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Is Wired Hiding Key Evidence On Bradley Manning? 381

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-who-killed-jfk dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Glenn Greenwald writes in Salon that for more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed but refuses to publish the key evidence in the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source. 'In late May, Adrian Lamo — at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning — gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video which WikiLeaks released throughout this year,' writes Greenwald. Wired has only published about 25% of the logs writes Greenwald and Poulsen's concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do. 'Whether by design or effect, Kevin Poulsen and Wired have played a critical role in concealing the truth from the public about the Manning arrest,' concludes Greenwald. 'This has long ago left the realm of mere journalistic failure and stands as one of the most egregious examples of active truth-hiding by a "journalist" I've ever seen.'"
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Is Wired Hiding Key Evidence On Bradley Manning?

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  • by clone52431 (1805862) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:47PM (#34691722)

    Publishing evidence is what got Wikileaks in trouble in the first place. I doubt Wired will reveal anything without a subpoena.

    • But they already have revealed sections of the logs with incriminating evidence. What's the point?
      • by icebike (68054)

        Well it rather depends on when they got the Cease and Desist order from the Judge doesn't it?

        Poulsen man not be authorized to have the logs, which themselves may carry a secret designation. After all he got them from a person working for the government at the time.

        Or those logs may be harmful to the prosecution or defense case, in which case one or both lawyers may have sought protection in the form of a court order.

    • Re:Fallout... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@g m a il.com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:49PM (#34691748) Homepage Journal

      The remaining chat logs can contain details deemed to be national secrets. Releasing them publicly could get them in legal trouble.

      They could also contain information about their other informants/sources, which journalists typically try to protect. Withholding that info would actually be the height of journalistic integrity.

      • by Toe, The (545098)

        The remaining chat logs can contain details deemed to be national secrets. Releasing them publicly could get them in legal trouble.

        They could also contain information about their other informants/sources, which journalists typically try to protect. Withholding that info would actually be the height of journalistic integrity.

        ...which is precisely what makes a meta-news-organization like wikileaks so different. They're not trying to protect anyone: they reveal everything and let the consequences be responsible for themselves.

        • Re:Fallout... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by amRadioHed (463061) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:19PM (#34692100)

          That's not true. Wikileaks protects their sources as much as any journalist does, and for the exact same reason. If you don't protect your sources, you won't have any sources to protect.

        • They're not trying to protect anyone: they reveal everything and let the consequences be responsible for themselves.

          On their terms and their timetable. They most definitely have not 'released everything'.
          Also, Wired releasing this supposed info could influence an eventual jury (one way or the other).
        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          ...which is precisely what makes a meta-news-organization like wikileaks so different. They're not trying to protect anyone: they reveal everything and let the consequences be responsible for themselves.

          Except that they are now vetting their releases through news organizations in the attempt to avoid criticism over providing names of informants like they did their last release. They are certainly protecting people now. They are certainly revealing less than "everything". And they seem to be much more interested in consequences than originally stated.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        > Withholding that info would actually be the height of journalistic integrity.

        Exactly.

        Plus, If Wired got the info from a government informant (Adrian Lamo), presumably Lamo should have the info. And the FBI should have the info.

        I don't see why this article is coming down on Kevin Poulsen - compared to Manning, Lamo, and the FBI, Poulsen is an innocent bystander, making editorial and ethical decisions that seem to be pretty much by the journalistic integrity book.

        • Re:Fallout... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:03PM (#34691950)

          I don't see why this article is coming down on Kevin Poulsen - compared to Manning, Lamo, and the FBI, Poulsen is an innocent bystander, making editorial and ethical decisions that seem to be pretty much by the journalistic integrity book.

          Because it appears that Poulsen is on the job as well. In fact, I've never believed that the May trip to visit Lamo was legit. I've always suspected that this particular non-article was to cover Poulsen's visit to Lamo in which they collaborated on the Manning story. Likely, even, while Lamo was still chatting with Manning.

          Unclean hands...

          • "It appears"? "I've never believed"? "I've always suspected"?

            Maybe whatever you believe is correct. But is there some sort of evidence Poulsen participated in ... whatever you allege he did?

            • by BobMcD (601576)

              Since I'm not an active participant in any part of this process, my freedom to draw my own conclusions is completely unimpugned. I can speculate wildly and you can either agree or disagree as you see fit.

              Now were I bringing charges, or stating that I know such and such to be a fact then I'd be expected to present some evidence. As I'm doing neither, I'm using the appropriate labels throughout all my conversations, as you have clearly noticed.

              Seeing the full logs would settle it, I'd think.

              • > you can either agree or disagree as you see fit.
                I'm not interested in agreeing or disagreeing, just interested in what happened.

                You may indeed be free to draw your own conclusions, but I consider it unethical to impugn a person's honor based solely on "wild speculation."

                If you don't have any basis for your beliefs, you have no right to assassinate his character, and you can take your baseless conclusions to that heaven reserved for all those who have unshakable faith in the imaginary.

                • by BobMcD (601576)

                  I'm not impugning anyone's honor, per se. I have no evidence to do so. Nor should my opinion be capable of damaging such a person as would have use for such honor.

                  I'm merely pointing out that my chain of events makes more sense than theirs does - with what information we have at hand.

                  There's no veracity to this, and it could easily be proven false. These are the limits of armchair speculation. Rather as I predict what the weather will actually be like tomorrow, I'm going with my gut here.

                  And I'm complet

        • by FroBugg (24957)

          Here's something to call into question Poulsen's integrity: Lamo has continued to make claims about what Manning told him and how Manning first contacted him. Some of these claims seem to be contradictory. Not only has Poulsen not released the remainder of the logs, he has so far refused to use them to fact-check Lamo's more recent accusations.

      • Re:Fallout... (Score:5, Informative)

        by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @07:14PM (#34692680)

        The remaining chat logs can contain details deemed to be national secrets. Releasing them publicly could get them in legal trouble.

        The problem is that Lamo has spent the last few months revealing information from the chat logs. Journalists are repeating what he says as fact without being able to check them against the chat logs. Lamo has been making contradictory statements and changing his statements to apparently support the needs of the DOJ - he said that there was no explicit evidence of anyone helping Manning in the logs, the DOJ said it needed evidence of Assange directly helping Manning, and suddenly Lamo claims the logs contain explicit statements that Assange instructed Manning in how to upload files to Wikileaks. Convenient!

        Lamo was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital three weeks before Manning's arrest. Now he is talking to the press about these supposed confidential chat logs that they are unwilling to release. They are unwilling to release even the portion of chat statements that would directly confirm or deny Lamo's public statements. There are rumours that Poulsen and Lamo are both informants, and that both are somehow linked to Project Vigilant [salon.com] - a group that tracks internet users and hands the data over to the Federal Government ("what they essentially are is some sort of vigilante group that collects vast amount of private data about the Internet activities of millions of citizens, processes that data into usable form, and then literally turns it over to the U.S. Government, claiming its motive is to help the Government detect Terrorists and other criminals..")

        The article has been updated saying that Wired has promised a response, and Greenwald says "What they ought to do, at the absolute minimum, is post the portions of the chat logs about which Lamo had made public statements or make clear that they do not exist." Is that so unreasonable? Or is the world expected to believe verbatim the contradictory statements of a mentally ill man who refuses to show anyone the evidence behind those statements?

  • Irony (Score:5, Funny)

    by mortalmatt (1550837) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:49PM (#34691752)
    So, if someone decides to leak the chat logs will Wikileaks publish them?
  • So what exactly is /. intimating is in these logs that Wired and the shadowy conspiracy in which they are complicit wants withheld from the public?
  • I don't know enough details to decide if Wired is protecting a source (my first instinct) or if they are really holding back the press. I firmly believe that citizens deserve more privacy while governments need to be more open, and Manning sure has the deck stacked against him!
    • by dunng808 (448849)

      Wired's duty to protect their sources is more important to the nation -- the people -- than helping the government to prosecute those sources. Democracy demands freedom of the press.

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        Wired's duty to protect their sources is more important to the nation -- the people -- than helping the government to prosecute those sources. Democracy demands freedom of the press.

        Unless those sources are the government, due to Wired's being employed by the DOJ to solicit Manning's confession.

  • From TFA: (1) For the last six months, Adrian Lamo has been allowed to run around making increasingly sensationalistic claims about what Manning told him; journalists then prominently print Lamo's assertions, but Poulsen's refusal to release the logs or even verify Lamo's statements prevents anyone from knowing whether Lamo's claims about what Manning said are actually true. (2) There are new, previously undisclosed facts about the long relationship between Wired/Poulsen and a key figure in Manning's arre
  • Glenn Greenwald writes

    Whats Greenwald's angle? Anyone know?

    I read what he's writing, all very good agitprop, but the unreleased info could be used for many different purposes depending on what it is, maybe Greenwald already knows. Or his buddy told him to support it. If it happens to match a pre-existing agenda of his. So in that scenario, if we know his agenda, we know what the unreleased contents are..

    • by FroBugg (24957)

      Greenwald's agenda is that Bradley Manning has been held in solitary confinement for seven months without yet being charged with a crime. The chat logs (which the federal government has copies of) may contain evidence that helps to exonerate Manning or to prove his guilt. Outside of Lamo, Poulsen, Manning, and the government, nobody knows.

      However, Lamo has continued to make (sometimes conflicting) statements about what Manning has told him, and Poulsen refuses to so much as confirm or deny whether the logs

        • by FroBugg (24957)

          I was mistaken then, my mistake. But although he has been charged, Manning still has yet to be convicted, and his incarceration certainly seems excessively harsh in a country where people are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Greenwald's agenda is that Bradley Manning has been held in solitary confinement for seven months without yet being charged with a crime. The chat logs (which the federal government has copies of) may contain evidence that helps to exonerate Manning or to prove his guilt. Outside of Lamo, Poulsen, Manning, and the government, nobody knows.

        However, Lamo has continued to make (sometimes conflicting) statements about what Manning has told him, and Poulsen refuses to so much as confirm or deny whether the logs support any of these statements.

        That sounds like an accurate summary of the guys article, rather than his angle, or agenda or goal, or whatever.

    • Journalistic integrity.

      One of Greenwald's many recurring themes is the lack of integrity by journalists who spout an establishment line and stick to it, in the face of overwhelming evidence the line contradicts reality. The media's handling of Wikileaks has been a topic of interest for the last few months because it demonstrates the extreme lack of integrity that Greenwald has been highlighting, notably:

      • The repeating of government talking points that are, in fact, counter-factual (such as the commonly
  • ... if he doesn't publish it, then we'll have proof of what many of us have strongly suspected: he's a hypocrite.

    • by hedwards (940851)
      No we won't. He's never claimed that he'd publish something that would out his source. Unless you've got a citation otherwise.
  • by Duradin (1261418) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @05:59PM (#34691898)

    Anyone want to start a pool on when Anonymous will DDoS Wired for not supporting Wikileaks?

  • What the fuck? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:00PM (#34691914)
    Ok, totally baffled here. We don't know what, if any, sort of information Poulsen has about a possible link between Manning and Wikileaks. If he does possess such information, then what he has is information about a confidential source relationship. Greenwald is suggesting that the failure to release this information somehow is a failure of journalistic integrity on the part of Poulsen? I don't know where the fuck Greenwald went to school, but the protection of source confidentiality is one of the tenets of journalism. Perhaps he's upset that Poulsen doesn't work for Wikipedia and should therefore divulge any information he has. I find it hard to believe that professional journalists would make it a habit of outing each other's sources in such a manner. What is this guy smoking?
    • Re:What the fuck? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:21PM (#34692122)

      Greenwald is suggesting that the failure to release this information somehow is a failure of journalistic integrity on the part of Poulsen? I don't know where the fuck Greenwald went to school, but the protection of source confidentiality is one of the tenets of journalism.

      You mean like how Lamo and by extension Poulsen promised Manning journalistic confidentiality as a source for a Wired article?

    • Re:What the fuck? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:24PM (#34692154)

      If he does possess such information, then what he has is information about a confidential source relationship... I don't know where the fuck Greenwald went to school, but the protection of source confidentiality is one of the tenets of journalism.

      You do realise that it was Lamo (Wired journalist) who turned his source over to the FBI? The evidence suggests that Wired and/or their journalist staff do not have an absolute policy of protecting their sources.

      • by Isaac-1 (233099)

        An absolute policy of protecting a source is an idiot concept. Afterall what do you do when your source tells you he is responsible for a criminal act, more importantly what do you do when they tell you they plan to do more criminal acts? Even in the current example, there is a fine blurry line here between whisle blower and releasing state secrets that could get people killed Now consider if the source was a member of some fringe group that thinks freedom of expression extends to blowing up things as a

        • Re:What the fuck? (Score:5, Informative)

          by chrb (1083577) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @07:53PM (#34693038)

          what do you do when your source tells you he is responsible for a criminal act, more importantly what do you do when they tell you they plan to do more criminal acts?... Now consider if the source was a member of some fringe group that thinks freedom of expression extends to blowing up things as a form of protest.

          I don't have to imagine this situation - it happened with terrorist groups in Northern Ireland: The moral reason never to tell (British Journalism Review 2005): [bjr.org.uk]

          In such scenarios, journalists need first to address the moral dilemma: are they investigative journalists first, or citizens of the State first? They cannot jump between the two. If they decide it is the latter, then they should not be giving confidential sources worthless guarantees that at some point in the future they will abandon. In the issue of collusion, for journalists to identity their confidential sources makes them no better than the agents of the State they are exposing.

          Let me state categorically where I stand on the issue of a journalist's confidential sources of information. For me, the fundamental ethical principle of journalism is that we have a moral imperative to give a guarantee of anonymity to genuine confidential sources providing bona fide information. There can be no transparency in the trust that our sources must have in us as professional journalists. If we sacrifice that trust, we betray our credibility as reporters of the truth. Likewise, if there is no trust between the confidential source and the journalist, it destroys the concept of honesty in the verification of the evidence given by that source.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:00PM (#34691916)

    It's been an open secret for some time that Kevin Poulsen and Adrian Lamo are both federal informants and have been since they were released from prison. That was part of the deal that they made with the government when arrested to avoid the hell that Kevin Mitnick went through when arrested. Even if it weren't an open secret, their actions in regards to Bradley Manning and Wikileaks expose them.

    The chat log between Adrian Lamo and Bradley Manning will likely never see the light of day.

    • by wordsnyc (956034)

      ... and the assertion that Manning sought out an attention-whore loser like Lamo to "confess" to is absurd. Most likely he contacted Poulson who fobbed him off on Lamo as a sort of firewall.

      The chat logs are important because they contain the only evidence that Manning did anything at all. And Lamo got to play with them before anyone else saw them.

    • by tnk1 (899206)
      Okay, sure, they may well have something going on with the government. But why does them being informants mean that they have information that is going to be more or less damning than what was already released? How does it serve the government to keep that secret?

      <published>
      Lamo: So you felt you had the duty to release those classified documents, no matter what the consequences?
      Manning: Oh yeah, I so totally leaked that shit.... I could not stand by and watch as people got killed for nothing. Fuck
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:03PM (#34691954)
    Good journalism often edits out info. There are often details or info that does not add to an article. Redundant, off topic or tangential material can make an article worse and dilute or confuse the point of the article. Consider that a total dump of all info and data is what hostile parties due when they want to hide meaningful information in response to a court order to provide info or data. Journalism is often about sifting through this mess to find the meaningful info, not merely repeating the total dump.
  • Seriously, just because you can publish something, it doesn't mean you should. Sometimes it makes sense to sit on a story.

    Not that I'd expect the wikileaks crew to get that.
    • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:28PM (#34692190)

      If they were just sitting on it, you'd have a point. But what they actually did was release choice tidbits of the chat logs and then refuse to publish anymore or even answer questions such as "Did Manning actually say this in the logs?".

      Which only makes sense if you are trying to frame Manning or milk your 'exclusivity' to the detriment of Manning.

      • It's possible that they are milking this, but it's also possible that they have legitimate reasons for holding parts back (e.g. to protect a source). My core point is that the last line of the OP is a bit over the top IMO.
        • by Chyeld (713439)

          Answering questions like "Did Manning really claim to have physically dropped off a hard drive with Assange" doesn't require anything more than a yes or no or at worse, the relevant portion of the chat logs published.

          And obviously, they know how and are willing to do just that, or they'd have not published anything at all.

          Which leads us back to the argument I've made. This has squat to do with 'journalistic integrity' or 'protecting national secrets'. It's about either being part of a frame up or milking th

        • As others have pointed out, Wired is clearly not interested in "protecting sources": It was Lamo and Poulson who shopped their source, Manning, to the government.

          And now, let's waste some of Slashdot's bandwidth with some on-topic stuff about Lamo/Manning, from Wikipedia. I wouldn't post it, but apparently 3 minutes is just not long enough to write a comment, according to Tacoidiot.

          Chats with Adrian Lamo

          Adrian Lamo passed Manning's chat logs to the authorities because he feared lives were at risk.[1

      • how about it being a good business decision? If they are the only ones with the info then they can pick and chose the moment at which it will be of maxium value. Journalism/publishing is not a philantropy..
    • by geekoid (135745)

      what? wikileaks gets it better then most.

      They had the info, they sat io the info, they shared the info with other journalists, they told people they where going to release it.

      The did EXACTLY what any good journalist does. JA may be a douche bag, but wikileaks did exactly what a good news agency should do.

      Just like the Washington post did.

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:14PM (#34692060)

    This is merely my suspicion, but I feel that the entirety of the content of those logs would reveal that Manning was caught in a sting by the DOJ. That the story of Manning finding someone, anyone to brag to was false and that Lamo sought direct contact to solicit the confession. This is the most-likely scenario, as I suspect it:

    1) DOJ contacts Wired via Rasch informing him of this 'lead' about one of the biggest cyber-crimes of all time. Chances are the military knows that Manning has leaked something, but they can't prove it. They need a confession before they can attempt to put the genie back in the bottle.

    2) Poulsen hires Lamo for the job. Note the non-story Poulsen wrote about Lamo in May. This was likely a cover to hide their extended contact at that time.

    3) Lamo contacts Manning using information given to him by the DOJ and violates his civil rights in order to solicit a confession that otherwise would not hold up in court.

    4) Manning is arrested and those logs are secured from the public's eyes under the guise of 'national security'.

    That's how I see it. It just makes more sense than the story we're being told. Please do poke holes in it if you can, because where I sit right now, Wired is a fairly disgusting entity deserving some charges being brought of their own.

    • If Lamo is on being paid by the FBI it would seem reasonable that Wired would be cautious about using an account of the exchange with Manning which came only from Lamo. They may as well just get the version from the FBI.

    • by netsharc (195805) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:31PM (#34692214)

      In the comments section of that Greenwald post (called "Letters"), many are also asking how authentic the chat logs are: aren't they just text files anybody with Notepad can generate?

      I'm also wondering if maybe Lamo and Poulsen, under the orders of Rasch, doctored a "chat conversation" up to get rid of Manning who has been seen as trouble (because of his independent thinking streak). I'm starting to wonder if Manning is the leaker at all, is there any proof of that other than an alleged chat that took place, based on the evidence of a text file?

      Maybe they knew they got a leak, and they needed to take down WikiLeaks, and they thought, "we can do this by taking a US soldier, put him in solitary until he loses his mind, and then he'll say whatever we want him to say (like 'Assange coerced me into doing it!'), do we have a monkey we can use for that?"

      "How about this troublesome Manning kid?".

      Hey, if they can change the story about that girl soldier who was taken peacefully from a hospital into a "we ambushed the enemy stronghold to get her!" piece of news.

      Posted not anonymously, hello CIA database! I guess I won't be visiting the US for a long time, maybe when a free country rises up from the ashes of the burnt-down empire.

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        Yeah, that's possible, but it doesn't seem quite as likely. Hard to say though. Very good point.

      • by wordsnyc (956034) on Tuesday December 28, 2010 @06:57PM (#34692504) Homepage

        I'm starting to wonder if Manning is the leaker at all, is there any proof of that other than an alleged chat that took place, based on the evidence of a text file?

        Bingo. None that anyone knows of.

        Incidentally, Lamo himself has said that he told Manning that (a) he (Lamo) is a journalist and source shield laws would protect Manning, and (b) he (Lamo) is an ordained minister and that priest/penitent laws would make Manning's "confession" inadmissible. Yes, Lamo himself has said he said these things. Are they in the chat logs? Good question, and it makes a lot of difference.

  • "concealment of the chat logs is actively blinding journalists who have been attempting to learn what Manning did and did not do"

    Have the rules of evidence changed? Is there now a requirement on the judicial system that all evidence be turned over to journalists to investigate and report on their interpretation of what Manning did or did not do. This seems more like a requirement placed on them by their parent organizations who need such stories and speculation to generate income.

    If I were Manning, I wo
  • by The Dodger (10689) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @05:44AM (#34696532) Homepage

    Wired have posted a fairly robust rebuttal to Greenwald's accusations which don't paint him in a very god light: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/12/greenwald/ [wired.com]

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