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Adrian Lamo  (Source: Facebook.com)
"It was one of the hardest decisions I've made", said Lamo, but lives were at stake

Yesterday's story about U.S. Army Intelligence officer, SPC Bradley Manning's arrest received a lot of attention, which perhaps is not surprising.  It had all the trappings of high drama -- a young military officer leaking confidential media onto the internet, computer crime, and national security.

Immediately after writing the story, we contacted Adrian Lamo, the man who turned in Manning, to try to get his perspective on why Manning is in his current legal predicament and why he felt the need to turn him in.  Lamo graciously responded and we conducted a phone interview, gaining a lot of insight along the way.

Lamo, who currently works as a journalist and security expert, says that the situation was anything but ordinary.  He states, "People confess federal crimes to me every day and I don't turn them in.  But those cases didn't have this kind of national security risk."

He says that Manning's initial leaks might have been justified.  He says, "Certainly, releasing the gun cam footage would have been something I would have done in his place."

The gun cam footage referenced came from a 2007 attack on unarmed civilians who were mistaken for having weapons.  The civilians were journalists and the weapons turned out to be actually camera equipment.  A Reuters employee was killed in the attack.  A second attack in 2009 was also leaked and showed another strike, this time in Afghanistan, which killed apparently defenseless civilians.

However Manning's desire to leak went beyond just a quest for the truth.  He stated that Manning was "pending discharge" and "not a routine discharge".  This discharge was in no way related to his leaking activities, but Lamo did not wish to divulge the reason, out of respect for Manning's family.

He says that Manning basically was "disillusioned with the system, had internet access, and saw a solution that was far easier" than pursuing channels within the government.

Lamo says the point where Manning crossed the line was when he leaked the diplomatic cables.  According to Lamo, "He described them as not particularly damning, but he just wanted to release it regardless.  He talked about creating chaos in the U.S. foreign policy."

As much as Lamo says he hates the abuse and overuse of the word "nation security", he says that the leak constituted a real threat.  He points out that the diplomatic cable contained conversations that would likely be taken out of context, much like what would happen if  your full email record was leaked and all your friends, family, and coworkers found out what you were really saying about them.  Lamo states, "On a scale of nations [the creation of] a hostile environment can cost lives."

Lamo says he has repeatedly likened Manning's activities to "a kid playing with a rifle, shooting shells in the air", commenting "sooner or later someone is going to get hurt"

He says that suggestions that he somehow owed the government information are utterly ridiculous. He says that you can easily gain access to his plea agreement from his 2003 arrest (for hacking into Microsoft and New York Times servers) and there was no provisions in it that he would "do anything of the sort". He also points out that he successfully completed probation and has no obligations to the government. He says that they wanted him to "sign a form" not to discuss this information, but that he refused to do so, which is how he was able to talk to first Wired and now DailyTech on this subject.

As far as general thoughts on the topics of leaks, he says he generally stands by Wikileaks.  He says that despite repeated attacks on him and fellow security expert Kevin Poulsen by Wikileaks director Julian Assange, he still supports and donates to the site.  He says, "Wikileaks is an important source, regardless of who runs it."

He adds, however, that it needs "more oversight". He suggests a model like is used in a missile silos -- have a couple people screen every decision to post, rather than leave that discretion to just one person. That way, "common sense" would hopefully prevail and someone would prevent the leaking of information that would pointlessly endanger countries.

That said, he also adds that he would suggest that those looking to leak in the future consider first going to news agencies with information.  He says he is not aware of the Washington Post, for example, ever endangering the national security of the U.S.  He also encourages people in positions like Manning to contact him or other experienced individuals before they act, not after.

He continues, "Informing on him was a very hard decision for me, one of the hardest I have ever made.  I was also arrested [around] his age, so I know what it's like."

Asked if Manning had a future and could one day be successful, Lamo responds, "Absolutely.  If nothing else, he can get a book deal out of it."

 



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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By theArchMichael on 6/9/2010 2:36:40 PM , Rating: 4
... of his own last name.




RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/9/2010 2:45:54 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
... of his own last name.


Really? After hearing the initial reports, I was kinda down on Lamo, but after speaking with him in detail about this incident, I support the choice he made.

We both agreed that the gun cam footage arguably was something the public had a right to know about as it showed what really occurred (the murder of civilians).

I did not have the opportunity to review the diplomatic messages. Lamo, however, DID, and he tells me that they said some offhanded, unfavorable things about our foreign relations, which likely would be taken out of context.

Lamo's example of what would happen if someone leaked your private emails and conversations about people in your life is an excellent simile. Perhaps you shouldn't have been writing those things in the first place, but its human nature to make sometimes off-handed remarks, even in writing.

There was no reason for Manning to release those texts, other than to get back at those who demoted him.

With great power comes great responsibility as Spiderman says. Manning had the power to reveal great wrongs, but he instead he eventually chose to abuse it in a way that helped nothing and only stood to harm the nation he vowed to serve. That outweighs whatever public service his initial leaks provided.

I think Lamo made the right choice, now that I've gained more information on what occurred.

As Lamo says, people report crimes to him EVERY DAY and he hasn't turned a single one in. In this case, though, the danger was too great for him not to act. Had he not acted, the possible lives lost would be on his conscience.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By geddarkstorm on 6/9/2010 2:54:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
With great power comes great responsibility as Spiderman says.


Actually, it was Uncle Ben who said that to Peter Parker (before he really fully accepted his Spiderman identity). Just had to set the record straight ;).

Anyways, I figured it was something like this. Good to finally get everything out into the light.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Indianapolis on 6/9/2010 3:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that the guy was just making a joke about the name "Lamo"?


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/9/2010 3:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do realize that the guy was just making a joke about the name "Lamo"?


I wasn't sure if it was just a general joke or calling him "lame" for what he did.

Fortunately, I do know since he commented back. ;)

A lot of people HAVE been being really nasty to Lamo (posting crap on his Facebook, etc) since this incident, which I think is pretty unwarranted given the full story... Sorry if I overreacted. I think we're all on the same page here, for the most part, though.


By FaceMaster on 6/9/2010 3:15:19 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, I thought it was a take on 'lmao'. Hackers, eh?


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By theArchMichael on 6/9/2010 3:24:29 PM , Rating: 3
No I was just making fun of his name... not very successfully...

I could have gone further with it and said... some day he may choose to marry a lucky lady, making her a Lame-O too. Then I'm sure we'll hear more exploits of other little Lame-Os...

Seriously though, the guys story does sound straight and I think he did the right thing coming out with his story. BUT as a journalist , doesn't that create some kind of major ethical dilemma for him? I thought secrecy of your sources was supposed to be penultimate for a journalist.


By JasonMick (blog) on 6/9/2010 3:29:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Seriously though, the guys story does sound straight and I think he did the right thing coming out with his story. BUT as a journalist , doesn't that create some kind of major ethical dilemma for him? I thought secrecy of your sources was supposed to be penultimate for a journalist.


True, but he wasn't writing a report on this topic. Manning approached Lamo out of a desire to share hacker tales by the sound of it. He wasn't a "source" in a journalistic sense, so there was no conflict of interest.

J-School Ethics are important, but to some extent they only apply to how to approach your career INSIDE journalism, not your external activities.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Fracture on 6/9/2010 4:46:04 PM , Rating: 1
I think Lamo perfectly illustrates the difference between a rat (himself) and an informant (Manning).


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By michael67 on 6/10/10, Rating: -1
RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By ebakke on 6/9/2010 3:15:36 PM , Rating: 1
Two days ago you were hailing that officer as a hero. And I quote:
quote:
I can only hope that as this incredible story gains publicity, that the U.S. government is limited in the penalties they can bring against this brave young man.

Now after you've "gained more information on what occurred" you're on the other side of the page. I don't know if I should commend you for your ability to change your preconceived ideas after being presented with new information, or if I should be disgusted that you so vigorously defended this kid while (by your own admission) lacking information about the incident.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By MozeeToby on 6/9/2010 3:34:23 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I don't know if I should commend you for your ability to change your preconceived ideas after being presented with new information, or if I should be disgusted that you so vigorously defended this kid while (by your own admission) lacking information about the incident.
I'd go with commending his ability to change his opinion with changing facts. After all, yesterday no one had all the facts and everyone was giving opinions and best guesses. It could have turned out the other way and vindicated Mick, would everyone on this board admit their mistake to themselves and others as quickly as he did?


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/9/2010 4:23:34 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
would everyone on this board admit their mistake to themselves and others as quickly as he did?


I appreciate you saying that.

As I said in my original comment, I freely admit that I made a mistake in my original remarks in the comments section of the first piece. Look, I have to write 5+ stories every day with the info I can scrounge up. I try to deliver you the best coverage I can, but it's always a work in progress. I'm always trying to clear up any gaps in my research or commentary.

Being a writer is kind of like a politician. If you change your opinion when you learn more about something, you're considered a flip-flopper and derided. If you don't change your opinion, you're equally derided for being arrogant and a fool. It's a no win situation.

But ultimately I don't really care what ebakke or anyone else thinks about me personally. I just want to try to deliver to all of you the best news, information, and commentary I can. That's why I wrote the original piece, that's why I wrote this followup, and that's why I'm taking the time to respond to your comments here. If you like it, great, if you don't, tell me what you think I should add to improve it.

If you don't agree with my opinions, tell me why. I actually will listen to you.

I firmly believe that if there's one thing I've learned from my time writing at DailyTech it's that serious issues are seldom black and white, seldom simple. You ALWAYS have to be willing to listen with an open mind and you can't be afraid to admit you were wrong when you learn more about a topic, in order to try to save face.

That's just my opinion, though, feel free to disagree...


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By clovell on 6/9/2010 4:46:49 PM , Rating: 3
Well said, Jason. You have an article to be proud of here. Nice job.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Eris23007 on 6/9/2010 5:19:18 PM , Rating: 5
Jason,

I agree with and applaud your openness to re-evaluation of opinions given new facts. I strive to do the same in day-to-day life and find this quality sorely lacking in the majority of the population.

...however...

I would argue that this illustrates the critical importance of separating journalistic news - reporting of fact - from editorial analysis and/or opinion. I know this has been a frequent debate over your articles and I suspect you will recall that I have criticized the blurred line you have taken between news and analysis in the past (so I may as well be direct in pointing it out). I also deeply respect your willingness to address these issues directly and attempt to be similarly forthright.

I am aware that it has become common in the news industry to blur the line between fact and analysis/opinion (e.g. the AP's "accountability journalism"). But I would argue that by focusing your coverage on the facts of a scenario and allowing intelligent readers to form their own analytical conclusions, you are less likely to be tagged with either flip-flopping or arrogant. I personally believe (opinion warning!) that people prefer to form their own opinions when given the chance, as opposed to being spoon-fed what they "should" think. I believe that the merging of fact and opinion has been a major contributor to the downfall of the traditional news media and has encouraged the rise of players who make no attempt to hide their biases (e.g. Fox or MSNBC).

I respectfully urge you to carefully consider this example of the perils of mixing the two and hope you will consider this chain of events the next time you are reporting the news on a controversial subject.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By ebakke on 6/9/2010 7:52:45 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I agree with and applaud your openness to re-evaluation of opinions given new facts.
I agree completely, and I want to give Jason credit for that. Most people (including myself at times) suck at this.

quote:
I would argue that this illustrates the critical importance of separating journalistic news - reporting of fact - from editorial analysis and/or opinion.
That was half of my original point. If you want to report news, report news. If you want to opine on news, opine. DailyTech has this weird mash of both where an author can do both. But frequently the opinion/bias of the author makes its way into the article, not just the comments.

The other half of my original point was disappointment in formulating an opinion (and a strong one at that) before having the facts. It reminds me a lot of "I don't have all of the facts...but I believe the police acted stupidly."

And that brings me right back to my original post. I'm torn between giving Jason a tip of the hat, or a wag of the finger. I guess both is always an option.

(Not that a tip of my hat, or a wag of my finger means anything to anyone.... but that's the point of these comment sections, right? To give an outlet for us all)


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Eris23007 on 6/10/2010 10:43:20 AM , Rating: 2
Tip o' the hat and wag o' the finger?

I had no idea Steven Colbert surfed DailyTech!

:-D


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By michael67 on 6/10/2010 11:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree on this one, there should be more a differences between news and opinions.

Opinions from the author should be in italics ore different letter type, and the articles should have more of a differences between opinion and the news.

And the redaction should not except news articles that don't follow those rules


By Lazarus Dark on 6/9/2010 9:14:39 PM , Rating: 1
I'm just confused as to what changed between the first article and this one? This article just gives further detail of what we already knew, an my opinion hasn't changed in the least. This looks like the same article, just with direct quotes now. What "new information" are you people talking about. I see no new info here, and I'm confused as to how anyone had a different opinion before.

Boy leaks a couple vids showing possible military abuses of civilians: probably good.
Boy leaks a huge ton of documents that may or may not be important/damning/controversial: Bad.
Hacker exposes boy as security risk: good.
There's no new facts here.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By jhb116 on 6/10/2010 1:20:50 AM , Rating: 3
Jason,

In that case - can you stop using the term "murdering innocent civilians". I haven't seen the footage, however, you, nor I, know what the full circumstances of the incident in question. In fact - we are suppose to be a society of innocent until proven guilty and I have not seen anything that says someone was convicted of murder. There was likely an investigation (possibly on going) since the footage was reportedly discovered on a JAG officer's computer - JAG's are military Lawyers.

It is common for our enemy to use tactics to either lure military engagement on civilian targets, stage scenes that look like the military engaged civilians or to start a fight and then blend in - all the while making it look like we killed innocent civilians. They could have started firing from the vehicle(s) or areas close to the vehicle(s) to draw fire and even risk their own lives to get fired upon and then get video of them pulling dead bodies presumably killed by US/Allied forces. My understanding of gun cameras is that they only video tape when "in action", ie firing, so we don't know what happened prior to the gun firing.

In this age - we need to ask the question of is the video even real? It is not inconceivable (though not very likely) that this video was planted to get exactly the response that happened. I'm not sure what network this was pulled from, however, I would think that JAG computer files/directories would be fire walled from the rest due to confidentiality and privacy laws.

At the end of the day - I don't believe that anyone here has the full story and shouldn't be drawing conclusions like murder so if you truly believe yourself a journalist - then please stop referring to this as murder until you have all the facts. Thank you.


By theArchMichael on 6/9/2010 3:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Lacking information" as a virtue of hindsight perhaps? Meaning, if the information wasn't available when the original article was written then I think his previous assertions are understandable.
I think you could blame the medium though because it was a "blog" article. It's a gift and a curse. Information is reported almost real time. But because of that you are often limited by the information that may be available readily. As new information emerges amendments should be made but often aren't. I think I personally would choose commendation for at least referencing the first article where there may have been errant assertions, rather than just glazing over that part and chalking it up to the game. I think he to do the right thing here. Even though sh!t like this happens every day on all fast news cycle media and half the time nobody even bothers after new information emerges.


By omnicronx on 6/9/2010 4:20:39 PM , Rating: 2
Shame on Jason for becoming informed and changing his opinion to reflect what he has learned!

Pick a side and stay with it! Even if you know you are wrong!

I've flip flopped too, but that does not mean we cannot form an opinion based on the information we currently have. I hardly call that lacking information, there was tons of information to base an opinion off of.

I hardly see how we can expect someone to 'know' that they do not have the entire story. His story reflects the cards he was dealt i.e the information available at that time, I have absolutely no problem with that.


By invidious on 6/9/2010 4:32:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...or be disgusted that you so vigorously defended this kid while (by your own admission) lacking information about the incident
That one.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Alexvrb on 6/10/2010 11:27:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know if I should commend you for your ability to change your preconceived ideas after being presented with new information, or if I should be disgusted that you so vigorously defended this kid while (by your own admission) lacking information about the incident.
I'm going with the latter. It was obvious that there was more to this story. In fact if you carefully read the original story, it seemed pretty obvious that the kid was fed up with his situation, and wasn't simply fighting the good fight. He was switching gears from releasing videos of wrongdoing (whether that was his only motivation in the first place), to just releasing as much damaging information as possible. Lamo saw things going downhill quickly and had to do something.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Ammohunt on 6/9/2010 3:20:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
We both agreed that the gun cam footage arguably was something the public had a right to know about as it showed what really occurred (the murder of civilians).


Hey jackass this statement is extremely offensive to Veterans such as myself!(consider retracting it) Did you listen to what Lamo said about context? You imply that the military purposefully killed those Journalists; murder. The facts are that the journalists were in a warzone in an area known to have insurgent activity (their own stupid mistake). The enemy in Iraq wears civilian attire coupled with the fact that cameras at the distance these targets were engaged at through a gun site look exactly like weapons. A mistake was made sure but murder it was not. If you use your tiny little brain for a second you would realize that the military has nothing to gain by waxing Journalists; Journalists that were and are currently embedded with the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By omnicronx on 6/9/2010 4:31:39 PM , Rating: 1
You obviously did not watch the video in depth. I was truly disgusted after watching.

Furthermore what exactly do you call a death as a result of disobeying the rules of engagement?

The part where they shelled the van was particularly troubling, there was nobody with guns or anything that looked even remotely similar to weapons.

These guys were trigger happy morons, just looking for a reason to release havoc. I also don't see why you are so hung up on them being journalists. This is completely irrelevant, the point is for all they know, they were opening fire on civilians. Furthermore, if it was so obvious that these were insurgents, why did they cover it up? Read the Reuters stories about the military refusing to answer questions on the subject. They knew it was wrong and would be a PR nightmare.

I'm not saying these guys are a good reflection of US forces in general, I'm sure they are not.. but these guys should be Court Marshalled and jailed.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By clovell on 6/9/2010 4:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
Chill. Analysis of the video - the whole video, not the clip - lends credence to both viewpoints. It was a judgement call that was made in error. Nothing more, nothing less.

This is war. You fuck up, and people die. America needs to realize that as much as they need to know the truth, and that video shows both.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By omnicronx on 6/9/2010 5:15:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
07:41 Come on, let us shoot!
quote:
06:33 Come on, buddy.
06:38 All you gotta do is pick up a weapon.


Nah these guys were not gun ho.. Nah they were not waiting for confirmation making comments such as 'Come on, let us shoot'. This was no mistake, we can see the video when they are talking on the radio making claims that for all intents and purposes were lies, or extreme exaggeration of the truth.

They were not under pressure, nor were they being engaged. So exactly how do you just 'fuck up' under this situation? And even if they did, are you seriously trying to imply that mistakes should go unpunished?

I.e just because something was a mistake, does not mean you are not liable. These are soldiers, war is their job, I would understand if this were stressful situation (or a situation in which decisions were made immediately because time was an issue), but that was not the case here. They were flying high in the sky and not once were they ever engaged.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By kyp275 on 6/10/2010 2:32:30 AM , Rating: 3
Way to go on letting your bias color everything you see and hear.

Fact 1: The incident occurred in an area that has seen fighting took place throughout the day.

Fact 2: There are friendly right down the street that is vulnerable to attack. (the journalist's camera even had photos of the coalition vehicles)

Fact 3: While the journalists did not have weapons, the men they were with did.

You know what's worse than getting shot at and killed in combat? it's letting your buddies and fellow servicemen get killed because you did or did not do something. Flying air support missions does not mean "shoot back after friendly forces get killed only", and don't even try to imply you even remotely understand what it's like to be in combat, that's just insulting to the rest of us.

and while you're at it, it may help to actually read the report from the actual investigation so you actually know what you're talking about.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Jaybus on 6/10/2010 1:07:45 PM , Rating: 1
There were armed enemy soldiers, insurgents, or whatever they are called these days, running in the streets. Anyone amongst them is either one of them, aiding them, or an idiot for not getting off the streets. Someone did fuck up....the journalists. You don't fight wars by waiting until you are engaged. General Patton put it best. "No dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won the war by making some other dumb bastard die for his country." The journalists may not have been dumb bastards, but they were unlucky bastards. Fairness, righteousness, and civility are not words that are associated with wars.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By JediJeb on 6/9/2010 4:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
Did you also see the unedited video with the audio included? In that you hear the crew of the helicopter repeatedly asking command if they should fire or not. Command was reviewing the gun camera feed and made the decision to fire. Also when zooming in there are weapons present carried by others there not the journalists. The journalists just happened to be in the wrong place with the wrong people at the wrong time.

quote:
Furthermore what exactly do you call a death as a result of disobeying the rules of engagement?


There was also no markings on the van which was assisting the people known to have guns, and the same type of van had been used before to transport insurgents to places to fire on our helicopters. The rules of engagement say you can't fire on vehicles marked as medical and such, but there was not red cross on top of that van to mark it as an ambulance in a war zone.

While this was a tragic event, it does not violate the rules of engagement. Also journalist know before they enter a war zone that they should be sure not to be around enemy combatants or their life is in danger.

quote:
These guys were trigger happy morons, just looking for a reason to release havoc. I also don't see why you are so hung up on them being journalists. This is completely irrelevant, the point is for all they know, they were opening fire on civilians.


Since the insurgents don't wear uniforms they look like civilians. Again if you listen to the audio, you will hear these are not just trigger happy morons, but soldiers doing their job by the book.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By omnicronx on 6/9/2010 5:28:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
you will hear these are not just trigger happy morons

You are living in denial my friend.

"look at that bitch go"

"nice missile"

"Well, it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."

Furthermore, I've read many reports. Insurgents don't just sit out in the open when they see an attack helicoptor, they were circled numerous times before they were engaged. Usual behavior is for insurgents to run and hid and/or attempt to use the RPG's (that they apparently had right?).

I've listened to the entire thing many times, it was like they were in a computer game. This is not war, and these guys were having fun doing it.

Furthermore if this was all common and within the rules of engagement, why did the military lie?
quote:
"They said that the children were injured by shrapnel and the people who were killed were identified positively as militants who had put the security of Iraq at risk and that they had ... weapons.
They had the VIDEO, this is not how it went down and they know it. These children were injured from 30mm fire, not from shrapnel. And lets not get into the fact that obviously they could not have identified all the men as insurgents.

Witnesses of the event (including other reporters) also directly contradicted the military's story.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By clovell on 6/9/2010 5:36:17 PM , Rating: 3
There were RPGs sighted the area prior to the clip. The chopper was brought in for support. The ground was considered hot. It was a war.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Dologan on 6/9/2010 6:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
And that somehow immediately turns every person in civilian clothing into an insurgent and every black thing with a strap into a weapon?

What about the perfectly reasonable point of people in the most un-insurgent-like way possible? Once outside, was there anything these people could have done not to be fired upon? Surely running back inside at the sight of the helicopter would have been regarded as perfectly natural in the charitable judgement of these fine soldiers...~


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By clovell on 6/10/2010 10:19:46 AM , Rating: 1
Nope, it sure doesn't. Like I said, they fucked up.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Dologan on 6/9/2010 6:08:26 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Since the insurgents don't wear uniforms they look like civilians. Again if you listen to the audio, you will hear these are not just trigger happy morons, but soldiers doing their job by the book.

So the conclusion is to regard all civilians as insurgents? Sorry, that's just a logic fail and it seems to be the one the soldiers are using.

The people there did nothing to indicate they were insurgents. All it took was for a few of them to have something vaguely resembling a weapon for the soldiers to claim without a shadow of doubt that they were AK47s and RPGs; conclude they were definitely up to no good and begging to be allowed to shoot. Really, is that all it takes to decide on the life or death of a bunch of people?

And then during the rescue attempt the damn soldier was even asking aloud to be given an excuse to shoot the already wounded person. If that is not being trigger happy, I don't know what it is.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By tmouse on 6/10/2010 8:25:32 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I don't know what it is


That pretty much sums it up.

UNTIL you have been in such a situation you can simply have ABSOULTLY NO IDEA what it is like. You say a lot of things, your adrenalin is through the roof. I HAVE been in a similar situation, the fact that the wounded person was treated and not shot was a testament to my restraint, but if they had moved toward the weapon or if it looked like they had an explosive on them I would have killed them. Does that make me a gung-ho blood thirsty murder? Well let's see; on one of our in land missions we came across a village that was believed to be a base for the hostiles in the areas. Those SOB's thought nothing of wiring a grenade to a child's doll and having the girl (around 5) give it to one of the soldiers. Nothing like seeing someone you know get blown to bits while receiving a "gift" from a child. DO you then kill every child you see? of course not; do you find yourself saying if that f@@@ing kid comes over here I'll blow her head off for a while, unfortunately you do that's the horror of war and its 100 times worse when the hostiles do not wear uniforms. Unfortunately if you always wait for them to shoot first you are guaranteed to return home in a body bag. It's a hard call to determine how much suspicious activity justifies action, sitting back in a chair free from worry, looking back on the results and having all of the time in the world, it is easy to call something "clearly" right or wrong, but quite frankly until you have BEEN in that situation you are not qualified to judge the "facts". I'm not sure if this was or was not justified (quite frankly I have not seen the clips nor do I want too I've seen more than I want to first hand), this was in the JAG's office, their people have ALL of the facts available, like it or not they are in the best position to determine whether or not something went wrong and believe me the people in JAG are not gung-ho shoot first and ask latter types. The court of public opinion (and that stupid slob who made himself the sole judge over what should and should not be released)is simply no way capable of reaching a fair determination. There is a place for true whistle blowers (when things are being covered up but here it was clearly still an open investigation)but this guy is not one of them.

(sorry if this was a bit long and run on but it takes a lot of restraint to not come off as some sort of "gung-ho" crack pot when I read some of the judgements being made here)


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By T2k on 6/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By tmouse on 6/16/2010 3:44:42 PM , Rating: 3
Yes your post clearly shows us your superior intellect. I'll match my advanced degrees against your any day son.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By The Raven on 6/9/2010 5:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Hey easy buudy, you are right that it wasn't murder, but Journalist who take on these sorts of assignments are heros too. Stupid: no. Dangerous: yes. Did they know the risk: I hope so. At any rate, if I were a journalist, I am not a journalist and I am offended by your remark. No that I completely blame you because I agree with your main point.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By The Raven on 6/9/2010 5:08:05 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and I'm sorry, I would be remiss if I didn't thank you for your service, as I greatly value my freedom and am very grateful for heroes such as yourself. Thank you and happy early Independance Day.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Ammohunt on 6/10/2010 1:58:32 PM , Rating: 2
I am no hero I served in peace time; please reserve your gratitude for those that have do this kinda stuff daily and have done it in previous conflicts the same people that have to live with the nightmares of war. I have spoken to soldiers while working in Kuwait for the ARMY while the memories of collecting the remains of their buddies are still fresh in their memory or they are on their way back to CONUS to bury them; its a humbling experience and they deserve every benifit of the doubt.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By The Raven on 6/11/2010 5:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
I believe that there is a spectrum to the term hero. And though I do not want to diminish the meaning of the word, I take from the fire of your post that given slightly different circumstances you would be in the same place as the heros you mention.

And for the record, I have a higher regard for the guy who gives continuously through their life than the kid who gives for a couple of years until their death. Though I believe both could/should be considered as heroes.

So you sir, are still up for the job in my opinion ;-)


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By T2k on 6/16/2010 10:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hey jackass this statement is extremely offensive to Veterans such as myself!(consider retracting it) Did you listen to what Lamo said about context? You imply that the military purposefully killed those Journalists; murder. The facts are that the journalists were in a warzone in an area known to have insurgent activity (their own stupid mistake). The enemy in Iraq wears civilian attire coupled with the fact that cameras at the distance these targets were engaged at through a gun site look exactly like weapons. A mistake was made sure but murder it was not. If you use your tiny little brain for a second you would realize that the military has nothing to gain by waxing Journalists; Journalists that were and are currently embedded with the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.


I'll speak loud and slow so even such a half-retard like you can understand it...

...SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU CLUELESS, IGNORANT, HALF-ILLITERATE STUPID MURDEROUS TOOL.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By tmouse on 6/18/2010 7:14:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll speak loud and slow


Given the intelligent replies you usually give; can you speak any other way forest?


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2010 3:51:02 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I think Lamo made the right choice, now that I've gained more information on what occurred.


Maybe you should have talked to him before you made your first story on this and accused the government of illegal cover-up's while upholding a criminal and traitor up as some kind of hero?

Funny, but Lama's words sure cast doubt on the pure, ethical, and upstanding picture you were trying to paint earlier this week about Manning. About how he was just a confused young man who stumbled onto something that he couldn't deal with.

quote:
Had he not acted, the possible lives lost would be on his conscience.


How ironic. We're WE the ones in your other article pointing this out? All you were interested in was accusing the military of a cover-up.

Jason, here's a hint. If I wanted to cover up an event, why would I leave the only video proof of it in existence on a computer that others have access to? I would delete the file, reformat the drives, demagnetize the drives, melt the computer down with acid, chop the hard drives into 30 pieces, melt THOSE down with acid and burn them, then deposit the ashes in 30 different States.

I find it hilarious that you had to talk to a hacker, a criminal himself, to finally get religion and look at this with some shred of common sense. If I were you, I would be seeking some serious self reflection about my belief system right about now.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By theArchMichael on 6/9/2010 4:02:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
quote: Had he not acted, the possible lives lost would be on his conscience. How ironic. We're WE the ones in your other article pointing this out? All you were interested in was accusing the military of a cover-up. Jason, here's a hint. If I wanted to cover up an event, why would I leave the only video proof of it in existence on a computer that others have access to? I would delete the file, reformat the drives, demagnetize the drives, melt the computer down with acid, chop the hard drives into 30 pieces, melt THOSE down with acid and burn them, then deposit the ashes in 30 different States. I find it hilarious that you had to talk to a hacker, a criminal himself, to finally get religion and look at this with some shred of common sense. If I were you, I would be seeking some serious self reflection about my belief system right about now.


Are you saying that the video is invalidated because the person who delivered the video in question may not have had the best intentions? I think the video was classified for a reason, it had been requested by Reuters and others since like 2007 or right after it happened. A request which was repeatedly denied, while "hundreds" of other videos of gunship 'battles' are released for public consumption. I'm not sure if the activities in the video are illegal. But certainly, at the very least, I think a lot of Americans would be shocked at what some here describe as routine military behavior.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Dologan on 6/9/2010 6:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...split second life or death decision making this chopper crew was dealing with...

Are you serious? Come on... There was never any sign of threat to the helicopter. The people on the ground weren't even paying attention to it.

quote:
The simple fact is lots of Americans are idealistic pacifists and believe NOTHING is worth going to war for.

And just what exactly is worth going to war for? Bogus WMD? Oil? The Righteous Crusade to bring Democracy to the unenlightened masses?


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Klinky1984 on 6/9/2010 8:56:22 PM , Rating: 3
Instead of blathering with pointless labels, how about you actually answer the question? What was the point of the Iraq war? 727 billion dollars & one hundred thousand lives(Iraqis count too!). What did it get us or the Iraqi people?


By maverick85wd on 6/10/2010 12:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What did it get us or the Iraqi people?

It got us way into debt and it destabilized their nation. Not to mention the profuse loss of life on both sides.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By kyp275 on 6/10/2010 2:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you serious? Come on... There was never any sign of threat to the helicopter. The people on the ground weren't even paying attention to it.


The Apache was flying air support, there were friendly ground forces nearby that could have came under fire.

quote:
And just what exactly is worth going to war for? Bogus WMD? Oil? The Righteous Crusade to bring Democracy to the unenlightened masses?


Reclaimer's point on that is very valid, as for things that are worth fighting for... that's a personal decision to make, but try looking at WW2 for some easy examples.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Zoridon on 6/10/2010 8:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
I have to ask for your definition of WMD? In my mind it is the end result that matters not the question. Did tens if not hundreds of thousands of people die under Saddam...yes. Did he gas his own people and wipe out several towns....yes. would the end result of taking a dull butter knife and use it to kill 10,000 people be the same as dropping nerve gas on a village and killing the same amount of people?... yes How about the mass graves they dug up with bodies hands tied behind their backs broadcast on CNN after we discovered them thanks to the reltives who showed us these examples of genocide? I refuse to accept your or anyone elses defininition of WMD when the end result is "Mass Death" it is the same thing, your using lawyer like politcally correct bs to hide the answer. Unable to see the forest due to the tree in front of your blind face. You ask for WMD and I show you a picture of Saddam.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/9/2010 4:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I find it hilarious that you had to talk to a hacker, a criminal himself, to finally get religion and look at this with some shred of common sense.


How the heck did you turn this into a discussion on religion? That kinda astounds me.

Yes, I made an error Monday, in the opinions I voiced in the comments section. I admitted it freely here. I voiced by opinions about the story in Monday's comments section that I would not have, had I had the information I now have.

I did that story *after* I finished hours of coverage on WWDC so I did not have time to review all the facts extensively. That's why I worked hard to deliver a followup. The original story was accurate, it was merely my comments, OPINIONS, in the commentary section that were flawed. That's why I'm now expressing my thoughts here to set the record straight on my current opinions on the issue.

Are you telling me you never changed your mind about something after further research?


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By clovell on 6/9/2010 4:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
Aside - it was pretty cool that the guy gave you an interview. I always think it's really cool when you guys at DT get real interviews.

You did your job, Jason. At the end of the day, the readers are fully capable of thinking for themselves.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Mortando on 6/9/2010 5:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How the heck did you turn this into a discussion on religion? That kinda astounds me.

Pssst...: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+religion


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By ekv on 6/10/2010 4:01:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I did that story *after* I finished hours of coverage on WWDC
Jayson, why do you deliberately misconstrue "get religion", a colloquial saying? Unless it were to sensationalize and pivot the conversation away from a sensitive topic.

Am I -- are we -- supposed to sympathize with you because you worked so hard on covering WWDC, but then jumped the gun [pun intended] here?

What really troubles me is, I'm supposed to cut you slack for changing your mind, but what about putting yourself in the position of the pilots in the video? or even in lamo's position? If the pilots screw up our people's lives are on the line. Those soldiers over there don't just work for a couple hours, they LIVE in the story. Those guys need support and guidance, not second guessing. Likewise, if lamo screws up who knows what nefarious deeds are committed by exposing diplomatic secrets.

There are situations where you shoot first and ask questions later. I learned the hard way that you don't do that all the time, and still look in the mirror. Similarly, the Blame-America-First shooting, as it were, has gone too far. I can only hope for a more balanced reporting.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/10/2010 8:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Jayson, why do you deliberately misconstrue "get religion", a colloquial saying? Unless it were to sensationalize and pivot the conversation away from a sensitive topic.


Yeah. I really find it hard to believe he's never heard that phrase used that way before. I donno...


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By ekv on 6/10/2010 8:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
I get the impression he's trying to jerk your chain. He's in the wrong and yet he lashes out at you. And manages to spray bullets, as it were, every which way.

Flaming liberal opinion pieces are one thing, which I've unfortunately come to expect from Jayson, but balanced reportage is another. Reporting is practically a lost art. Maybe somebody jerking his chain, or a few sleepless nights, will set him to seek ....


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Grast on 6/9/10, Rating: -1
RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By omnicronx on 6/9/2010 4:49:34 PM , Rating: 4
Yet another person that obviously did not watch the video.

I was truly disgusted with the footage, and I fully understand the conditions that these soldiers are subjected too. That being said, the actions of these guys just makes me sick.

Shelling a van with 50mm shells because he is picking up an injured person (who was not armed, you could clearly see from the video, the soldier even went as far as to say "Just pick up the weapon, please pick it up" when it was clear that was not what the journalist was after) cannot be justified period. There is no conceivable way that this could be construed any other way, they flat out lied on the radio when they were asking for confirmation . These actions resulted in the injury/death of a child that happened to be in the van.

Nobody was being used as a human shield, nobody ever engaged the helicopter that they could clearly see.. and they essentially lied on the confirmation requests to engage on multiple occasions.

In the end NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU WANT.. They MUST follow the rules of engagement. Because someone in a helocopter thinks they see a shiny object on 2 people in a crowd of people that they know do not have weapons is UNACCEPTABLE PERIOD.
We are there to maintain peace, killing 10 civilians to get 2 insurgents is completely unacceptable, and will not do anyone any good in the long run. It gives the rest of the soldiers, the military, and the US a bad name, and more of a reason for people in the area to continue attacks. Making matters worse, US soldiers were not in danger in the slightest.

I would completely understand if something like this happened in a stressful situation, but this was like killing fish in a barrel from a completely safe distance.

They should be Court Marshalled or better yet, charged with war crimes.


By maverick85wd on 6/10/2010 12:59:26 AM , Rating: 2
Just out of curiosity, have you ever been in a hostile area and engaged armed insurgents? How many of your friends would you need to see die or get seriously injured before you started hating those you are combating? Those boys are over there to kill people and break things, and that's what they were doing. If you're so against it, write your congressman and tell him to bring our boys home already, I will definitely agree with you there.

It's real easy to make these comments from the convenience of your living room or office, but no one cares about your superior morals. I agree with you often on many issues, but this is absolutely not one of them.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By tmouse on 6/10/2010 8:56:32 AM , Rating: 3
Of course because insurgents have big I's on them and civilians have big C's. As for the child IN the van I guess they should have used their x-ray specs. "Human shield" does NOT always mean the literal (hiding behind someone) just having them around make them shields, that's why many ammo dumps and C&C centers are in schools and hospitals when you fight guerilla wars. You also have no idea what is "a safe distance" vs. a RPG, unlike movies helicopters do not do those fantastic stunt rolls to narrowly miss multiple incoming missiles, they simply go up in flames. There are MANY, MANY incidences of vans loading up wounded and people coming out of those same vans firing RPG's to cover their escape. This may be a wrongful action but none of us here have all of the facts. Most combat footage looks really, really bad taken by itself, the JAG is the best place to sort out the facts not the court of public opinion.


By The Raven on 6/9/2010 4:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...what really occurred (the murder of civilians)


I know I am picking nits here, but it is not murder if you aren't doing it intentionally. If the soldiers said, "There are some civilians down there" and then opened fire, you could say that. But they thought they were the enemy.

I saw the wikileaks video and though I don't entirely disagree with the leaking of the video, I thought the editorial of it was slanted as it gives you a "sob story" about how those were real people, blah blah blah. Yes, it is sad but it made it sound like these purposefully gunned down some good family men. And I'm not saying they weren't. But they weren't in the minds of the soldiers. They thought they were a threat.

They should've just let people see it and not put a slant on it.

I wish we would get out of Iraq asap (and reduce the power of the gov't), but I don't think we should distort the truth to do it.

And I also think that legal means of protest in this country are much better than illegal means, like the leaking of these things. But people are just too damn lazy and/or jaded in this country to do it right.


By beerhound on 6/9/2010 5:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, the fact that those were journalists is indisputable. But the death of journalists on a battlefield isn't murder if it is unintentional. Yes they are supposed to be non-combatants and therefore not targeted. Unfortunately they were traveling with combatants, dressed in the same manner as the combatants and doing things that looked like stuff combatants would do. Aiming a long lensed cameras looks just like aiming weapons when you are at a distance in a moving helicopter. "War correspondents" have been killed on the battlefield many times before. They knew that risk and chose to be there.

It is a tragedy for their families that they were killed by US forces, but it was in no way a "murder". The only way it would be a murder is if the pilot and gunner knew they were non-combatants and intentionally targeted them anyway. I've seen several others correct you on that point in other threads about this subject and you still refer to it that way. By definition, if you call this a murder, then you are calling that aircrew murderers. I'm actually curious what your exposure to a libel lawsuit would be if those men choose to file one?


By inperfectdarkness on 6/9/2010 9:26:14 PM , Rating: 2
he's not an officer. spc is an e-4.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Amedean on 6/9/2010 9:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
Don't mind the casual drive by blog post (and the other morons). Your article on Lamo in my opinion was solid.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By tty12345 on 6/9/2010 10:09:01 PM , Rating: 2
While Lamo may have a point and may even be 100% correct in evaluating what was going on, it seems to me a big reason for turning Manning down was the fear of disclosure by someone else (and a punishment after that).

Think about this, what if everything got disclosed through some other source? To Lamo, that should have sounded very likely, as if Manning contacted him (and he could turn him in) someone else could have been contacted and could possibly do the same. And if goverment were to investigate this - and this is not one of those low-profile crimes he learns of regulalry - he would most likely be detected, arrested and spend the rest of his days in prison, because a) he knew what was going on and even saw those secret materials - and did not report that and b) he woudl be a second-time offender.

I'm no hero and totally not sure what I would do in such a case, but I really think fear was a big factor in his decision (no matter what, even if he genuinly thought he had to do what he s done).


By SilthDraeth on 6/10/2010 12:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
Actually The helicopter footage was not murder. Some gunners an a helicopter open fire on what they thought were armed insurgents. The fact that they opened fire and killed them doesn't make it murder. You may argue the way the laws in US are, that they committed manslaughter.

The fact that the Military lied about it, is a blackstain on the military. The release of the video helped shed the truth of what happened.

The truth, as completely evident by the video.
"We have no one over there" = The press didn't inform the military that they were going to be in that area, or if informed the guys we here on the video were not aware of the fact. Pretty sure, at least when I worked Comm state side support with our forces in Qatar that press that are over in a war zone inform our forces. Even if not required, it would make sense. Considering the other side has killed several reporters, and that is with knowing they are reporters.

"They thought they were armed, and at least one was armed." - LOAC states that any non combat personal are not to be armed. Even American military doctors are not allowed to be armed, or have arms inside the med tents, as it makes them military targets. Having someone armed with the reporters that wasn't a military escort added to the misidentification. Granted from the Apache's view it looked like the reporters were armed and they stated as much. They made a mistake.

Covering up what happened was some Commander trying to look out for his own ass, and completely dishonored the rest of the military and the soldiers, including the ones that killed those people.

So for Cliffs: It wasn't murder. It was wrong to cover it up. The video being leaked showed the truth of what happened.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Calin on 6/10/2010 2:23:57 AM , Rating: 2
Just what I thought too - leaking the errors made by the Army/Air Force in attacking those civilians is good at least in the sense that it might increase the disponibility of the top brass to create a framework where this kind of error won't be repeated - even if, on the other hand, one of the cam footage was taken from the folder of a JAG officer and this might have been an ongoing investigation.
On the other hand, releasing incriminating evidence from the diplomatic cables would have been just as moral (or not moral, take it whatever you want).

However, releasing a quarter million diplomatic messages that might or might not be... let's say morally dubious, if not incriminating... is treason enough for me.

Kudos to Adrian Lamo for not discussing other issues related to Manning - he might have signed a small NDA too, or he might not want to pile insult over injury.


RE: Adrian Lamo is the victim...
By Zoridon on 6/10/2010 6:13:56 AM , Rating: 2
There you go again using that phrase murder of civilians... as if you know the whole truth about something without all the facts. I guess if you repeat a potential lie enough times you will get some sheep to believe you. How about using the qualifier "Alleged" murder it might give you some credibility in as someone without an agenda.


Unarmed civilians?
By Moohbear on 6/9/2010 2:44:40 PM , Rating: 5
I've watched the leaked chopper video. The crew seem to have mistaken a photograph's camera for an RPG, but the rest of the people the journalists were hanging out with were armed. Hanging out, with weapons, in the middle of a combat zone...
Accidents happens and this one could have been avoided if the poor sods had just used a little bit of common sense...




RE: Unarmed civilians?
By MozeeToby on 6/9/2010 2:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
A) The 'combat zone' was downtown where thousands of people live and work every day.
B) It is neither illegal, nor uncommon to carry unconcealed weapons in Iraq, up to and including AK47s. Admittedly, this says nothing about the misidentification of the camera as an RPG.
C) When the gunner opened fire on the reporters and their bodyguards, that was an unfortunate accident; their behavior and equipment did look suspicious and the missed ID is understandable under combat conditions. However, when he opened fire on the completely unarmed civilian who stopped to help the injured, that went from accident to something else entirely. At a minimum dishonorable discharges for the gunner and person who gave him permission to fire, at maximum it could be considered a violation of the Geneva conventions and as a result a war crime.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/9/2010 2:57:20 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
A) The 'combat zone' was downtown where thousands of people live and work every day.
B) It is neither illegal, nor uncommon to carry unconcealed weapons in Iraq, up to and including AK47s. Admittedly, this says nothing about the misidentification of the camera as an RPG.
C) When the gunner opened fire on the reporters and their bodyguards, that was an unfortunate accident; their behavior and equipment did look suspicious and the missed ID is understandable under combat conditions. However, when he opened fire on the completely unarmed civilian who stopped to help the injured, that went from accident to something else entirely. At a minimum dishonorable discharges for the gunner and person who gave him permission to fire, at maximum it could be considered a violation of the Geneva conventions and as a result a war crime.


Exactly. In Iraq you virtually have to carry weapons for self-protection, and that was even more so the case three years ago, during the period of rampant civil disorder.

U.S. military contractors openly carried weapons.

You summarized the incident perfectly. It was poor judgement to mistake the civilians for insurgents just because SOME of them were armed, and worse judgement to continue to fire on those who were trying to drag bodies out of the line of fire.

That said, what Manning did with the diplomatic message leak seems equally wrong. As the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Smilin on 6/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Moohbear on 6/9/2010 3:13:47 PM , Rating: 3
You forget to mention there was a military operation going on in the neighborhood, with troops, fighting, everything... It was not "just another day". The chopper was deployed to support ground troops who were under fire.
I'm not saying it's okay, it's really horrible. But it was a tragic accident, the pilots and the ground crew supervising them followed procedures so it's unfair to paint them as cold blooded civilian murderers. This is not My Lai. Watch the video again and ask yourself if you would have known what was going on. And again, it could have been avoided if those people had stayed home during the shoot out.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By mcnabney on 6/9/2010 3:14:44 PM , Rating: 3
I totally agree. The crime was the attack on the van which stopped to render aid.

However, I don't like the idea of every person in government thinking that they should dump a bunch of information on the Internet whenever they get a wild hair up their ass.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Ammohunt on 6/9/2010 3:25:22 PM , Rating: 2
I suggest anyone that has interest in this spend some time watching gun camera footage on sites like miltary.com. there are hundreds of videos just like you described insurgents dressed in civilian attire behaving exactly like the video you just described meeting their maker.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By MozeeToby on 6/9/2010 3:39:46 PM , Rating: 2
The people in the van had no weapons, didn't try to pick up weapons, didn't do anything that you or I wouldn't do if we came across injured people lying in the street. Keep in mind that the gunships were much farther away than the video makes it seem, 2-3 seconds flight time for the bullets (not sure what the muzzle velocity of an Apache's 30mm gun is but I'm sure it's not low). They probably didn't even realize they were being watched.

So I ask you, if you were driving down a deserted street and saw 5-10 people lying in the street bleeding and dying, what would you do? Because if you say anything other than run away as fast as possible, there's a good chance you would have been lit up with a few dozen 30mm rounds for your trouble.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Ammohunt on 6/9/2010 3:58:23 PM , Rating: 2
I would be the guy behind the gun camera using my best judgement based on experince fighting a war like this thinking that re-enforcements have arrived and go about blasting the van with whatever i had just like i did dozens of times before that. All the while knowing that journalists have enough sense to stay out of active combat zones.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By theArchMichael on 6/9/2010 4:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
I THINK they two guys in the gunship were talking and said that they recognized the vans were just there to pick up wounded, so they were not working under the assumption that they thought that reinforcements were coming.

I'm not sure its been a couple of weeks since I've seen the video...


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By theArchMichael on 6/9/2010 3:51:59 PM , Rating: 3
But is there a reason why some footage is released and some is highly classified? like the aforementioned was. I've seen the video and I felt it distastefully depicts the US military through their own actions. A van that the unit assumes is going to collect wounded is destroyed because it doesn't have the official Red Cross or Red Crescent... its just not a good look.

I'm not sure if it is criminal act, but I think the coverup is criminal (in the ethical sense).


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By rsmech on 6/9/2010 10:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm not sure if it is criminal act, but I think the coverup is criminal (in the ethical sense).


You may know more about this than me but according to the previous article it was stated that this video was found in a JAG file. I thought that being in a JAG file would possibly indicate a potential investigation. So if there is a potential ongoing investigation where's the cover up? Could it be that this is another example of the military justice system trying to do what the are suppose to do, when a potential crime is commited to investigate it. There is a difference with justice being served & propaganda for the enemy.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Ammohunt on 6/10/2010 2:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
Thier are many reasons how about operation security? the enemy watches TV do we want video of recent operations broadcast? so they can learn tactics or know where our areas of interest is? People make the mistake thinking that soldiers are Police Officers and apply the same standards to them as they would a beat cop. Therein lies the true injustice of this video soldiers doing their job isn't pretty and frankly if i were in command of the soldiers in this video i would have them done the same thing.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By beerhound on 6/9/2010 4:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
The primary reason this happened is the difficulty in distinguishing between insurgents and civilians. They go out of their way to look like civilians because they know that a misidentification can lead to civilian casualties and a nightmare in the press for the troops.

The problem is, that the insurgents use those types of vehicles as support vehicles too. That pilot and gunner had no way of knowing that children were in that vehicle, it looked and operated exactly the way you would expect the insurgents to operate. It rushed in to give aid to combatants, lacking any information to the contrary, that makes it a target.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/2010 5:35:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The crime was the attack on the van which stopped to render aid.


How could they have possibly known that??

The amount of hindsight you guys are using to criminalize this chopper crew is just ridiculous!!! They didn't have six months to pour over camera footage. They had to act that instant! And they had orders. They weren't just out cruisin' for civilians to kill...


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By mcnabney on 6/9/2010 6:07:31 PM , Rating: 3
Because the door to the van opened and nobody with guns came out. That driver went straight to the wounded, just like any good person would do. If it was a van full of insurgents they would have busted it out of there after seeing a gunship rip into those people.

Which brings up another topic. Is it lawful to use the 30mm cannon on the Apache to directly attack personnel? Seriously, rules of warfare - of which the US is a signatory - limit the use of heavy weapons against non-vehicle/fortification targets.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/9/10, Rating: 0
RE: Unarmed civilians?
By Ammohunt on 6/10/2010 2:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well said! thats what a soft life does to people if your primary daily concern is a clan event in your favorite video game. Take comfort in knowing that these people have no idea how to survive with out a microwave for their burritos.


RE: Unarmed civilians?
By VultureTX on 6/9/2010 4:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
Prove it! -- that carrying an ak-47 in mufti is legal.

It is legal for each household to possess a registered ak47 and one magazine according to the DoD. I see no law that says it is legal to carry one in public. I also note that video does not back up your statement regarding open carry in Baghdad.

and of course the presence of an RPG in the group makes the group insurgents or involuntary martyr shields for an rpg toting insurgent.


Nice spin there JasonM
By VultureTX on 6/9/2010 4:01:03 PM , Rating: 2
In the 2007 Apache attack, those two reporters were accompanied by illegally armed individuals with AK47s and an RPG. Sure afterwards it turns out the reporters had a tripod but that is no excuse in a combat zone when you hang with insurgents just like Patty Hearst's gun was empty right?

But as clearly can be seen from the slant of your "journalism", you are as bad as WikiLeaks with their labeling it Collateral Murder after editing out the context.




RE: Nice spin there JasonM
By SGTPan on 6/9/2010 4:30:28 PM , Rating: 2
I couldn't agree more, nice 180. Oh how the mighty have fallen... in your eyes... in a matter of hours. You could have avoided looking like an a$$hat if you had actually approached this story with a little less bias. And while you're at it do you want to stop referring to their deaths as murder? You've clearly stated that you understand the gunship crew was following protocol, and were reacting to the information they had, even if it wasn't fully accurate. Murder implies malicious intent. These guys were doing their jobs. These deaths, although tragic, were accidental, not murder. BTW, you're still calling the ENLISTED SPECIALIST intelligence ANALYST an officer. Get your facts straight on both accounts please.


RE: Nice spin there JasonM
By droplets on 6/9/2010 7:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. Both these articles appear to be "rushed to post" due to their controversial nature, just like the Wikileaks collateral murder video. Over the weeks that followed that release, it became clear to me that the circumstances were less black and white than the video itself.
If you want to get a hot story out there ASAP, at least stick with the facts and try to keep opinions out of it.
Also, if you have access to Lamo and his version of things, why not wait to publish the first story, instead of a rebuttal story with his views?
The DT community takes this saga seriously, as can be seen by the number of comments coming in on it. Please, DT staff, take it seriously as well.


Fully Support the hacker...
By carigis on 6/9/2010 4:30:22 PM , Rating: 4
I tell you.. generally, there is nothing more pathetic then a snitch.. However, like in all things there is an exception to the rule. and folks, this is it.

Releasing a video of misconduct or illegal activities like the NSA spying on US citizens is one thing. However releasing 260,000 cables of which obviously no one person could have went through all of them to see if they are "coverups" is another. the fact is like this article states, it puts the lives of our own troops in danger, possibly embedded agents, confidential Informants etc.

Plain and simple is it crosses the line from whistleblower to full blown treason and places our men and women squarely in danger. IF you hate the country that much, move somewhere else don't endanger the lives of your countryman.

As for everyone talking about the collateral murder video, war is gruesome, the fact is the journalists were surrounded by men with AK47s and a rocket launcher, oops sorry.. but when that happens.. you take your chances. The only thing questionable in my mind is the van... and as they said..people are picking up bodies "and weapons".. usually the case is that people will pick up the weapons and turn around and say the US shot unarmed civilians on purpose, further causing people to become insurgents and further pushing away peace for the country. The fact is those soldiers did not go out that day to shoot kids, the fog of war can be brutal and you must rely on split decisions. lets be realistic here.




RE: Fully Support the hacker...
By Smilin on 6/9/2010 5:20:21 PM , Rating: 2
+1 if I could.


Discharge reason.
By Digimonkey on 6/9/2010 2:54:43 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
This discharge was in no way related to his leaking activities, but Lamo did not wish to divulge the reason, out of respect for Manning's family.


The guy mentioned lip syncing to Lady Gaga as he pretended to listen to it....his discharge wouldn't have anything to do with him being gay would it?




time for a new career?
By chromal on 6/9/2010 2:56:22 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
People confess federal crimes to me every day and I don't turn them in.

Uh, something tells me that not anymore, they don't.




Officer?
By KaiserCSS on 6/10/2010 11:21:41 AM , Rating: 2
I feel the need to clarify something. A 20 year old Specialist is not an officer. He's not even a non-commissioned officer. He's an E3 in the Army.




RE: Officer?
By mpjesse on 6/10/2010 2:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
Specialist is E4, not E3. PFC is E3


Not an officer!!!
By mpjesse on 6/9/2010 9:12:09 PM , Rating: 3
DailyTech: please stop referring to this soldier as an officer. Based on his rank he should be described as enlisted, soldier, or specialist. Officer implies he's higher up in the chain than he actually is.

On a seperate note, he may currently be facing seperation from the Army but I can almost guarantee he's gonna face UCMJ charges before he's discharged. The Army treats this stuff very seriously and the leak was a major black eye for the Pentagon.




The NEW American dream
By Indianapolis on 6/9/2010 2:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Asked if Manning had a future and could one day be successful, Lamo responds, "Absolutely. If nothing else, he can get a book deal out of it."


Ah yes, the American dream.




Right thing
By ZachDontScare on 6/9/2010 3:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like he did the right thing.




RIght thing
By wiz220 on 6/9/2010 3:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
I can respect Lamo for his actions in this case. It actually makes him more reputable I think. It shows that he doesn't have a completely biased, skewed view of the US and the government with an ax to grind regardless of consequences.




Wheres the tech?
By invidious on 6/9/2010 4:30:23 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe the fact that he is an ex-hacker... Even though no hacking was involved?




By Treckin on 6/9/2010 6:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really believe that this is the legit version of events? That he was going to be discharged anyway, and that crap diplo cables (which any halfwitted FIA should have already had access to, if not from their own sourcing, from the Israelis) are the reason that the Man cares about this??

I cant believe how easily distracted everyone is from reality here. Im sure out there somewhere a journalists children are weeping into their pillow, crying softly and aching for their father.

But who cares about that! This is about the leaked cables which detail Clinton's Vagisil reaction when creaming up on international flights.




Tools...
By croc on 6/10/2010 4:48:09 AM , Rating: 2
When the only tool that the US military has is a hammer, then obviously everything will look like a nail.




Sounds like someone covering his ass.
By vshin on 6/10/2010 9:56:37 AM , Rating: 2
Right or wrong, nobody likes a rat.




Creating Chaos?
By Shadowmaster625 on 6/10/2010 10:03:54 AM , Rating: 2
No, the chaos is there whether it is exposed or not. Whether or not these despicable acts are broadcast to the american public, or kept in the dark, this is still a racket. The USA is being bankrupted and destroyed as it is used as an engine of war for profit, profit for the privileged few. America is the car the bank robbers stole the night before the crime. And when these scum are done, America will be sitting at the bottom of the bay. Anyone who thinks these wars are anything other than a racket, through and through, are so delusional I will have no sympathy whatsoever for any of you when you realize what sitting on your butt and allowing all this to happen gets you.

This country is run by a rogue government. The government does not follow the law, as has been documented thousands of times. It only has the authority that people allow it to take. Whether Manning or this Lamo character is the true criminal here, is ultimately up to the people to decide. Seems like an easy decision to me. In a saner world, Lamo would be charged with obstruction of justice.




SPC = Officer?
By borismkv on 6/11/2010 1:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
Do some actual research, Mick, SPC is an enlisted rank. Not an officer. The guy was on the bottom of the totem pole and got pissed at the Army cause he's a whiny ass moron. Lock him up and throw away the key.




Screws..
By Chocobollz on 6/11/2010 2:41:31 PM , Rating: 2
Is it only me or he does have a screw on his ear? No wonder I've lost one of the screws on my motherboard! :p




Weapons of mass destruction?
By technoto on 6/17/2010 7:29:19 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Lamo states, "On a scale of nations [the creation of] a hostile environment can cost lives."


What a crock of shit, America excels at creating hostile environments, stirring up trouble internationally is what it does best, and it is something it has been doing for decades.

And, how many lives in Iraq have been lost due to America's fabricated intelligence?

America lied to go to war, that's the fact of the matter, any information that shows America as the lying, conniving, manipulative nation it actually is should be aired, but I would say the same for an nation with blood on its hands.





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