- Manning has no access to basic items such as sheets or pillows. What is the reason for this treatment? Julian Assange, in an interview with Sir David Frost, claims that the torturous conditions of Manning’s imprisonment are in fact intended to coerce Manning into testifying against him. If true, Manning is a brick in a larger plot to crack down on WikiLeaks (See also about Manning: I know for a fact this little bastard did this for personal reasons — he had a grudge. About what in particular, it’s not clear. But this information wants to be free stuff is stuff he got from Assange, the latter bastard providing the former bastard a justification to do what he wanted to do anyway..)
- In the hacking community Lamo is notorious for his dishonesty, compulsive self-promotion and mental instability. In April 2010 Lamo voluntarily committed himself to a psychiatric hospital for a week. (See also: Assange fell into a depression so severe that it led to him going in and out of a Melbourne hospital for six months, and Gonggrijp: more and more people were telling me to see a doctor. They told me: “There are pills to make you happy again you know…” If I had I listened to all these other people around me, I would have been taking Prozac or Zoloft in 2005. My life would have been different and possibly much happier, especially in the short term. But a lot of things that happened to me since then would probably not have happened, because they involve me being angry and attempting to do something about it. And Manning: I’m exhausted … in desperation to get somewhere in life. And finally about Domscheit-Berg: He speaks in a rather chaotic way and apologizes for that and says he is exhausted)
- To Glenn Greenwald, Lamo reversed the story he gave to Yahoo! News and said he told Manning he was a journalist and could offer him confidentiality under California’s shield law. If so, Manning’s decision to confess seems sounder, but Lamo’s explanation of his role in the story is riddled with inconsistencies.
- Lamo told Yahoo! News that Manning found him by making a Twitter search on WikiLeaks and contacted him out of the blue on an open AOL Instant Messenger chat. To Greenwald, however, Lamo claimed that Manning had initially contacted him through a number of encrypted emails. Lamo refuses to release these emails. If they exist it is reasonable to assume they contain proof that Lamo promised Manning confidentiality. Lamo compromised this assumable promise by turning Manning over to the authorities.
- Lamo has claimed he acted out of sheer concern with national security. He told the Australian journalist Patrick Gray, from Risky Busyness, that he tried toprevent the lives of other human beings from being seriously and adversely effected by the leakage of classified material. The justification rings hollow considering Lamo himself is a longtime hacker convicted of a felony. Even more bizarre is the fact that Lamo, a couple of months prior to leaking the story,donated money to WikiLeaks and expressed his support for the organization. So if Lamo’s concern with homeland security is true it brings up another question.
- According to his own statement, Lamo wanted to ensure that Manning was painted as a human being rather than a terrorist before arrested by the U.S. authorities. The statement rings hollow in light of the curious connection between Lamo and Kevin Poulsen, Wired‘s senior editor, investigated by Greenwald. Poulsen is not only a journalist but also, like Lamo, a previous hacker convicted of a felony and sentenced to three years in jail. Throughout his hacking career, Lamo went to Poulsen for coverage of his activities. When Lamo had successfully hacked a company, he informed Poulsen, who then went to the company with information about the break-in, offered Lamo’s cooperation and afterward reported the hacking incident in the news. Lamo thus used Poulsen to carry out his hacking adventures while Poulsen took advantage of Lamo as insider source from the hacking world. The fact that Lamo leaked the chat logs not only to the FBI, but also to Wired suggests the desire for media attention played a role in Lamo’s actions. Leaked to Poulsen only 25 percent of the logs made it to the public.
- Poulsen and Lamo both confirmed to Greenwald that Lamo placed no restrictions on publishing the chat logs in their entirety. Poulsen, however, refuses to publish the remaining 75 percent, claiming they contain irrelevant personal stuff about Manning in addition to information that would jeopardize national security if released. It seems unreasonable that Poulsen alone should make that decision and begs for the examination of the material by a third party. The remaining chat logs might hold the key to some of the unanswered questions above, e.g. how Manning first contacted Lamo; if Lamo promised Manning confidentiality; and if the chat gave Lamo sound reason to believe Manning was a threat to national security.
- Assange claims to have no knowledge about any of the sources leaking documents through WikiLeaks, as it is an open platform for anonymous uploading. In the chat, however, Lamo claims that Manning confessed a relationship with Assange, who gave him instructions on how to download the files. According to the New York Times, prosecutors have been looking for proof that this is true. If so, it would enable them to prosecute Assange for conspiracy, rather than espionage, thus getting around obstacles caused by the First Amendment.
Lamo has now told investigators that two Boston-area men have confirmed in phone conversations that they helped Manning by supplying encryption software and teaching him to use it, and that both men work for WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has refused to comment. According to the NY Times, Army investigators have expanded their investigation to include friends and associates of Manning, and that may have led them as well to students from MIT and, possibly Boston University, who might have connections to WikiLeaks. The Boston Globe recently interviewed an MIT graduate who claims to have been in contact with Manning and exchanged several emails. The man, who refused to be identified, claims that the Army spoke to him several months ago to see if he, or any other known hackers were assisting Manning. The man claims that although he did have contact with Manning, he was in no way connected with the documents Manning leaked.