitalization isn’t true. Now, how he got there, or why he was kept, I don’t know. There are rumors and purported facts out there on the Internet, and they certainly center around possible drug-related reasons. (Certainly, with his slurred, eye-blinking presentations, Lamo has been affected by some drugs, either directly and/or through side effects.) But, if one wishes to wear a big tinfoil hat, if you sprayed someone with BZ, they would probably be out of it for close to the nine days Lamo was gone, i.e., about a week (either in a hospital or not). Of course, only the government would have BZ, and… well, let the tinfoil expand…

            Wired and Lamo have done a great deal to make this story quite murky. The lassitude and/or sloppiness of the press during the initial accounts (Poulsen at Wired — though his actions may have more to them — Charlie Savage at NYT, etc.) have also made the situation harder to understand.

            • sagesse says:

              And in one of the Poulsen articles, in discussing details of the info I believe, the foundation is laid for Uber too having an out for covering inconsistencies in what he says: “Uber says he doesn’t remember some of the exact details clearly as a result of a mini-stroke he suffered in the past”.

              There are just so many fauning articles on-line written by Poulsen featuring Lamo, I think whatever went on, Poulsen was really involved too. Not just as a reporter.

              Regarding Lamo’s family, there’s an old 2002 article by Poulsen that quotes Lamo’s mom as hoping that someday her son can do good things. Can’t find the Link right now.

      • Jane Hamsher says:

        That really is the heart of the either-or I was trying to set up: either Wired knew first (and the Feds couldn’t stop them from getting the chat logs), or the Feds knew first (in which case I don’t see how they don’t seize everything on the spot). I think that holds no matter when Manning started communicating with Lamo, regardless of whether the Feds contact Lamo first or vice versa.

        You introduce a third possibility — that Lamo was not forthcoming with the Feds, and withheld something on a remote server that he gave Wired before the Feds knew he had it. Incredibly bold for a guy like Lamo, but I suppose it’s possible. He did say he “remembered” the emails at a later date, triggering the seizing of his hard drive on June 10th.

        Regardless, how do the Feds not come down on Wired like a ton of bricks as soon as they realize they have the chat logs? Conde Nast is not in the business of writing the big checks to protect the principles of the 4th estate. If Wired printed what they printed with the Feds breathing down their necks good for them, but that means the editing process was part of a deal made with prosecutors and not a matter of protecting Manning’s “privacy” (as we’ve been told).

        • bell says:

          jane quote “Regardless, how do the Feds not come down on Wired like a ton of bricks as soon as they realize they have the chat logs?”

          perhaps the feds had something to do with them being selected to ‘have’ the chat logs… let me leave you with a few thoughts from cass sunstein who is currently the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration.

          from wikipedia
          “Conspiracy Theories” and government infiltration

          Sunstein co-authored a 2008 paper with Adrian Vermeule, titled “Conspiracy Theories,” in which they wrote, “The existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be.” They go on to propose that, “the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups”,[22] where they suggest, among other tactics, “Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”[22] They refer, several times, to groups that promote the view that the US Government was responsible or complicit in the September 11 attacks as “extremist groups.”

          Sunstein and Vermeule also analyze the practice of secret government payments to outside commentators, who are then held out as independent experts; they suggest that “government can supply these independent experts with information and perhaps prod them into action from behind the scenes,” further warning that “too close a connection will be self-defeating if it is exposed.”[22] Sunstein and Vermeule argue that the practice of enlisting non-government officials, “might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts.” This position has been criticized by some commentators,[23][24] who argue that it would violate prohibitions on government propaganda aimed at domestic citizens.[25]

    • benmasel says:

      Poulson’s parole is long over. not much leverage there, especially given he has Conde Nast’s deep pockets to mount a defense.

      • bmaz says:

        That is true, but once you have a federal conviction, it is not that hard to pressure a subject. The bigger point is that it would not necessarily take pressure, Poulsen has demonstrated a willingness to work with law enforcement. Not saying he did here – I have no idea what the working chain is – but the facts do not line up as they have been generally pitched. Dollars to donuts the Feds are working someone, if not multiple subjects, in this story.

  1. bell says:

    i tend to see it like the last line in your post : “the chat logs may well be a distraction from conversations that took place on another medium that may be of more interest and may explain some of the wild inconsistencies with Lamo’s story.”

  2. orionATL says:

    the there’s that “other”, related, mystery –

    what motive could a magazine, “wired”, have for refusing to release portions of the chat logs between manning and lamo?

      • Mulder says:

        NSLs or gag orders wouldn’t prevent Wired or any other media organization from publishing the chat logs. That would be prior restraint, which the Supreme Court has ruled to be unconstitutional.

        • BoxTurtle says:

          Of course that’s illegal. That won’t stop ObamaLLP, since anything illegal they protect under national security restrictions. Point being, ObamaLLP could easily have blackmailed Wired and then prevented them from challenging it without great risk. Risk that the parent would not wish to take on.

          Boxturtle (You going to take on a court case that will cost $$$ even if you win? And jail time if you lose?)

        • bmaz says:

          NSLs or gag orders wouldn’t prevent Wired or any other media organization from publishing the chat logs. That would be prior restraint, which the Supreme Court has ruled to be unconstitutional.

          Well, you would think that would be the case, but I think you are grossly undestimating the reach and nature of NSLs

  3. Arbusto says:

    I guess I missed any postings on Project Vigilant so found Glenn G. 8/2010 article at Salon. It’s bad enough how the government contravenes the Constitution on search/seizure arrest and detention. Now we have uber secretive Corporate intel like Project Vigilant, Xe Services and BBHC Global acting for their own purposes and as a snitch to our government, using state of the art data collection without any apparent constraint. To misquote Pogo: We have met the enemy and we are fucked—again.


  4. manys says:

    AOL is in Virginia. Just sayin’.

    I wonder if Manning’s detention is at least partially due to Lamo’s unreliability as a source of evidence.

  5. lsls says:

    “There seem to be at least four or five versions of how and through whom Manning contacted authorities:”

    I’m confused. Do you mean Lamo or did I miss something?

  6. wavpeac says:

    If Lamo does not have health insurance…and if he’s living with his folks…or “homeless” it’s possible he did not…they will not hold him accept under the most “serious” situations. If they have insurance it’s much easier to force a hold than if they do not. The uninsured have to be saying “I am going to kill myself right now”…or be in the obvious process of committing suicide. Could have overdosed on meds…suicide threat…and they hold him. But even then…they will let the uninsured go as soon as they are “sobered up” and not at risk. I had a totally delusional schizophrenic client let go after a 24 hr hold. Granted he was not a harm to self or others but he was in the middle of a delusion that had him lying naked face down in his yard.

  7. TomThumb says:

    If I was writing this ‘novel’, I would pose the Wired folks as a high tech honey trap available to the government as needed and by agreement with the ex-felons running the joint! I just am a simplicity addict I guess.

  8. PeasantParty says:

    The entire story of Lamo’s is crazy. I still haven’t understood how Manning who is sitting in Iraq is finding this Lamo character to begin with. Then, after they somehow meet up in cyber, why Manning feels immediately confortable enough to share with him.

    EW, I have to think that what you said about the chat logs being later and another communication series had to have taken place.

    The spooks can’t find the real terrorist, Bin Laden, or stop the enemies from within, but they can find Manning! Something is wrong in this world.

    • lsls says:

      Also, how and why did/would Manning make himself findable to a stranger…even WL gets its info anonymously. Doesn’t make any sense at all. Manning is a patsy.

      • lsls says:

        Like, Hi, I’m blah, blah, blah, I reside at blah, blah, blah…I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but I just stole a huge amount of classified information…oh yeah, come and get me…I’ll be waiting. I mean…really..

      • FreddyMoraca says:

        Manning is a patsy.

        Many ways this could be true. Some of my maximalist friends started right off suggesting that the cable leak itself was bait, but I think “the law of large numbers” rules that one out of court. Suggestions that Israel is grossly underrepresented in the <1% published so far could be explained in numerous ways, including media cowardice before The Lobby (or as Juan Cole prefers, The Lobbies), as well as hyperclassification of such material above the level to which Manning was qualified (= my pet theory). At the low end of the scale, Manning was the ill-fated target of a very fancy burn utilizing previously established assets in the media and hacker communities, simply with the aim to stop him before he leaked again. In that case, there was no preconceived plan to flip Manning or or misrepresent his interaction with JA to permit the latter's indictment/extradition/rendition/drone takeout. So yes, a patsy, but of which type?

        PS this seems like a good opportunity to contribute to the Marcy Fund, which I haven't done in awhile…

        • bmaz says:

          Quite possible that Israeli cables routinely get classified at the next higher level that Manning did not have access to. May well be that this is not much of a red herring.

    • Jane Hamsher says:

      Yeah the business about the “famous hacker” not able to decrypt his own emails? Possible I guess if you’re just incredibly careless and sloppy, but Lamo was clearly enjoying playing everyone during this time. He may not have come clean about the existence of said emails, but I can’t imagine he truly “forgot” about them.

  9. emal says:

    Fwiw, I just want to add that Asperger’s diagnosis often coincides and coexists with other significant conditions including ADHD, bipolar, OCD, and depression (among some of the top ones). Unfortunately I’m all too familiar with these other serious and sometimes debilitating aspects of the Aspergers (ADHD and bipolar) from a young relative who is just about Lamo’s age….it’s was more eratic and difficult to regulate as this person matured…going through teens and young adult age here.

    So Lamo’s hospitalization could easily have been a result of those coexisting conditions that often accompany Aspergers…and some of the more odd behavioral tics/speech noted during the interviews easily could be due to medication for those conditions. It can be a very tricky issue and if there is an episode it can be very serious and require hospitalization for an extended period.

    So I guess I’m feeling that psych hospitalization is highly likely…given some of the facts that we do know and that he was diagnosed with Aspergers.

    So good luck sleuthing…always a pleasure to read.

  10. R.H. Green says:

    I’m having trouble with the encryption bit, not being versed in such technology. It is a stretch to imagine Manning sending encrypted emails (whatever that is) unless he had some reason to expect that the recipient had the means of de-encryption. For Lamo to claim that he lost his “key” (whatever that is) and doesn’t know what those emails said, and then suggest some sort of “chat” connection (whatever that is)… well, I turn off TV shows that have plots like this.

    • dopeyo says:

      regarding encryption: PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) is a free, open-source encryption program which is widely available. if i want you to send me an encrypted message, i give you my “public key”, or i post it online for god and all the world to use.

      once your message arrives at my computer, i use my “private key” which i should keep secret. only a person holding the private key and read the encrypted message.

      Lamo claims he was unable to read manning’s encrypted emails, having lost the private key. so why would someone as sophisticated as Lamo leave a useless public key hanging out there?

      Unless Lamo did read the emails, and he’s pulling a cheney (the dog ate my email)?

    • Mulder says:

      Encrypted email is nothing more than a message that has been altered with a cryptographic algorithm to be unreadable without the decryption key, which only the recipient has on their computer. Anyone can do this with Public Key Encryption tools such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) or GNUPG (an open source version of PGP).

      Encryption keys are created by the programs on your computer: one “public key” which you provide to anyone you like who wants to send you encrypted email; and one “private key” which you never give out for any reason.

      When someone wants to communicate with you privately (because it’s widely believed that the NSA is still intercepting all email traffic), they use your public key to encrypt a message and send it to you; when you receive it, only your private key can decrypt it so that you can read it. As long as you use a key length of sufficient size (1024 bits or larger), it’s impossible to break that key for thousands of years, and whatever is in that message will be of no value long before that time has elapsed.

      If you were to lose your private key (maybe you had it stored on some other computer; it was stored on a flash drive and you lost it; or you lost the password for your computer and couldn’t access the key because of that); whatever the reason, you would have to generate new keys and send the new public key to everyone who already had it and tell them to delete the old one.


      • BoxTurtle says:

        I used pgp regularly for awhile. I would get a burst of bad emails everytime I changed my key, since some folks kept personal copies rather than using the public keyring. Not normally a problem, since I key the old key around for awhile.

        Sometimes, folks wouldn’t write me for months and would have a key so old that I’d have to ask them to resend with the new key.

        But something here still really stinks. If Manning had chosen to communicate encrypted, why would he suddenly feel safe talking in the clear in chat? Given how hot Lamo KNEW it was, how in the would could he have lost such a critical decrypt key?

        I think there’s a chat log out there where Lamo blows a huge cloud of smoke to Manning and convinces him somehow that cleartext is the way to go.

        Boxturtle (Another interesting question: Did the feds monitor locally or did they use their Hoover technology?)

  11. Jeff Kaye says:

    Good point. We don’t know. Our source for this is… Poulsen.

    As the staff evaluated him and adjusted his medication, a judicial officer extended his stay, and three days became nine.

    If a judicial officer extended the stay, that means that Lamo was protesting the extension, and there was a hearing. California says a patient has a “right to a hearing before a court officer if the detention lasts longer than 72 hours.” It would also mean Lamo did not with to stay longer voluntarily.

    Wavepeac @23 makes a good point about how and when they will hold someone. I know. I’ve been there trying to get someone taken in, someone frankly psychotic with a baby even, with a postpartum psychosis, and they still wouldn’t accept them. Cute, huh?

    To sagesse @33, I agree. Poulsen is not just a reporter when it comes to Lamo. His reply to Greenwald made a point, as I think EW mentioned, of avoiding the connections, for instance, with Project Vigilant. Now, why would he do that?

    Btw, the article that reports Uber’s supposed “mini-stroke” also has a correction by Lamo at the end (this on 8/1/10) in which Lamo says that he never received classified documents from Manning. Earlier, Lamo wouldn’t “confirm or deny” whether he had. Here’s how it was left:

    Lamo says Uber’s statements were the result of a misunderstanding. Lamo informed Uber in May that Manning, in his instant messenger chats with Lamo, had discussed things he’d seen on classified networks.

    “He described things that he had seen, but he did not actually send material firsthand,” says Lamo. “He characterized documents … However, it would be inaccurate to say that he sent me any documents.”

  12. marc5 says:

    This fascinating story just continues to deepen, probably to the point of infinite obfuscation. Only half in jest I’d suggest that there are Jedburgh-like entities out there muddling up the trail.

    Jedburgh: Now, you know better than anyone, cases like these are never solved. They’re simply too complicated, too much hard work. There’s a lot going on out there in this world. And you just never can connect A to B…
    Because I’m usually the guy that stops you connecting A to B. It’s part of what I do.

    (from the excellent film, “Edge of Darkness”)

    BTW EW, I have much higher regard for an informed speculation by yourself than I do for the “facts” recited by the majority of the broadcast news-readers. You and Greenwald should be well-compensated investigators for something like TRMS. At the very least.

  13. Surtt says:

    Am I the only one who thinks Lamo caught wind of Manning from Project Vigilant?
    Then made first contact with him, and maybe a little entrapment on the side?
    Something that would look bad in court and in the (real) press.
    OK, I’ll put my tinfoil hat away…

  14. Jane Hamsher says:

    One other thing, an amendment if not a sixth version. This was what Lamo told Glenn in Pt. 1 of his interview on June 17:

    GREENWALD: Okay. How, one of the things I’ve been unclear about in all of the things that I’ve read and I’ve listed to all the, or as many interviews that you’ve given that I could find is how soon after you first started chatting with him did you actually go to the authorities? Was it the same day? The next day? How much time elapsed between when he first chatted with you and the time that you contacted the federal authorities?

    LAMO: I contacted Army authorities through an intermediary late the day after, rather I got the ball rolling on that. I wanted to make sure we had the right team for the job, so I asked a friend of mine to find who at Army CID was good at this sort of investigation, who would handle it right and who would handle it sensitively.

    GREENWALD: Right, but when did you initiate that process of contacting the authorities? Was it on the same day that he first chatted with you? Was it the next day?

    LAMO: It would have been the next day since it wasn’t until at least then that it became clear how severe a circumstance I was dealing with.

    That would put his first outreach on the 22nd.

    • sagesse says:

      “We had the right team” makes it sound like Lamo is part of the larger Authority Team. Could Lamo and Poulsen both be working for the Feds all along?

  15. Ymhotep says:

    This entire matter has quieted in the press. It must not be progressing in the direction that anyone wanted it to or thought that it would. In the end it always turns out that what isn’t said or disclosed is much more important than what was. Peace

  16. orionATL says:


    you speculation here is just fine. it may be dead-on

    or dead-wrong.

    but that goes for every other speculation writ here and elsewhere about manning, lamo, paulsen, uber, rausch, hansen, ….


    never apologize for wearing a tin-hat; it’s very honorable head gear.

    i fancy it as the three-cornered hat of revolution :-) .

  17. Omooex says:

    Its not a dealbreaker for me, but I think we’d see more consistent reference to former conversations in other mediums ex…”like you told me in that email…like I told you in that email”. Its also possible that that what’s being kept out of view in the logs. But if they are a distraction from another form of communication, you’d expect to see that other form referenced pretty consistently throughout the conversation.

    As small thing, please do some proof-reading. You have a couple of obvious mistakes here that only make it more difficult to figure out a really confusing story.

  18. Surtt says:

    Don’t know if anyone is still following this thread, but…
    Lamo is obviously an unreliable witness.
    What else does the government have to charge Manning?

    • BoxTurtle says:

      They have plenty enough to hold Manning. They don’t necessarily need to charge him with anything, just be able to hold him without outside contact. They’ll do their best to keep Manning away from a judge and they’ll make sure it’s a military judge if they must permit it.

      Boxturtle (And if they lose a decision, they’ll appeal)

  19. Fractal says:

    graf 6 “four or five versions of how and through whom Manning contacted authorities” should be “four or five versions of how and through whom Lamo contacted authorities” like Isls said @21

  20. Fractal says:

    4th graf from end, 4th sentence is missing a verb in the first phrase: “Further, if Lamo some more secret part of his alleged contacts with Manning …. ” as klynn said @7

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