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Wikileaks director Julian Assange sent DailyTech a vague threat which he refused to elaborate on. He also has refused to cooperate with our interview requests.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Adrian Lamo on the other hand has been very cooperative with our requests for information, but his claim that Wikileaks outed him as a source appears to be inaccurate. Ultimately the back and forth only serves a distraction to the underlying issue that Manning allegedly broke U.S. laws and threatened national security.  (Source: Zero Zumbrun)
All the drama is distracting from a key issue -- Manning appears to clearly have broken U.S. laws

We have been working with both Adrian Lamo and sources supportive of Bradley Manning to deliver complete perspective on the strange and evolving case of Wikileaks and the arrest of U.S. Army specialist Bradley Manning, who leaked 260,000 classified U.S. embassy cables.

Last week we published a pair of pieces.  In the first we covered the leak of the chat logs to the media via the site BoingBoing.  In that post we wrote we did not yet know whether Wikileaks outed Adrian Lamo as a source (in violation of its own policies).  We now have evidence to believe that it did not.  Lamo participated in an interview with Australian compsec journalist Patrick Gray on his podcast site.

The interview can be found here [MP3].  In it, Gray states:
Adrian Lamo on the line there. Lamo also told me he submitted those chat logs between him and Manning to wikileaks and it's their decision whether or not they want to publish them ...
The key facts appear that the U.S. Military did not want Lamo to leak these documents, but he leaked them anyways so the the public could realize that he did not manipulate Manning.  And Wikileaks cannot be blamed for outing Lamo as a source, because he had already outed himself.  In effect this revelation somewhat invalidates Lamo's call for Julian Assange to step down -- though his leadership of the site has many other outstanding issues, which we discuss below.

This leak was followed by the release of a series of texts that have been leaked via Wikileaks and an ex-protege of Lamo's who became bitter and disillusioned with his former mentor.  The posts appear a clear effort to undermine Lamo's credibility, but have marginal relation to the Manning case.  The allegations -- that Adrian Lamo used and abused prescription medications and possibly played a role in illegally leaking a hackers documentary (which Lamo vigorously denies) -- ultimately have little to do with whether Manning broke the law and whether Lamo was justified in turning him in.

With both leaks Wikileaks appears to be the source.  And in both cases it appears to have followed its site policies in so much as it did not reveal its sources as some has alleged.  That said, it is unusual and somewhat questionable that the site appears to have leaked material to Pastebins or the media, rather than publishing on its homepage as it traditionally does.  Significant questions can be raised about why it adopted this approach.

Significant questions can also be raised about the management of the site.  We contacted Wikileaks director Julian Assange with a polite request for interview on a variety of topics.  We explained we wanted to offer him a chance to clarify any inaccuracies and share his viewpoint.  He responded with a personal threat to DailyTech Senior News Editor Jason Mick.

He wrote:
The allegations are false. If you continue to print false material, there will be repercussions. Mr. Lamo is by no means a credible source. It is disturbing that you entertain him.
We have received a couple of other threats/demands from other individuals, so we contacted Julian Assange for clarification on exactly what this threat (what the "repercussions") meant.  He offered no insight into that.  He did share with us in his two following replies his complete unwillingness to provide us with any information and conveyed his general anger with our coverage. 

Ironically, despite his claim:
I don't have time to deal with CNN, and you want me to play 20
questions with a Lamo puppet from 'daily tech'?
...he managed to reply to us 3 times in total.  While we appreciate his willingness to dialogue, we wish he would have spent his time answer our questions (for example, whether the Twitter and Facebook accounts were official -- a long standing debate) rather than taking that time to send a threat and bursts of vehemence.

[Note:  We worked both internally and via a security source at MIT to verify that these emails were authentic.  They originated from a Wikileaks mail server and an editor account, so appear likely to be the real deal, for those who might have their doubts.]

Some of Manning's supporters have done a much better job communicating with us, and we are thankful for that.  Ultimately Wikileaks is complaining about being misrepresented, but they refuse to share pertinent information and then their director goes as far as to threaten us, for what is essentially is the result of his own failure to communicate.

We aren't the only ones to receive threats from some of Manning's fringe supporters, though.  Lamo has received multiple death threats.  While he did not want to talk to us about all of them, due to legal and security issues, some have been posted here and are freely available.  In one, an angry commenter writes:

Adrian, it was interesting having you in the world. Sorry that things worked out this way. You have made it pretty clear that you are not to be leaned upon; it's sad that someone so very desperate tried. He did not understand it, and now he's locked up.

Others are less indirect.  One writes:

If god gives me the opportunity to bump into you one day, I'll be presented with many different ways to taking your worthless life. The bright side for you is that you get to choose which way I take. Any suggestions?

The government is obviously affording Lamo protection as he is a key witness in the Manning case, when it does go to trial.  One can only hope that proves sufficient.  It's a sad day when someone who is trying to defend the United States from harm receives death threats for his efforts.

That said, returning to the Wikileaks issue, numerous questions remain about the site.  Its chief, Julian Assange, obviously does a poor job communicating with the media only offering occasional interviews.  And there's no concrete information on how money is being spent at the site.  Worse yet, an expose by Mother Jones earlier this year revealed that two supposed board members (Tashi Namgyal Khamsitsang, a former representative of the Dalai Lama, and Ben Laurie) had no relationship with the site, nor did one of its high profile supposed volunteers (Noam Chomsky).

At this point theres more questions than answers about Wikileaks.  There's no guarantee of social or fiscal responsibility given the site's policy of smoke and mirrors other than the word of Julian Assange.  All of these questions clearly point back to that figure -- Assange -- yet he's not talking much.  While he has provided some general information on the site budget in one of his occasional interviews he has failed to provide sufficient detail.

And when it comes to Bradley Manning, he is innocent until proven guilty.  However, if there's enough evidence to show that he leaked documents to Wikileaks, he clearly broke U.S. laws as they currently stand.  For all the Wikileaks and Adrian Lamo drama, that's the take home message one must remember at the end of the day.

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Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Homerboy on 6/29/2010 1:48:54 PM , Rating: 3
Does DT have stock in this ordeal with these idiots or something. Article after article about this crap. Let alone they are the longest and most verbose article I have ever seen here. Jeebus.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Homerboy on 6/29/2010 1:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
OH MAN!!! And you dare to use a Minor Threat image? For shame.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Drag0nFire on 6/29/2010 2:43:07 PM , Rating: 5
Really, these articles have all seemed pretty juvenile to me...

It's great that Lamo was willing to talk. But beyond the initial story (Manning's arrest), I think DT has been trying to make a much bigger deal of this than it really deserves.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By MGSsancho on 6/29/2010 4:19:04 PM , Rating: 4
I see it as Mick trying his best to back up his sources with credible information. Personally I am curious to see if we can continue to trust Wikileaks. So far it appears that while its leadership is questionable, they have not outed a source, at least directly.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Lifted on 6/29/2010 7:12:51 PM , Rating: 5
This article is brilliant. The entire article consists of Jason complaining about how hard it is to get any information that might be interesting. He proceeds to slam people for not sharing information with him, and goes on and on about how they wouldn't share anything. <yawn>

The most interesting thing to come out of this entire tabloid piece was to see that Jason now refers to himself in the third person.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Suomynona on 6/29/2010 3:58:21 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously. Lamo comes across as a total attention whore, and DT is just feeding his disproportionately large ego.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Reclaimer77 on 6/29/2010 4:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah... I can't even keep track anymore. Every day another "he said she said" article about this stupid story. I don't know what it has to do with "tech" at this point.

RE: Holy sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet
By Ard on 6/29/2010 6:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Why do we have to keep hearing about this Lamo douche? Does anyone really care?

I wouldn't want to talk to you either
By Zerovoltage on 6/29/2010 2:07:03 PM , Rating: 5
Your previous story - "EXCLUSIVE: Wikileaks Betrays Ex-Hacker Lamo, Outs Him as Source"

From this story -
And Wikileaks cannot be blamed for outing Lamo as a source, because he had already outed himself.

So why in the world would Assange want to take the time to talk to you after you falsely accused him of something?

My take on this whole story is Wikileaks operated exactly as it has in the past, Lamo is a sell out and thinks he knows what's best, and Manning is a well meaning, perhaps troubled, individual that trusted the wrong person.

Personally i'm still hopeful this information shows up at some point. It's sad but in this day and age these types of leaks are the only way to hold those with absolute power accountable.

RE: I wouldn't want to talk to you either
By Ammohunt on 6/29/10, Rating: -1
RE: I wouldn't want to talk to you either
By AEvangel on 6/29/2010 2:55:24 PM , Rating: 4
With the potential of at the same time compromising Americas security costing lives? Thats an ignorant stance. I myself and many other Americans pay everyday for this type of stupidity in these matters. Get a clue!

Give me a break it's diplomatic transmissions not battle movements. I like how people are all concerned about this costing American lives but they have no problems supporting two wars that are in fact with out a doubt costing American lives for nothing more then what is now Nation Building/Private Security for corporations.

By sviola on 6/29/2010 3:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
Give me a break it's diplomatic transmissions not battle movements. I like how people are all concerned about this costing American lives but they have no problems supporting two wars that are in fact with out a doubt costing American lives for nothing more then what is now Nation Building/Private Security for corporations.

Not mentioning the huge internal and external debt that will take it's price in the future...

RE: I wouldn't want to talk to you either
By Ammohunt on 6/30/2010 2:51:45 PM , Rating: 1
If these Diplomatic tranmissions are what you say they are then why are they secret? Intelligence from any source can be exploited in many different ways. Something as simple as a diplomats privy to the planned movements of national heads mentioning time and dates could set them up for assination attempts is just one example. Its obvious you have no idea what you are talking about; stick to what you know Emo music, buying dope and operating a bong.

By blampton on 7/9/2010 5:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
Because it's politically embarrassing? Or wrong? Or illegal?
Your reasoning is garbage, and unpatriotic to boot.

By Ammohunt on 6/29/10, Rating: 0
RE: suggestion
By carigis on 6/29/2010 2:22:10 PM , Rating: 3
uhm... Isn't he a convicted felon? that means no gun permit.. period.

RE: suggestion
By Ammohunt on 6/30/2010 2:53:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ah didn't know that Good luck Adrian!

Lamo Puppet!!!!
By Lord 666 on 6/29/2010 1:52:51 PM , Rating: 4
In both meanings, he called it for what it is.

Old News
By Diospiro on 6/29/2010 8:17:18 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see the point in writing that "Adrian Lamo Outed Self As Source in Bradley Manning Case" since we have known that since Wired published the first article on the subject on June 6th. Don't you have anything more substantial to report?

RE: Old News
By Bill Cromer on 6/30/2010 5:27:47 AM , Rating: 2
The van driver turned one block before crossing the road where some American soldiers were sitting in a humvee and returned to that intersection several minutes later. The ten guys that walked to that intersection were careful not to venture beyond the corner of the building where those soldiers could see them. Namir, avoiding a threatening posture, got down on his knees and cautiously peered around the building to photograph the humvee.

The question is not whether or not these men, all Iraqis, are innocent civilians or if they are enemy combatants pretending to be innocent civilians. The question is how they all know about the American soldiers in the humvee?

DT is way out of their league
By MPE on 6/29/2010 3:04:44 PM , Rating: 3
In writing, holding journalistic standards and actual investigative journalism.
No disrespect guys, but you should really stick with high tech gadgets and not with national security and politics.

Your article is a confusing he said / she said mess.

You are not doing any one a favor (except yourself for the traffic it brings in from the eventual flame wars).

Julian Assange Roxors!
By SiliconJon on 6/29/2010 2:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
And not everybody here is an ass-hat Julian, though I dare never exclude myself from insult ;)

Just keep on fighting the good fight, Julian, as there are more non-fascists out here than it would appear.

By iceonfire1 on 6/29/2010 2:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
As far as I'm concerned, Bradley Manning was pretty clearly guilty; I was just annoyed that Lamo turned him in instead of being honorable and creative.

While I empathize with Assange in his dealings with DT (asking about the threat seems like a childish taunt), it is both ironic and "disturbing" that a site about censorship would not be completely transparent.

Perhaps I should set up a separate site for whoever wants to leak dirt on wikileaks...

By DigitalFreak on 6/29/2010 2:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
I don't have time to deal with CNN, and you want me to play 20 questions with a Lamo puppet from 'daily tech'?


award winning journalist adrian lamo
By rdobbs on 6/29/2010 3:49:15 PM , Rating: 2
While I notice you have obviously used the information (uncredited) from the adrianlamologs site I for one would like to see an article on the lamo/stangby issue also raised there.

By Bill Cromer on 6/29/2010 4:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
In that “Collateral Murder” video, the pilot (Crazyhorse 1/8) sees a van [two toned Hyundai Grace Grand Salon minibus] on a road below him [:39 to :55], engages ten men [One carring an RPG, one with an addirional RPG round and One with an AK 47 who tries to conceal it from the pilots view by placing it under his left arm]standing on this same road one block away [3:16], then sees another van [same make, model, year, and two toned color as the first one] traveling north on this road one block from the engagement scene [7:31]. You go Assange ... get a couple hundred thousand more from those suckers!

Please kill this story
By masamasa on 6/29/2010 5:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody cares.

He Said/She Said Press
By Spacecomber on 6/29/2010 6:51:15 PM , Rating: 2
This story reminds me of the lame arguing that goes on on many game forums. More drama than substance.

Wow, fact-checking, anyone?
By rabbi on 6/30/2010 7:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm skeptical of pretty much every stated fact in this article that I haven't verified myself, after the bit about Ben Laurie not being a member of the advisory board. The Mother Jones article is wrong, and takes what he said out of context. (And advisory board members for organizations like this generally *aren't* involved with running the site, or the NGO, or whatever — they're involved with providing advice. Hence the name.

Please do some basic fact-checking before spreading misinformation next time. It's not hard to find Ben's email address online.


Len Sassaman
(advisory board member of multiple organizations, none of which do I "help run".)

a bloo bloo bloo
By YOUR ALL GAY on 6/30/10, Rating: 0
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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