Lamo’s Two (?!) Laptops

In the original story about Adrian Lamo’s involuntary hospitalization, he loses his medication and calls the cops.

Last month Adrian Lamo, a man once hunted by the FBI, did something contrary to his nature. He picked up a payphone outside a Northern California supermarket and called the cops.

Someone had grabbed Lamo’s backpack containing the prescription anti-depressants he’d been on since 2004, the year he pleaded guilty to hacking The New York Times. He wanted his medication back. But when the police arrived at the Safeway parking lot it was Lamo, not the missing backpack, that interested them. Something about his halting, monotone speech, perhaps slowed by his medication, got the officers’ attention.

But in Ryan Singel’s telling of it, Lamo lost his laptop.

For instance, you make it sound creepy that Poulsen wrote a long profile about Lamo. Huh. Read the story again. Basically, it goes like this. A convicted hacker, now gone legit, calls the police to report a stolen laptop. When the police arrive, instead of focussing on the crime, they 5150 the victim.

I find that rather interesting for several reasons.

First, because the larger story ends with Lamo losing his laptop, too.

Agents from the Army’s criminal and counter-intelligence units and the Diplomatic Security Service met with Lamo on Friday night, Lamo said. The agents asked for files related to the communications between him and Manning, Lamo said, and he gave them a laptop and the hard drive from another laptop, as well as encrypted e-mails that had been stored on a remote server. Lamo said he is scheduled to give a sworn statement to authorities on Sunday.

So is the laptop the authorities took (and the hard drive from another one) a new laptop, purchased to replace the one that got taken? Another one that Lamo had lying about at home?

And then there’s this detail: the PGP key Lamo “no longer had access to” when Bradley Manning first tried to contact Lamo via encrypted email.

GREENWALD: And so the first contact he made with you, was that be email or was that some other way?

LAMO: [Sound of rustling papers] First contact was by email.

GREENWALD: And can you tell me generally what he said?

LAMO: I can’t unfortunately. It’s cryptographically impossible since he encrypted it to an outdated PGP key of mine.

GREENWALD: So were you unable to understand what he said in that first email?

LAMO: Correct. First, second, and third at the very least. I get a lot of random email and the hassle of decrypting it even if I had the key would be enough to push it back about a week or so in my “to read” stack.

GREENWALD: Right. So when you got this email that you were incapable of deciphering did you respond to him in some way, or what did you do?

LAMO: I ignored it for the first couple of hours and then I received a few subsequent emails and then I finally replied, “Hey I can’t read your emails encrypted to a PGP key I no longer have access to. Why don’t we chat via AOL IM instead?”

And finally there are the number of hackers who have had their laptops confiscated (though usually as part of a border crossing) of late.

It’s just a data point. But the story of Lamo being involuntarily hospitalized in response to reporting having his laptop taken is a whole lot different than it is if he has just had his drugs taken away.

143 replies
  1. wavpeac says:

    Yah, but you dont’ hospitalize someone because they are speaking monotone? or have a flat affect? You don’t hospitalize them for slurring their words. If you found them near dead or unable to walk? yes perhaps. But we called the police on drunks in our inner city office who could not function well enough to get home and the cops simply gave em a ride home.

    Neither story works. I don’t see any legitimate reason to hold, given this story. Missing lap top seems most plausible but then it means the scariest of propositions for Lamo and Manning. If he was just your average Joe, behaving in this way, they would not hold him. I just can’t see it.

  2. Margaret says:

    This is like a covered garbage pit. The more you dig, the more it stinks. I wonder if there is a police report available?
    And Asperger’s? Give me a break! I’ve got Asperger’s, almost as badly as it’s possible for one to have it yet I’ve somehow remained uninstitutionalized and remarkably web crime free. Go figure.
    And when you count the second hard drive, that’s three laptops total.

      • Margaret says:

        So is the laptop the authorities took (and the hard drive from another one)

        I took that to mean a hard drive from another laptop. It could have been an external device but that isn’t what’s indicated.

    • Phill says:

      My standard travel kit is A MacBook Air, an iPad and an iPhone. On longer trips I take a Kindle as well. I almost always take at least one external drive. For several years I would travel with both a company laptop and a personal one.

      There are really many reasons to be suspicious of Lamo’s story. But it is not at all surprising for a hacker to have two laptops or replace a stolen one immediately. Netbooks are dirt cheap these days.

      What I do find rather odd here is the allegation that the FBI would take away property from someone who has volunteered as an informer. Seems to be a bit of a disincentive no? Why would the FBI require a forensic examination?

      Another peculiarity is the idea that a ‘journalist’ takes making statements on the record to be permission to engage in an FBI sting on the source?

      Lamo’s claims regarding the agreement to not talk off the record are not backed up anywhere in the released chats. And Wired’s claims to be protecting their source seem rather hollow here when they seem to have been involved in putting Manning in jail. Lamo seems to be claiming to be a journalist. So how can he be claiming protection as a source?

      Lets just consider for a moment what Wired would have had for a scoop if Manning had not been arrested: Some chat room conversations with a guy who claims to be the source.

      Manning’s arrest greatly increased the value of the Wired story, it took it from a non-story to a scoop. And Wired is making assertions that can only be substantiated by evidence that they refuse to release.

      Wired’s claim to be protecting Manning’s privacy rings rather hollow when their collaborator put him in prison. They don’t seem to have troubled much about his privacy in the earlier releases.

      It is about time to start asking these questions of the Conde Nast management.

  3. sagesse says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if Lamo is as mentally messed up as is recounted in article after article. There have been many articles over the years, that lay out a narrative of excuses, or interject odd quirks that give Lamo an “out” into everything Lamo is claimed to have been up to. Everything from hacking into computers (he’s only doing it to show the vulnerabilities and Oh he fixed some things in the system for them while he was poking around in there looking at your phone records) to personal beliefs about blood citing the book of Genesis (which just happens to be a prohibition that Jehovah’s witnesses have), and if he’s a baptized Witness, then from what I can tell poking around the internet, he can claim to be an ordained minister … You just start wondering how messed up, flaky, quirky, and excuse-laden anyone can be.

    • Margaret says:

      Like I said, I have Asperger’s and didn’t know it until I was almost 50. I had to overcome a whole lot from a bad stutter to an ongoing hatred of social situations. It’s a real problem but real problems can very quickly turn into a fucking excuse. From what I’ve read, Lamo leaped across that line long ago. Somebody diagnosed him with Asperger’s Syndrome and now he’s got a convenient excuse for any behavior. Just like when Cartman told everybody he had Tourette’s.

      • sagesse says:

        He may well have Asperger’s, but story lines and narratives have been created around him, nearly all laid out by Poulsen, for a decade now. An image has been created. And it continues up to the present. I think Manning was ensnared, and Lamo is much more capable than we are now being led to believe.

        • Margaret says:

          I think Manning was ensnared, and Lamo is much more capable than we are now being led to believe.

          Yes and yes. And the government agencies involved are showing their usual stumbling, Keystone Kops absolute inability to come up with a reasonable sounding fiction. Heck, I need a job. I can put something together that’s not only plausible but would provide deniability and withstand scrutiny. That is if I could live with my conscience.

          • PeasantParty says:

            See! That conscience thing gets in the way of most people. I know that there are some good/moral intelligence people. I think they are brainwashed as well into falling for the official story fed to them.

                • Margaret says:

                  ??? It’s in the post:

                  Someone had grabbed Lamo’s backpack containing the prescription anti-depressants he’d been on since 2004, the year he pleaded guilty to hacking The New York Times. He wanted his medication back.

                  I don’t know that it was prozac, I was using your word. When I said he took his prozac it was based on:

                  But when the police arrived at the Safeway parking lot it was Lamo, not the missing backpack, that interested them. Something about his halting, monotone speech, perhaps slowed by his medication, got the officers’ attention.

                  • Cerberus says:

                    Prozac doesn’t work that way; It builds up in the blood, so you don’t get immediate gratification from it (it’s useless as a recreational drug), and you don’t get some immediate effect from missing your dose, either.

                    If his voice was slurred and otherwise “druggy”, it has to be a different drug. He may be on anti-psychotics, and they papered over that to (a) protect Lamo’s privacy, and (b) protect Lamo’s credibility. There are so many obvious lies in what we’ve been told that this one wouldn’t even register.

                    The cops wouldn’t care about the theft of some Prozac, but I’m sure there’s some anti-psychotic drugs which they’d really prefer to keep of the street.

                    Even garden-variety tranquilizers could’ve caused him to appear spacey to the cops.

                    • Margaret says:

                      Prozac doesn’t work that way; It builds up in the blood, so you don’t get immediate gratification from it (it’s useless as a recreational drug), and you don’t get some immediate effect from missing your dose, either.

                      It was a JOKE! I won’t make another since apparently I’m no good at it.

  4. cathy says:

    I suspect we will never get to the bottom of this. Too many people have a reason to not tell the truth, many who have a lot of power to keep things secret.

  5. SanderO says:

    I urge everyone to listen to the Bonnie Faulkner – Guns and Butter show (air this AM on – available from their archives) which deals with mind control and manipulation. If the doctor she interviews is even half correct it explains a lot of bizarre behavior out there.

  6. SanderO says:

    Much of what we “know” via the media is “created” much like a movie to create narratives, and influence people. See “Century of the Self” by Adam Curtis – BBC production.

  7. Cerberus says:

    I agree that the Lamo story stinks more the one digs into it (and most folks’ eyes glaze over at the very first twist in a rather complicated set of prevarications and unexplained circumstances), but it’s hardly shocking for someone in high-tech in any capacity (and Lamo certainly is that) to have multiple laptops.

    I have 4, 3 of which I’m used to swapping hard disks in and out of for different reasons. I had 5 when I still had the company laptop. That’s not especially hardcore or anything; the thing is, when you buy a new laptop, there’s no reason to get rid of the last one, and its resale value is comical. So you keep it around, maybe stick Linux on it and run a personal website on it, or it becomes the laptop you keep in the car, or it just sits in a closet until someone steals your regular laptop.

    It’s just not suspicious in and of itself.

      • sagesse says:

        From the first Poulsen article Marcy linked to:

        Lamo thinks Asperger’s might explain his knack for slipping into corporate networks — he usually operated with little more than a web browser and a lot of hunch work. “I have always maintained that what I did isn’t necessarily technical, it’s about seeing things differently,” he says. “So if my brain is wired differently, that makes sense.”

        One wonders if it isn’t “seeing things differently”, but instead Lamo having had “help” from handlers in breaking in in the first place (though I have read that his hacks were clumsy). But what better a Frontman than someone who could fall back on a laundry list of excuses?

        I know nothing about this computer stuff, but I sure don’t know how the folks who subscribed to Wired over the years could stand reading these sappy Poulsen articles.

        • Cujo359 says:

          Having had to worry about computer security for a time, I can tell you that there are nearly always back doors available thanks to the carelessness of people who use those computers. Poorly-chosen passwords are one such thing. There are rules about what to use, and if you make everyone choose good passwords, eventually someone will write it down and stick it to his terminal, or under his keyboard. Later on, they’ll throw that little sticky note into the trash.

          In short, people don’t “hack into” computers the way you see it done on TV very often. Usually, it’s a case of boring detective work. I suspect that people with OCD or Asperger’s might have an advantage there.

          I have no trouble believing that Lamo got into the NYT computers on his own. Given enough time and determination, it’s almost certainly possible.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Confiscation of a laptop and involuntary confinement to a mental hospital sound so boringly Russian. The lack of originality suggests we’re getting poor value for our espionage and national security dollar.

  9. Humanist says:

    Just a few minutes ago, I posted something that is relevant to the laptops and any information they may contain that pertains to the Manning and Assange cases.

    Excerpts from the post, with a bracketed Note added:

    Based on the document linked and referenced below, it appears that hearsay evidence and certain other evidence is not allowed at a U. S. military court martial, but it may be allowed at the Article 32 pre-trial hearing, pursuant to Section D(2) [see conclusion].

    In addition, according to the referenced document, it appears that the alleged Manning-Lamo instant-message chat logs cannot be introduced as evidence at the pre-trial hearing [Note: and cannot be introduced at a court martial], pursuant to Section D (2) Rule 305.

    I am not a lawyer, and it would be helpful if a criminal defense lawyer, especially a military defense lawyer, expressed an informed opinion about this point.

    • bmaz says:

      Just subpoena the live witnesses, i.e. Lamo, his wife etc. Manning will not be taking the stand, but you can sure get most all of what you would need out of the others.

  10. jameshester12 says:

    SanderO # 16
    Thanks for sharing information on BBC Doc “Century of Self”. Look forward to see more sharing of knowledge among FDL folks.

  11. bgrothus says:

    So what did he say in the halting monotone? Did he say he worked for the government, was involved in spying or what? It seems like he must have really said some crazy shit to be picked up and committed. Are the arrest records public? Redacted?

    • yellowsnapdragon says:

      I had similar thoughts. But, as noted above by commenters who know a lot more than I do about 5150s…it seems that he needed to be a danger to himself or others to be committed.

  12. Ymhotep says:

    This puts me in mind of John P. O’Neil’s ‘lost’ briefcase. O’Neil worked for the FBI for 25 years before he was fired in late Auguast 2001. He was an Assistant Director and the agencies top antiterrorism expert who knew everything there was to know about Osama bin Laden. O’Neil ‘lost’ his briefcase while attending a conference in NYC in early August, 2001. In that briefcase, among other things, was a “description of every counterespionage and counterterrorism program in New York.” The briefcase was later ‘found’. O’Neil was fired in late August, 2001 by the FBI, but on August 23rd he started his new job with Kroll Associates (check this group out) who were in charge of security at the WTC. O’Neil died on September 11, 2001 in the WTC attack. All coincidence I’m sure. Peace

  13. sagesse says:

    And I wonder where THIS Lamo Laptop is now:

    In the second part, Lamo reads like he has an e-mail from Assange.

    • Humanist says:

      I wondered about that also.

      It is not certain what the correct dates are for:
      (1) the alleged first and last Internet communication between Lamo and Manning, either by Instant Messages or by email messages;
      (2) the alleged confiscation of the Lamo laptop(s) and hard drive, for each and every such laptop or hard drive;
      (3) the alleged emails between Assange to Lamo;
      (4) the alleged communication of all kinds between Lamo and anyone at from before Manning first communicated with Lamo up to the current date;
      (5) Manning was first detained and interviewed by the military police;
      (6) Manning was arrested by the military police;
      (7) Manning was transferred to the Marine Base Quantico Confinement Facility; and
      (8) Manning first communicated with his civilian lawyer, David Coombs.

      • Fractal says:

        Your (5) and (6) are critical dates, which we still don’t know. Those dates would also shed light on whether and when CID and/or Army counter-intelligence began surveillance of Manning before his arrest or interview by MPs or CID.

  14. Ymhotep says:

    Then there’s the matter of who forged the yellow cake documents that helped grease our way into a war with Iraq. Was it the Italians? The CIA? Or maybe it was Israel? Perhaps a combination of these groups? Peace

  15. lsls says:

    As I understand it, according to Assange, they received the documents via an anonymous method, and he didn’t know who Manning was at the time. Lamo seems to be in constant damage control mode…hiding out in the mental institution so that he can plead insane or something like that. He’s a hacker first and foremost…who’s to say that he wasn’t the one who hacked the documents himself, submitted them anonymously to WL, and blamed Manning after the fact….Has Manning ever admitted to actually “stealing” the documents other than via Lamo’s mouth? He hasn’t been charged with anything.

          • bmaz says:

            Wikileaks was NOT particularly “obscure” at all to people involved in the area of governmental information trafficking. And, obviously, he would have picked it for its discreet nature and ability to make anonymous submissions. Exactly what Wikileaks has touted for years.

            • teqwi says:


              By the time Manning’s conscience was on fire, WikiLeaks had already published half a million 9/11 intercepts, a NATO report on civilian deaths in Afghanistan, a CIA logbook of briefings conducted for members of Congress on the subject of torture, an archive of court filings against Blackwater for war crimes, wrongful death, and summary execution, and other documents that created enough of a stir for it to have been difficult for Manning, doing the kind of work he was doing and where he was doing it, to have not heard of WikiLeaks.

              Assange himself had stepped forward by then as the “face” of WikiLeaks, as well, and had received the Economist Index on Censorship Award in 2008 and the Amnesty International Media Award in 2009, raising his visibility.

        • sona says:

          they dealt with corruption in kenya that netted him a human rights award and of course, there were the climategate ems from the university of east anglia, uk

          he also published heaps of stuff on pentagon procurement policies

          depends where you are coming from but some people have been aware of wikileaks since 2006

  16. Calamar says:

    Has everyone read Kaepora’s / Nadim Kobeissi’s logs on Lamo’s drug problems?

    According to Greenwald, Nadim’s a longtime friend (and he’s the one who provided the June 2010 Poulsen/Lamo photo from Lamo’s Facebook page). He also recently registered this domain name:

    Nadim: Why he was getting so distant and hard to reach
    Nadim: He was such a conversationalist when I first met him!
    Lauren: he is very very VERY private about his personal lfie.
    Lauren: life”
    Nadim: I trust him to be
    Lauren: he has a persona, “Adrian Lamo” he thinks he must keep up.
    Nadim: I know about that.
    Nadim: God damn it
    Nadim: Such a spirit
    Nadim: It’s just ugly
    Nadim: Such a spirit to have a flaw so tragic and at the same time so meaningless
    Nadim: Why prescription drugs???
    Nadim: I understand the exact name of the drugs ought to be private info, but could you at least tell me what the drugs did?
    Nadim: I mean, were they painkillers? amphetamines? what?
    Lauren: It’s hard to explain, he is very sensitive and in touch with every part of his body, down to the pulses in his brain and the nerve endings… the meds he takes he regulates it all but its just too much.
    Nadim: Ah
    Nadim: There were 2600 articles published about “hacking your brain” with certain “boosting” medications
    Nadim: Is this related?
    Lauren: It has crippled him, into living like this, and without these meds, he can’t function, or so he thinks.
    Lauren: I suppose.
    Lauren: The first and only time he ever stayed at my parents home in phoenix he stole a bunch of my mothers medication (one that he too happened to be taking normally) and gave us quite a scare in the morning.
    Nadim: Adrian doesn’t trust people, but makes his entire functioning dependent on drugs?

  17. Fractal says:

    I cannot keep track of the multiple laptops/hard drives, and I’m not sure why we care about those. Marcy’s first graf tells me that Wired’s May 2010 story was BS. Nobody taking important meds makes their first call to the cops if their meds are stolen or missing, they call their shrink/pharmacy/clinic. I don’t believe Lamo called the cops. The Wired link implies the threatlevel article was published in May 2010, and referred to Lamo supposedly having his backpack stolen “last month,” i.e. April 2010. Did the “cops” find the backpack? Several of us think we need to see the original police reports (Margaret @2, bgrothus @39).

  18. buckinnm says:

    I believe that someone mispelled the name of Lame-o instead of Lamo. These garbled reports causes me to wonder who is lying and why.

  19. pdaly says:

    WRT Ryan Singel. I find it useful to mention that Ryan Singel works at Wired as well. (I’m not as familiar yet with the names in this evolving story, so I had to look him up)

    Otherwise Singel’s mention of a stolen laptap precipitating Lamo’s call to the police in front of Safeway in April 2010 (instead of the ‘loss of antidepressants’ as is in Poulsen’s article in Wired, dated 5/20/2010 discussing Lamo’s newly diagnosed Asperger’s syndrome), leading to the cops taking Lamo to the hospital comes across as a possible innocent confabulation, on Singel’s part, of several stories.

    Because Ryan Singel works at Wired, is it possible Ryan knows that Lamo’s laptop computer was stolen in April 2010?

    In looking through the Poulsen Wired article May 20, 2010, I noticed that there are no laptops in the photo (dated May 12, 2010) of Lamo in his parents’ house in Carmichael, CA: there is 1 Lamo on the desk top, 2 computer monitors (one of them looks like an iMac G4 so the monitor is probably also the computer), 1 computer tower, 3 keyboards, 2 computer mouses, and 2 phone/faxes, or at least 1 phone fax and a separate funky looking telephone), 1 coffee mug, and lots of wires/cables.

    According to the FDL timeline, Manning contacts Lamo on or around May 20, 2010. If Lamo is using the computers he is photographed with on May 12, 2010 then those interactions could be on those desk top computers. Of course, Lamo could have laptops out of view of the photo, but then why pose with desktops on a desk top if desktops are not the tools of his trade?

    Friday, June 11, 2010 the FBI takes Lamo’s laptop, harddrive from another laptop, and encrypted emails stored on a remote server according to the June 13, 2010 CBS article emptywheel linked to above in the main post:

    Agents from the Army’s criminal and counter-intelligence units and the Diplomatic Security Service met with Lamo on Friday night, Lamo said. The agents asked for files related to the communications between him and Manning, Lamo said, and he gave them a laptop and the hard drive from another laptop, as well as encrypted e-mails that had been stored on a remote server.

    Does Lamo live with his parents? When the CBS article states Lamo met with the FBI at Starbucks and then had them come to ‘his home’ in Carmichael, CA are they going to a separate place than that pictured 5/12/2010 in the May 2010 Wired article?

  20. passepartout says:

    The 5150 incident is either (1) substantially different from what Lamo describes or (2) a total fiction.

    It should also be verifiable, to some extent, by public records. If the police were called, there would be a record of this. Lamo was allegedly detained in Carmichael, CA which is served by the Sacramento County Sheriffs. Even if the sheriffs did not arrest anyone, there is a record of the call and some details of how the call was handled.

    In the Wired account, Lamo says the ‘police’ called an ambulance. Also a matter of record: was an ambulance called to the Safeway parking lot and by whom? LE would call whichever service has 911 contracts in the area and let me make this clear: if LE called 911/FD about a person with no more serious symptoms than monotone speech, the fur would fly between PD and FD. You do not waste the FD’s time with this nonsense.

    (Police/LE do not call ambulances for people under these circumstances. Ever. EMS doesn’t transport patients who are cognizant and refuse treatment. Ever — unless the techs want to lose their licenses and face huge lawsuits.)

    CA is a patient’s rights state. If you are oriented to person (you know your name), place (where you are) and time (what day it is), you have the right to refuse any and all medical treatment. Any and all. If LE or an ambo transports you against your will, it’s false imprisonment and kidnapping. But again, if this incident actually happened, an ambulance company would have a record of the call (and you can release details about the location of a call) and there would be a run ticket at the ER as well.

    Also, please understand that if LE detains you (against your will) and calls an ambo for you, they are responsible for you. If the patient has been arrested, the police are bound by law to take the patient in for medical treatment. They have to accompany you to the ER and stay with you. LE doesn’t like to do this. It’s a big friggin’ waste of their time, standing on the wall at the ER for hours and hours. In Lamo’s case, there was no arrest so it is completely unbelievable that LE would fritter away the day acting as mental health advocates for an unwilling, alert-and-oriented patient with no acute health issues.

    Getting a 5150 is no easy feat, even under the gravest of conditions, even with a compliant patient. Psych beds are scarce and hospitals are loathe to fill them except in emergencies (Currently, it’s about 30 pages of paperwork to admit any patient to a hospital in CA. Admissions take hours and hours and the waiting patients clog up the ERs.) I’ve seen psychotic adults with serious medical histories turned down for 5150s, no matter how much their distraught family begs. Same for seriously impaired individuals (drugs, whatever). As long as they are cognizant and can say ‘no’, it’s their right to refuse treatment.

    The 5250 is equally unlikely. Lamo had family in the area, Asberger’s doesn’t require any acute treatment interventions, Lamo claims he didn’t want to stay in the hospital. Simply put, there is no reason why anyone with legal or medical standing would want to extend his hold. It’s next to impossible to get a 5250 for a non-compliant psychotic who has been back on meds for 72 hours. The psychotic is now able to consent, so no means no. The idea that a high-functioning Asperger’s patient with family in the area would be held for nine extra days is something out of a James Frey memoir. It didn’t happen, at least not the way Lamo claims.

    The details of these legal/medical incidents could be verified to some extent. Who called ‘the police’ to the Safeway (if this is a 911 call, there’s a record and ‘police’ responded, according to Lamo, as if it was 911 — otherwise they’d ask you to come in and fill out a report)? Who called an ambulance? Was a ‘white male 30s’ transported and to where?

    And why was all of the above a necessary prelude to the Manning story?

    • Calamar says:

      Check out the log in my post above. If Nadim (Lamo’s friend) and Lauren (Lamo’s ex) are trustworthy, then Lamo was totally incoherent the morning he left his parents’ house, and his parents called the paramedics and firefighters (unless I’m misinterpreting this?). I suppose it’s possible that Lamo independently called the police, but his word doesn’t seem particularly trustworthy.

      Lauren: His family was so worried they called the paramedics/firefighters to where they knew he was hanging out, since he decided to choose the highway when they asked him, adrian please let us help you with your medications.
      or we will not give them to you to administer on your own.
      Lauren: so he filled a final rx he had money for at the rite-aid pharmacy and was found just taking them like candy.
      Lauren: he was just like… oh.
      Lauren: i found him, when i picked him up that morning, lying on the floor, twisted up as if he had fallen and dropped dead, in his clothes on his wires and tech. just down. drooling. from being so gone.
      Lauren: i shook him and shook him, he would wake up and go huh, and then drop his head hard back on the carpet.
      Lauren: and fall asleep again.
      Lauren: the people at the clinic were mocking him, acting drunk and play swaying, and humiliating me. (and him, but he would never know)
      Lauren: I told him via text how it humiliated me and he got mad and said i say the harshest things.

      • passepartout says:

        There’s nothing here that makes sense. Lamo is an adult. He’s not in (court-ordered) custodial care. His meds are his property. He can take them how he likes.

        (In the real world of EMS, you’d discourage the patient from eating meds like candy, you’d try to get him to surrender the meds but because you can’t take them away from him, if you really want to transport him, you have to wait until he passes out or becomes unable to consent. Then you can transport him because it’s now become a case of implied consent.)

        I don’t know that any 911-affiliated FD/EMS/PD would act on a call like this. Lamo would not a missing person, he’s not a minor, there is no crime in progress and the caller isn’t even at the scene. If you don’t believe me, pick up the phone and call 911. Tell the operator that you think your friend/family member is at the Safeway and might not be taking his medication properly. Tell them you’d like paramedics, fire and police to go out there ASAP. Good luck!

        I don’t get the rambling about passing out and the clinic. If Lamo passed out and was unresponsive or not able to give consent, then an ambulance would transport him to the ER. But this is a very different situation than what Lamo reported to Poulsen for the Wired piece.

        As for people making fun of him at the clinic, this is just not how legitimate medical facilities work. It sounds like Fantasy Land is getting close to capacity with Lamo and his buddies.

        • Calamar says:

          I’m not necessarily endorsing the interpretation in the Nadim log, but could it still be technically true? Maybe the parents did panic and call 911, but the paramedics didn’t actually respond (or maybe there was some altercation, and they did). Or maybe he checked himself in?

          As for the claims about her experience at the clinic, she could have asked about his behavior, and maybe someone gave an impression that she found offensive? And she said “people at the clinic” — not even necessarily medical professionals.

          Here’s a photo of his hospital bracelet:

          (Google says that Dr. Rajdeep Ranade of Woodland, CA is a psychiatrist.)

          • passepartout says:

            I have no idea what’s true or what’s real in this story.

            What’s very clear is that not all of these stories can be true — either because they have conflicting details or because things just don’t happen as described.

            I’d start by confirming whatever details exist with LE and EMS. If the very basics (calls, locations, transport) don’t fit with the Lamo/Poulsen story, then there’s not a whole lot of credibility left for either party.

            Also, it’s a little odd that someone would post a photo on Flickr of their hospital ID bracelet with confidential info on it at all, let alone toas proof of their admission to a psych ward. What would be the point of that?

    • Fractal says:

      just outstanding work. Thank you very much. Looks like the end-of-year wrapup from Lake dwellers is gonna bring me up to speed on this farce.

  21. Cerberus says:

    Can one of the many legal eagles here answer a fairly simple question for me?

    We know about the repressive conditions Manning is being held under because someone (House?) visited him and talked to him about it.

    Is there some obvious reason related either to the conditions of Manning’s incarceration (and his ability to receive visitors) or the likely nature of Manning’s defense that would prevent Manning from answering some of these questions?

    Would Manning going on record about his early contacts with Lamo, for example, preclude entire avenues of defense? It seems to me the only obvious avenue of defense it closes off would be if Manning planned to claim that the government has no admissible evidence that he contacted Lamo at all, and so wouldn’t want to provide them with an effective confession of that.

    Or would his lawyer have simply told him to shut up about the details of the case on general principles?

    • streamfortyseven says:

      His lawyer would have told him to shut up about the case for any number of really good reasons. I tell my clients not only to not talk about their case, I tell them to take down (preferably) or make private and sanitize their facebook/myspace/assorted social network pages, because that’s often one of the first things the DA looks at. I carry along my Ipad with 3G to the first interview, too, so I can check things out as they’re talking.

      • bmaz says:

        No kidding. Until I know exactly what the government has and where they are coming from, I often don’t even want my client talking to me, much less anybody else. The second your client opens his mouth is the second your ability to shape and control the defense starts getting boxed in and restricted.

    • Cerberus says:

      “That’s not exactly something an ordinary person would distinguish at first glance as being “my old block of PGP gibberish” rather than “my new block of PGP gibberish”.”

      If you’re a genuine top-rank hacker, and you never had too many different PGP keys, you might very well recognize the key.

      However, he wouldn’t need to recognize the key by just looking at it. It would show up as invalid the moment he tried to run it through his decrypting software.

      AND, what’s absurd is the notion that he “no longer has access” to his older key. I don’t use PGP keys, but I’m fairly certain that the private key would be just another string of characters. It’s *absurd* that he wouldn’t have access to older keys.

      If he’d said, “that’s an older key that I no longer use”, that’s different, except then, the proper response is to send him a copy of the key you’re *currently using*, not offer to chat unencrypted over IM.

      That offer would’ve set off all sorts of alarms were I in Manning’s shoes, and apparently he (or whoever was pretending to be him) was quite concerned with security and rightly so. So this is all quite fishy indeed.

      In fact, the scenario as stated beggars an already impoverished imagination.

      • dopeyo says:

        a ‘sore thumb’ item: lamo claims that manning’s first communications to him couldn’t be decrypted, and so lamo asked manning to switch to clear-text chats.

        PGP not only provides privacy, it also can be used to authenticate the sender. (ask phil katz how this works, i can’t explain it. oops, too late.)

        clear-text messages can be authored anyone, routed thru proxies and anonymizers. once someone knew the content of manning’s encrypted emails, that someone could go online and masquerade as manning. is there any way to know that wired’s logs are not fabrications?

        until manning announces that yes, he did have those conversations with lamo, should we trust anything in the logs? and is there something in those logs that identifies them as fabrications, precluding their release?

        in the meantime, if manning breaks in solitary confinement and implicates assange in a prosecutable offense, does lamo matter anymore? once assange is in custody, it doesn’t matter how he was trapped, he’ll be incapacitated for years. message to would-be wikileakers: we will find you and we will make your life hell.

      • Legion303 says:

        “AND, what’s absurd is the notion that he ‘no longer has access’ to his older key. I don’t use PGP keys, but I’m fairly certain that the private key would be just another string of characters. It’s *absurd* that he wouldn’t have access to older keys.”

        Not at all. All implementations of PGP have a means of key revocation, to invalidate old or compromised keys. Once you revoke it, it’s useless.

  22. seedydoor says:

    This part seems a little odd:

    LAMO: Correct. First, second, and third at the very least. I get a lot of random email and the hassle of decrypting it even if I had the key would be enough to push it back about a week or so in my “to read” stack.

    GREENWALD: Right. So when you got this email that you were incapable of deciphering did you respond to him in some way, or what did you do?

    LAMO: I ignored it for the first couple of hours and then I received a few subsequent emails and then I finally replied, “Hey I can’t read your emails encrypted to a PGP key I no longer have access to. Why don’t we chat via AOL IM instead?”

    So messing around with encrypted emails is time-consuming for Lamo and he might not get around to it for a week or so under ordinary circumstances. Yet here he decides to take a look within a couple of hours and he looks closely enough to notice that the PGP key is outdated. PGP-signed emails contain keys that look like this:

    Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.8 for non-commercial use
    (a bunch more lines)

    That’s not exactly something an ordinary person would distinguish at first glance as being “my old block of PGP gibberish” rather than “my new block of PGP gibberish”. You’d probably need to pull up a copy of each key and check to see which is which. It seems notable that Lamo took such a quick interest in these particular emails despite his claim that he ordinarily sits on them for a few days.

    It also seems questionable that anyone would accept an (unencrypted) AOL IM conversation as a reasonable alternative for discussing a topic that otherwise required encrypted emails, but that’s another discussion.

    • lsls says:

      “I ignored it for the first couple of hours and then I received a few subsequent emails”

      Maybe the subsequent emails that prompted him to respond, were not from Manning.

    • Humanist says:

      Lamo reportedly claims that his laptop was stolen, and this occurred in April or early May, 2010. Reportedly, the first date of the alleged Manning/Lamo Instant Message chat and chat logs is May 21, 2010. For this purpose, the phrase “Instant Message” includes Twitter Tweets, AOL IM (AIM) or any other Internet Instant-Message application.

      In the Greenwald interview with Lamo,LAMO says: I ignored it for the first couple of hours and then I received a few subsequent emails and then I finally replied, “Hey I can’t read your emails encrypted to a PGP key I no longer have access to. Why don’t we chat via AOL IM instead?”

      The key phrase here is: Your email is encrypted to a PGP [Pretty Good Privacy freeware encryption application] key I no longer have access to.

      If that is true, then maybe Lamo no longer has access to it, because it is on the hard drive of his laptop or the second hard drive that were confiscated a week or more earlier.

      Another point is that Lamo’s ex-wife told his erstwhile friend, Nadim (sp?), that Lamo’s version of his visit and stay at the clinic that was reported by his friend Poulsen in Wired or ThreatLevel, was a cover story for his involuntary institutionalized for drug rehab, not for Asperger’s syndrome.

      A minor point, Lamo reportedly alleges that Manning sent him multiple emails that were encrypted. This suggests that the complete email message was contained in the body of the email, and there were no attachments. So there probably was not much text in the introductory emails from Manning, and most like no attached U.S. State Department cables to or from foreign U.S. embassies or consulates.

  23. BeachPopulist says:

    Any bets on when/if we’ll see this kind of analysis and info on the MSM? My bet is, Lamo — now that he has an established history of mental illness — will commit suicide.

    Probably by shooting himself in the back of the head three times.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see others, like the guy at Wired, become the victims of bizarre holiday accidents. You know, like freezing to death on vacation in the Bahamas.

  24. teqwi says:

    Gotta ask a question: Is Lamo employed? Or was he employed at the time he was first dealing with U.S. gov investigators re: Manning?

    (Yeah, I’m not yet sold on his actually having turned Manning in. That may be or he may have been set on Manning after Manning became a “person of interest” through some other chain of events. Hard to believe anything Lamo says.)

    At one point, I thought Lamo was employed by Project Vigilant, but PV people refer to him as a volunteer and say theirs is an all-volunteer organization that runs on about $40k a year, total.

    That he’s posting his hospital bracelet online and seeking publicity for his hospitalization would seem to indicate few aspirations for traditional employment.

    By no means are all informants paid – most, in fact, are not. But scuzzy shock jock Hal Turner claims he raked in $100k being a race-baiter for the FBI. Has me wondering.

  25. john in sacramento says:

    Last month Adrian Lamo, a man once hunted by the FBI, did something contrary to his nature. He picked up a payphone outside a Northern California supermarket and called the cops. …

    I know that Safeway; 4040 Manzanita Blvd, Carmichael Ca. I almost stopped in there last Sunday to check out the wifi coverage

  26. dopeyo says:

    i see a much clearer explanation for the stolen laptop.

    lamo’s friends at project vigilant got wind of his early exchanges with manning, and they passed word up the line about someone (not yet known to be manning) leaking classified info from iraq. some feds got very curious, and send contractors to follow lamo. at the convenience store, lamo dropped his guard and his backpack was taken for a quick peek / drive imaging. (takes about 30-60 minutes).

    at this point, lamo has a dilemma: that’s his damn laptop and he wants it back. but it has quite a lot of incriminating info on it. does he call the police and report the theft? he’s getting more and upset. the second spook doses lamo with a tranquillizer, intending to knock him down for several hours while the stolen laptop is cloned and abandoned in an obvious place.

    unfortunately, lamo has been experimenting with ‘brain-tuners’ and suffers a very bad drug interaction. lamo is taken to a hospital, observed, then transported to a psych facility.

    the irony is that the private contractor spooks sent out to snatch lamo’s laptop don’t realize that he owns several laptops, and the manning material isn’t on his daily-use laptop. and lamo is so disoriented that he can’t tell anyone where the laptop / hard drive with the manning materials is.

    after a few days, the private spooks search lamo’s residence (actually his parents’), copy the drives, and return the hardware. lamo probably encrypts his entire hard drive, so those have to be decrypted by brute force at a location in maryland. (unless there were a back-door on the encryption software…..)

    once lamo is stabilized and released, he ‘delivers’ the actual hardware to the feds to cover for their mistakes. his compliance is probably in response to evidence of other illegal activities found on those laptops.

    so, the occam summary:
    lamo brags about catching a leaker. feds steal the wrong laptop. feds dose lamo with the wrong drug. lamo leaves evidence of a felony on his stay-at-home laptop, which the feds discover and use for leverage.

    whew! that’s a long conspiracy theory, but it involves vanity, stupidity and bureaucracy. no mossad agents were harmed in the production of this conspiracy theory.

    • Jeff Kaye says:

      A possible scenario, but I have some problems.

      One, we don’t really know any laptop was stolen. Only Singel mentions that in passing. Does Singel stick by this story, or was he mistaken and conflating different events when he wrote that? That’s a real big issue number one.

      Number two, according to the “Lauren” chat logs, it was Adrian’s parents, worried about his drug use and mental deterioration that called authorities on their son.

      I am not above thinking Lamo was drugged above and beyond his own actions, and one does wonder how it was he ever got hospitalized in the first place. I’d put high priority on getting that initial police incident report, if it can be obtained.

  27. xrayspecs says:

    But the story of Lamo being involuntarily hospitalized in response to reporting having his laptop taken is a whole lot different than it is if he has just had his drugs taken away.

    How so? Don’t leave us hanging.

  28. Omooex says:

    Two things come to mind here that are mutually exclusive. In the first scenario, this could explain how Lamo lost his encryption key–if he had it saved on his laptop–if that is in fact true, and his communications with Manning began in May. Although the fact that he didn’t mention this as the reason he lost his key, makes it less interesting. He could have pinned it on the theft at any time and come off more believable.

    This is the far-outer part: that Lamo’s exchange with Manning began earlier via email, and Lamo staged the theft of his laptop to hide the emails. No laptop, no subpoena of laptop. Lamo is over-medicated, and lying anyway, and blows it, however.

  29. passepartout says:

    one does wonder how it was he ever got hospitalized in the first place. I’d put high priority on getting that initial police incident report, if it can be obtained.

    Exactly. The Carmichael CA police blotter is sort of available at this Zirana page but the records end shortly before Lamo’s alleged detention. Often the local freebie paper has the police log with some details but 911 and police calls are public records.

    I’m surprised but not really surprised that no journalist has checked up on this yet. Seems basic enough — and I’ve been raising these same questions since Glenn Greenwald’s first column on the subject.

  30. skdadl says:

    I’m still catching up with all comments, which are fascinating, but I think I’m finished for the year right now, so I wanted to say thank you to EW and bmaz and all the wonderful friends I meet here most days.

    Happy Hogmanay to all, and may 2011 be a better year for liberty for us all.

    • bobschacht says:

      …I wanted to say thank you to EW and bmaz and all the wonderful friends I meet here most days.

      Happy Hogmanay to all, and may 2011 be a better year for liberty for us all.

      Amen and more to all that!

      Bob in AZ

      • bmaz says:

        Happy New Year Bob! Hope you are dug out up there in Flag, I hear it got quite nasty for a bit. Have missed you lately, don’t be scarce!

        • bobschacht says:

          Thanks for the good thoughts, and thanks to you & EW for keeping things going through holidays, moving, vacation travel, etc.

          Speaking of vacation travel, I’ve been traipsing about the Midwest for several weeks, and spent too much wasted time in Boingo Purgatory while in airports for the sin of having an “inactive account”. The only way to get back into Boingo’s good graces was, of course, to sign up for a monthly service charge for a service I only need two months a year.

          My main problem is, will I be able to drive our car into our garage when we get home in a few days?

          Bob in AZ

          • bobschacht says:

            This just in: Flagstaff has had almost 3 feet of snow in the last two days, and record-breaking, pipe-bursting cold weather, to boot.

            Now please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

            Bob in AZ/CA

  31. MicheleMooreHappy1 says:

    Fascinating analysis, many thanks!

    The chronology suggests that the alleged Manning-Lamo chats occurred AFTER Lamo was hospitalized, presumably on a new laptop.

    There has been NO independent verification of the authenticity of the alleged chat logs between Lamo and Manning. Forensic information verifying the creation of these logs was lost when Lamo’s hard drive was conveniently confiscated.


    • bmaz says:

      In the legal world, that is not called being “lost evidence”, that is called seizing and sealing evidence to maintain evidentiary chain of custody.

  32. MicheleMooreHappy1 says:

    We understand chain of custody.

    There’s been a whole lot of hoopla about these logs, and what is and is not in them, while their authenticity has not been established.

    We can’t assume the other side is playing by the rules or that they have respect for the rule of law.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, you can’t authenticate or prove anything with evidence that has no requisite chain of custody. Whether you trust the government or not, they are one fuck of a lot more stable than the psychotic Adrian Lamo. We have enough problems with the rule of law already without saying that the standard protocols for seizing and securing evidence for viable admissibility should be abrogated. Whether you like it or not, the goal of the government here is not to satisfy your and my curiosity – and trust me I share that with you, it is to build a prosecution.

  33. streamfortyseven says:

    here’s something I thought up last night:

    The story offered so far leaves three really big questions hanging:
    1. How and why did Bradley Manning contact Adrian Lamo,
    2. did they have some sort of prior relationship before Manning allegedly “told all”, and
    3. what was Lamo’s motive for turning Manning in to the Army CID/NSA or whoever.

    There’s absolutely nothing that I’ve seen out in public that excludes the possibility that Adrian Lamo made the whole story up, including the “chat logs”, and got Manning arrested and imprisoned *for no legitimate reason at all*.

    Consider that no one knows how Manning and Lamo got connected – all of a sudden Manning approaches a total stranger, and at that a notorious hacker with a criminal record, and tells all and makes lots of self-incriminating statements with little or no prompting from Lamo. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

    But this might: Manning appears to be gay, and Lamo is either bisexual as well or was interested in LBGT issues sufficiently enough to be appointed to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth Task Force in San Francisco CA in 1998 when he was 17 years old.( and ).

    Just as speculation, consider that they met up through a social networking page, maybe one where LGBT people make contact, and had a budding web relationship, and then something happened to break up the relationship, and (say) Manning threatened to “out” Lamo or did in fact “out” Lamo, who was married in 2007 but is currently separated from his wife ( ) although they are apparently not yet divorced.

    Because of this, Lamo decides to get revenge on Manning, and concocts the “chat logs” and gets his friend Kevin Poulsen to publish excerpts, and at the same time contacts Army CID and pops Manning on the basis of the “chat logs” which appear to exist (or at least so far as has been publicly revealed) only on Lamo’s hard drive.

    This helps Army CID, because they now “have” the guy who leaked the cables and all to Wikileaks, and they’ve apparently stopped the leaking. Now, the arrest took place within a week of the initial contact (or so it has been revealed) between Army CID and Lamo. There appears (at least as far as the Army has publicly revealed) to be no direct evidence implicating Manning as the leaker, just the “chat logs” as proffered by Lamo. *If they’re genuine*, there’s enough PC there to nail Manning and arrest him – but that’s the issue: are they genuine?

    Oftentimes law enforcement people jump the gun and don’t really do enough investigation, and thus nail the wrong guy. Prosecutors get caught up in this too, and because of things like this, 10 people on Death Row in Illinois were released from prison because they were convicted on falsified evidence. They were entirely *innocent* of the charges brought against them, but the cops and the prosecutors jumped the gun, didn’t do an adequate investigation, and convinced a jury to find at least 10 people guilty of capital offenses of which they were *entirely innocent*.

    Maybe that’s what’s going on here, if Lamo’s “chat logs” are the sole evidence against Manning, and maybe that’s why it’s taking DoJ and the Army this long to get a case going – they haven’t even had a Board of Inquiry yet, and it’s been at least six months since Manning’s arrest. One speculation is that they don’t have *any* independent confirmation for the incriminating statements in the “chat logs”, and Adrian Lamo isn’t the best witness in the world, and they don’t want to base their case solely on Lamo’s testimony and “evidence”.

    So far, I’ve seen nothing which answers the questions I’ve asked above, as to how they made contact, what the nature of their relationship was, and what motive Lamo had in turning Manning in. My purely speculative theory answers all three questions.

    Now, it’s possible the Army has direct evidence against Manning they’re not talking about for various reasons, and that there’s independent confirmation of the existence and authenticity of the “chat logs”, but I haven’t seen anything in all of the extensive kerfuffle about the “chat logs” and Lamo’s statements about their content, and so on.

    • bmaz says:

      There are charges filed. Among other things, one of the reasons further proceedings are taking so long is that there is a Rule 706 mental competency determination in process. The defendant must agree to extend the 120 day speedy trial time, i.e. waive objection to exceeding that time limit, for it to be so exceeded. That has clearly occurred here. That just does not happen if Manning committed no acts/was involved in no way that he is charged with. It is a pretty safe bet that Manning has some involvement and is not completely innocent; else a different defense posture would be assumed to date.

      • streamfortyseven says:

        Well, if Manning were competent to stand trial when first confined, I’ve got my doubts now…

        As to the charges brought, what evidence, other than Lamo’s, are they based on? My speculation is that Lamo made this whole thing up out of whole cloth for purposes of revenge. However, if there is other evidence in which Lamo plays *no* part, then that might present a difficulty – although Lamo’s statements about what Manning said, although hearsay, might prove pivotal in the preliminary hearing (or Board of Inquiry). If there is other evidence independent of Lamo, it might not be enough to show probable cause for Manning to be bound over at the prelim – and Lamo’s evidence might be enough to surmount that barrier. – and then I’d wonder if there was collusion between Lamo and other parties…

        • bmaz says:

          My guess is they have done forensic computer tracing from Manning’s end, but we do not know for sure. But, again, I have almost zero doubt that if it was all a pure set up and Manning had no material involvement, the defense would be be postured differently.

    • teqwi says:

      From the San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s minutes for August 3, 1998:

      Resolution appointing members to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Youth Task Force, terms expiring June 30, 1999. (Rules Committee) File 98-1272, Resolution No. 652-98 (Adrian Lamo, Seat No. 10; Bryan Kutner, Seat No. 11.) Adopted.

      And in FDL’s transcript of the CyberFrequencies interview with Lamo on August 16, 2010:

      LAMO: Gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning – myself… my contact – who was a former Special Agent with Army counterintelligence – Julian Assange, it’s sort of a humorous aspect to that – has not been lost on investigators: a velvet espionage ring, if you will.

      CF: A “velvet espionage ring?” Holy moly…

      CF: So LAMO is bisexual, and when he started getting a little sketched-out by what Manning was saying he turned to his ex-boyfriend, who is an intelligence guy in the military

      CF: Don’t ask, don’t tell…

      CF: and then I guess, he’s saying that Assange is?

      CF: Yeah, I’ve read all about wikileaks and I’ve never heard that Assange was gay. I certainly could not verify that.

      Links: . . . . .

  34. teqwi says:

    In case anyone else was wondering:

    Lamo is self-employed. And seems to have almost always to have been. In interviews he has sometimes identified his occupation as Chief Scientist for a “private concern” and elsewhere identified that “private concern” as Reality Planning LLC, a firm he started and of which he appears to be the only member.

    He says he has never taken a computer class – which is what frees his mind for brilliant hacking – but under court order to attend school while on probation and living with his parents when in his mid-20s, he build upon his GED with a few junior college journalism courses. He won a couple of college prizes, which has inspired him to bill himself since as “an award winning journalist, writer, and photographer with extensive experience in creative writing, newswriting, copy-editing, and translation.”


    • sagesse says:

      How interesting that Reality Planning LLC, started in 2009. And that it is yet another Security and Threat business, in this case emblazoned with Lamo’s Image. And seems to issue its own Press Releases to help engineer the “reality” du jour.

      I wonder how Lamo’s Reality Planning LLC intermeshes with Mark Rasch’s security enterprise called Solutionary, or whatever its current incarnation is, and other security contractors. And Project Vigilant.

      And who all was involved in the net that was cast to get Manning.

      You know, in Lamo’s case, his business should have been named Make Up New Realities As You Go Along. Sur-Reality …

  35. sagesse says:

    I just tried searching the California Secretary of State Web Site, and didn’t come up with a Reality Planning or Reality Planning LLC.

    I might have done something wrong in the search, or is it registered somewhere else?

    • bmaz says:

      There is no likely company. Corporation filing, whether standard or LLC, in California costs money and requires a formal place of business and a statutory agent with a valid address at which service can be effected at. These are not things that Lamo has or does. He is famous for not paying for anything and seems to generally live on other people’s couches. Reality Planning LLC is almost certainly another ginned up fraud by Lamo to puff up his appearance.

  36. streamfortyseven says:

    Adrian has certainly been a busy boy over the past six months or so, issuing these “press releases” and referring to himself in the third person:

    Reality Planning LLC (An Adrian Lamo Concern) Press releases
    1 – 8 of 8 Press Releases

    Wikileaks Whistle-blower Pushes for Assange Prosecution
    Nov 28, 2010
    Adrian Lamo, the former New York Time hacker-turned-threat-analyst who had turned in Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning, pushed today for all options to be kept on the table in the inevitable quest to bring Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to justice.

    Former New York Times Hacker Calls For New Charges in Wikileaks Case
    Nov 20, 2010
    Ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, whose alleged victims included Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, MCI Worldcom, SBC, America Online and others, said today that Bradley Manning was “induced and aided” by co-conspirators in what is rapidly becoming USA v. Wikileaks.

    Ex-Hacker Adrian Lamo Praises Manning Charges
    Jul 10, 2010
    Ex-hacker Adrian Lamo praised the charges against PFC. Bradley Manning today, commending the Department of Defense for bringing timely charges against the would-be spy.’s Glenn Greenwald Reneges on Distribution Deal with Ex-Hacker Adrian Lamo
    Jul 10, 2010
    “… I will publish in full whatever you want to write,” said’s Glenn Greenwald to ex-hacker Adrian Lamo, a short period before reneging on the deal entirely and without cause. Lamo’s intrusions inlude The New York Times Co. &

    Ex-Hacker Consummates Deal With; Refutes Conspiracy Theories
    Jul 04, 2010
    Adrian Lamo dismissed’s Greenwald Wikileaks-related conspiracy theories; outed Greenwald’s primary source as a collaborator for Wikileaks; revealed past hack in submission to Salon which Salon’s Greenwald agreed to see published.

    Ex-hacker Adrian Lamo Challenges Wikileaks’ Assange To Debate; Honor Conference Committments
    Jul 01, 2010
    Former hacker Adrian Lamo challenged Assange to debate him on the merits of of the facts at a conference both are scheduled to attend.

    Despite Death Threats, Adrian Lamo Maintains Resolve to Testify in Wikileaks / Bradley Manning Case
    Jun 27, 2010
    Former Microsoft, New York Times hacker will also continue to call for resignation of Julian Assange,

    Ex-Hacker Adrian Lamo to Accept’s Offer to Rebut Wikileaks / Bradley Manning Story
    Jun 26, 2010
    The story author offered Lamo opportunity to rebut content in Salon’s own pages, unedited and uncensored. Lamo is electing to accept that opportunity.

    (all of the above at

    • teqwi says:

      Good idea to archive the releases, thanks. He seems to have a habit of making his creations vanish when they become inconvenient. I suppose that’s mandatory for a self-invented legend.

  37. streamfortyseven says:

    From looking at all of this nonsense, and Lamo’s penchant for contradicting himself on material facts, unless the prosecution thinks they can put something over on Manning’s defense counsel, I’d be surprised if the prosecution were to call Lamo as a witness or use his “testimony” in any capacity whatsoever, Lamo would get torn to pieces by any competent defense counsel – it would be interesting watching him dodge and weave and perjure himself up on the stand.

    • bmaz says:

      They have to either call Lamo or try to put his evidence in through an investigator for the Rule 32 proceeding. I do think there is likely at least some other evidence, but I do not think it would be sufficient by itself. If they do not call Lamo, I would call him as a defense witness, move to handle him as hostile and kick the shit out of him and then make fun of the government for not putting him on. That is how things look to me as of now and from what we know now; it may well change though.

  38. streamfortyseven says:

    It might be useful to get copies of the “press releases” and add them to the record here at FDL before they “disappear”…

  39. teqwi says:

    A minor point about Rasch’s former employer,Solutionary – it’s headquartered in Omaha, about a 10-minute drive from the recorded address of Project Vigilant’s “owner,” BBHC Global.

    Solutionary is at 9420 Underwood Ave # 300, Omaha, NE 68114-6608, according to der Google. BBHC Global is at 12105 William Plaza, Apt 336, Omaha, NE 68144-1416, according to Forbes blogger Andy Greenberg, as is a marketing company, Double W Marketing, and a one-on-one wellness consulting company called Innovations in Health.

    Not exactly a SNAP!, but it maybe could have made it easier for Ruhe (Project Vigilant’s backer) and Rasch (Project Vigilant’s general counsel) to slide into the same orbit, despite the project’s being based in Florida and Rasch’s having apparently returned to Washington to work for FTI Consulting in 2007.

    Meh, subbing to Security Focus could have done as much I suppose.


    BBHC Global (a site with nothing but a splash page?) –

    Greenberg’s excellent article –

    Rasch’s FTI resume –

    Solutionary –

    • sagesse says:

      It all is seeming more and more circular, and all of the front guys are charlatans, or of no substance. Or the bright shiny cover for everybody to be looking at?

      On Sunday, Uber said he was the first person to call the federal government about the sensitive cache of documents allegedly leaked by U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst Bradley Manning, and which was ultimately published on Wikileaks. Manning leaked the documents to Adrian Lamo, who does “adversary characterization” for the group, Uber said.

      Includes mention of BBHC global.

      Then if you go to a site that seems to have Uber info on it, he mentions this too, but it almost seems a spin-off from him liking The Wire? Maybe I am not understanding something.

      “I love music everything except Gangster Rap and real twangy Country. I enjoy a good book, food, hanging with friends, conversation and talking about ways to make the world a safer place. I am into movies and watch NetFlix way too much. Favorite TV outside History and Discover Channel are NCIS, Criminal Minds, CSI, BBHC series the Wire and MI-5”.

    • sagesse says:

      In this April 2010 New York Times blog piece, Rasch is said to be with Secure IT. He’s not of “no consequence” – but a recognized Talking Head.

      The iPhone-lost-in-a-bar story raises all sorts of legal questions. To explore them further, I spoke with Mark D. Rasch who is the former head of the United States Department of Justice computer crime unit, and helped develop the department’s guidelines for computer crimes related to investigations, forensics and evidence gathering. Mr. Rasch is currently a principal with Secure IT Experts, a consulting company that specializes in computer security.

      When you go to Secure it, there are bunch of pages with limited info – but I’m not sure if there is anything specifically on Rasch.

  40. teqwi says:

    Mmmm, Naymz provides a third Omaha address – 1623 Farnam Street, #300, Omaha, Nebraska. So Ruhe, Rasche, and Uber all have some kind of Omaha connection for whatever that may be worth.

  41. teqwi says:

    Rasch moves around kind of a lot, doesn’t he?

    Mildly interesting: Various media references say Rasch is a co-founder of Secure IT Experts but his name’s nowhere on their sparse site. The only human named is Nicholas Hoover, “a successful and seasoned C level executive” who’s won US Postal Service contracts and spoken at NetWorld on emerging trends. Like Rasch, he’s ex-SAIC. The firm’s HQ’d in what on Google Maps looks to be a residential area of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania (near Altoona).

  42. teqwi says:

    A name that’s new to me:

    In an interview with CNET, Uber described how Lamo contacted him. “Adrian calls me in a panic, saying this guy Brad Manning is sending me e-mails, some of them are encrypted,” Uber recalled. “He keeps talking about having access to classified data, (saying) ‘I don’t know what to do.'”

    Uber said he told Lamo to take all the data related to those conversations and place it on a drive, then “give me about 10 minutes and I’m going to give you some numbers…I said, ‘Adrian, people probably are dying.'” …

    For his part, Lamo disputed Uber’s characterization of the conversation, saying that time and memory likely distorted the details. He said that he was also in touch separately with a friend, Tim Webster, who is a former Army counterintelligence agent.

  43. sagesse says:

    Well, when you’re a salesman for filtering the internet, like Rasch, maybe you don’t want to stay in any one place too long. With each new “hat” you can put a slightly different twist on it.

    SAIC? The military-industrial “environmental” contractor? I remember them from a series of Bombing Range expansion EIS’s for the Air Force. Always willing to bend the facts/science on wildlife to fit the needs of the Air Force. Sonic booms? Low level flights? No worries – the Native Americans, bighorn sheep, and sage grouse’ll love ’em.

    • bmaz says:

      I think he was inferring Special Agent In Charge, which is an FBI term. However, Rasch was not FBI, he was a DOJ attorney.

    • teqwi says:

      Good point. Rasch is working as a consultant (= salesman), not as a lawyer. Some of these outfits seem to be marginal, to say the least. Why not hang out a shingle of his own, QUOTE THIS EX-DOJ GENIUS LLC, and skip ordering all those rounds of new biz cards? Clearly, I can’t even imagine life in the fast lane.

      A TPM Cafe reader tried sorting through the web detrius on Tim Webster and posted at length on the results: Click the one comment for Webster’s droll reply.

      Cryptome says Lamo and Webster met via the AOL hacking scene years ago. Webster chimes in to say the material’s inaccurate.

      From the topicfire timeline:

      May 22: Adrian Lamo reaches out to a “friend” formerly in Army counterintelligence (per interview with AOL, his “ex”), presumably Timothy Webster, who puts him in contact with the Army.

      May 23 or 24: Lamo reaches out to Chet Uber of Project Vigilance, who says Lamo claimed to have received “classified documents” from Manning. Uber tells Wired that “after speaking with Lamo, he called the Cyber Defense Crime Center, which gave him phone numbers for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID), the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and a couple of other agencies he didn’t recall.” (7/1/2010) He also tells CNET that he called “contacted Mark Rasch, previously the head of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit” (CNET, 8/9/2010)

      May 24: Lamo calls Wired Magazine to say he has set up a meeting with authorities the next day, but does not give any details.

      May 25: Two Army counterintelligence agents, an FBI agent, and a representative from the NSA drive up to Carmichael California to meet with Lamo at a nearby Starbucks. They have come “a good distance” to see him. Lamo shows them the chat logs. (CBC Radio, 6/7/2010). Lamo: “Their immediate response when I related the code name for one of the operations was ‘Never say those words again’….Literally, ‘Forget you ever heard those words…When I met with two federal agents to discuss them, they had me write it down on a piece of paper rather than say it aloud.” (AOL News, 7/21/2010) The two Army counterintelligence agents, the FBI Agent, and the NSA representative thank Lamo so much for his help, leave the convicted hacker in possession of all the chat logs containing details of “ongoing classified counterintelligence operations,” and tell him it won’t be any problem if he passes them off, unedited, to Wired Magazine, the Washington Post, and Wikileaks. Right. [cont’d.]

      May 26: Lamo calls Wired Magazine, mentions Manning’s name for the first time, and gives details about what has transpired between the two of them. Wired asks for copies of the chat logs, and Lamo agrees.

      May 27: Lamo meets with Wired and hands over the chat logs. He then meets with two FBI agents from the Oakland field office, who tell him that Manning had been arrested the day before in Iraq on the basis of information he had provided to them.

      June 6: Wired publishes the first story about Manning and Lamo, reports Manning’s arrest. June 10: Washington Post reports that Lamo has also provided them with the chat logs. Lamo tells Risky Business radio show he sent portions of the chat logs to Wikileaks, too.

      June 11: Lamo meets with agents from the Army’s criminal and counterintelligence units, as well as the Diplomatic Security Service. “The agents asked for files related to the communications between him and Manning, Lamo said, and he gave them a laptop and the hard drive from another laptop, as well as encrypted e-mails that had been stored on a remote server.”

      June 13: Lamo finally gives “a sworn statement to authorities.” (CNET 6/12/2010)

      • teqwi says:

        :::slappin self upside head:::

        The topicfire timeline is… guess who’s? Yeah. Isssssh. All road lead to FDL. Of course.

        Time to take a walk.

      • sagesse says:

        They all seem to be involved in enlarging one another’s images. From long ago:

        These same guys have been playing whatever all it is they are up to for a long time.

        Back in 2002-2003, Rasch is, in a way, promoting Lamo’s image.

        Like Poulsen has done all along. With a meek and mild FBI in the background???

        “And yet the FBI publicly announced to the world, through a reporter, their intention to subpoena every journalist who ever talked to Adrian Lamo”.

        Then, Rasch concludes with “Bring it on”.

  44. teqwi says:

    FDL’s got Webster on file –

    A former Army counterintelligence agent said Wednesday he helped point military authorities to a soldier who is under scrutiny in the massive leak of secret war records to a self-described whistleblower website.

    Timothy Webster, 30, of Santa Barbara, Calif., said a Sacramento-based computer hacker called him May 26 with a hypothetical question: What would you do if a soldier told you he had leaked classified information? …

    Webster said he alerted Army counterintelligence agents, who contacted Lamo. Manning was detained in Kuwait on May 29, three days after Lamo called Webster.

    Lamo said he consulted with several people after Manning confided in him, but that it was Webster who got the investigation rolling.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah, I don’t know that that post is definitive of anything but the same kind of rambling bullshit puffery that Lamo ritually engages in.

  45. streamfortyseven says:

    Looks like Uber, Rasch, Webster et al got their info from Lamo, it doesn’t look like there’s any pre-existing investigation by “Project Vigilant” before Lamo comes into the picture. It might be interesting to know when Lamo and his wife Lauren, married Sept. 6, 2007, separated.

    This from a Computerworld article, gets the dates spectacularly wrong: first contact between Uber and Lamo in “early June 2010”, Manning arrest on “July 29” – when the arrest actually took place May 29.

    The important bit is that Lamo came to Uber with his story, the same thing as Lamo, “a Sacramento-based computer hacker”, coming to Webster. It appears that Uber claims to have known who Lamo should contact:

    “In early June 2010 security pro Chet Uber got a phone call from Adrian Lamo, a well-known hacker he had worked with for a year in a volunteer-run intelligence organization. Lamo had received classified documents from a U.S. Army intelligence analyst named Bradley Manning and wanted advice about what to do. Uber told Lamo to turn Manning in.

    “Put it in a bag, take it off your computer, wipe your drive and I’m going to call you back in 10 minutes,” Uber said he told Lamo, recalling his brush with Manning whose documents revealing secret details of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were eventually published on Wikileaks, setting off a U.S. government investigation and leading to Manning’s arrest on July 29. Uber recalled the incident during a press conference at the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas on Sunday.”

    By Robert McMillan
    August 1, 2010 05:46 PM ET

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