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Wired Responds In Manning Chat Log Controversy 222

Posted by timothy
from the rumbling-grumbling dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Earlier this week Glenn Greenwald wrote in Salon about the arrest of US Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source and criticized Wired's failure to disclose the full chat logs between Manning and FBI informant Adrian Lamo. Now Wired's editor-in-chief Evan Hansen and senior editor Kevin Poulsen have responded to criticisms of the site's Wikileaks coverage stating that not one single fact has been brought to light suggesting Wired.com did anything wrong in pursuit of the story. 'Our position has been and remains that the logs include sensitive personal information with no bearing on Wikileaks, and it would serve no purpose to publish them at this time,' writes Hansen."
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Wired Responds In Manning Chat Log Controversy

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  • by DWMorse (1816016) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:09AM (#34697460) Homepage
    This just in: rape charges in foreign nation against Wired's editor-in-chief Evan Hansen have been dropped! =P
  • by arcite (661011) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:20AM (#34697510)
    The conspiracy of those in power enables them to control the status quo. Expose the conspiracy of those in power and common citizens have the possibility to change the system (they gain the knowledge of the conspiracy and are empowered by that knowledge).

    If however those in power create a conspiracy upon an individual, they gain power over them and are able to silence them, imprison them, and otherwise dispose of them until they are no longer a threat to the greater conspiracy.

    Assange has a wacky way of seeing the world, but it makes sense once you untwist the terminology he uses. A healthy Democracy can only continue to exist as long as a majority of its citizens have sufficient knowledge of what their leaders are doing and are able to hold them accountable.

    • by h00manist (800926) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:30AM (#34697568) Journal
      That's all we want, documents. Too many people lying. We want evidence, of which there is lots, all hidden. That's what everyone wants, and what Wikileaks gives.
      • by BobMcD (601576)

        That's all we want, documents. Too many people lying. We want evidence, of which there is lots, all hidden. That's what everyone wants, and what Wikileaks gives.

        Indeed. And in fact there's much support for this in the law already. Things like FOIA and the Presidential Records Act echo this exact same sentiment. The one advantage Wikileaks has is timeliness. Could you imagine how different our culture might be if Watergate were suppressed by the government? We the people can no longer believe that the government is able to be trusted. We must now demand access to the records, and the ledgers, and the Oval Office recordings.

        And if you're in the employ of the go

    • And people called me crazy and a nut when I said "A government run by the people and for the people should not be allowed to keep secrets from the people"
      • by BobMcD (601576)

        And people called me crazy and a nut when I said "A government run by the people and for the people should not be allowed to keep secrets from the people"

        This!

        I suggest an Amendment that requires every single government agent to behave as though under oath whenever they are 'on the clock'. Every single statement made, every document filed, every everything is subject to the identical metrics and penalties as carried under perjury.

        Let's end the lies, shall we?

  • The thing is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killmenow (184444) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:21AM (#34697512)

    'Our position has been and remains that the logs include sensitive personal information with no bearing on Wikileaks, and it would serve no purpose to publish them at this time,' writes Hansen.

    Notice they don't say "...the logs ARE ENTIRELY sensitive personal information..." We shouldn't have to take Hansen or Poulsen's word for it. Journalism 101: Redact the "sensitive personal information with no bearing on Wikileaks" and publish the rest.

    • by jdev (227251) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @12:26PM (#34699522)

      One of the key complaints by Greenwald is that Wired redacted parts that did not contain "sensitive personal information". The Washington Post and BoingBoing have either full or partial copies of the logs and have published sections that Wired did not include. And guess what... they extra parts they published aren't sensitive personal information.

      Firedog Lake put together a merged transcript of what has been published so far and you can decide for yourself whether Wired should have redacted it. I believe most of the relevant part is from May 22.

      http://firedoglake.com/merged-manning-lamo-chat-logs/ [firedoglake.com]

      I believe Greenwald is also asserting that Lamo has been making claims that are not substantiated by the logs that have been released. One key claim has to do with whether or not Assange provided assistance to Manning in obtaining the classified documents. Greenwald's article states Lamo said:

      "Manning explicitly told him in these chats that he had help from Assange and from WikiLeaks 'intermediaries' in Boston."

      That's important because the government is trying to build a conspiracy case against Assange. The logs would help to clarify what Lamo is saying since Lamo previously said Manning never explicity said he had support.

  • by h00manist (800926) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:23AM (#34697522) Journal
    True or false, Wired has no credibility in my book since a long time ago. Some time in the early 90s, shortly after launching and becoming wildly successful, they made a clear decision - to go the route of all-out business sellouts, and away from people's needs and interests. They stopped the stories with the tone of "technology is human evolution, revolution with peace is invented", and kept only the stories to the tone of "technology is product and profit". I cancelled my subscription, since edition #2, shortly afterwards, and never cared for it much again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499)
      away from people's needs and interests

      If you think that the innovation that hires people, increases standards of living, enables previously impossible forms of communication, and which trickles into everything from medical care to energy production is "away from people's needs and interests," then you're ... an idiot. I know it truly, truly bothers you that it's possible for someone to actually earn a living while doing something that other people want and need without doing so under the benevolent direc
      • Take out the populism and I think the GP's complaint is that Wired is pretty much the tech equivalent of Time magazine. It is not awful, but it isn't that great either.

      • by h00manist (800926)
        I run a business and pay salaries and costs and buy things and sell things. I know how it works. That doesn't mean I think businesses are out there to produce good service, good product or good social policy or laws. You think the primary concern of businesses and corporations are people's needs, and not profit? And that the need for increasing profits, for satisfying investors, loans, paying bills, is not a business direct, constant pressure to cut costs, increase prices, and market illusion instead of tr
        • by Americano (920576)

          Really, so is this how you run your business? Strictly focused on income, profit level, and expenses? Exploiting everybody and everything who can be exploited with no long-term plan or goal, just like a drug dealer or a pimp?

          You correctly identify that the "primary concern of businesses is profit," but you seem stymied by the fact that what creates profits is *filling peoples' needs* in a substantial way. If your business plan doesn't align with something that people need, want, can afford, and will spen

      • by celle (906675)

        Greed over Ethics doesn't impress me much. They were still making money, just less of it before they changed their direction.

    • You haven't read it in a decade, but you're sure you know what the content is? And that is insightful?

      http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/17-10/ff_smartlist [wired.com]

      I've honestly read more revolutionary ideas in Wired the past few years than anywhere else. And while I generally don't care for dead-tree editions of anything, I gladly pay $10 a year to help keep Wired a float.

  • by david.emery (127135) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:27AM (#34697548)

    'Our position has been and remains that the logs include sensitive personal information with no bearing on Wikileaks, and it would serve no purpose to publish them at this time,' writes Hansen."

    The press wants to be the SOLE "Decider" of what the people get to see. Does anyone doubt that a crime was committed by providing classified material to an unauthorized individual or organization?

    The government needs to go get a warrant and execute this warrant, if it has probable cause. Without the warrant, any individual/organization doesn't have to reveal what it knows. With the warrant, Hansen and Poulsen have two choices: Cooperate or go to jail. And that's at the heart, by the way, of civil disobedience. It's that you're willing to -pay the normal punishment- for that disobedience (and not just get a slap on the wrist because you were "doing it for the right reasons".)

    • by js3 (319268) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:35AM (#34697608)

      isn't that the same reason why wikileaks hasn't released all of the cables? hypocrite much?

      • by Troed (102527) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:46AM (#34697692) Homepage Journal

        No. Wikileaks has realised since earlier big leaks that releasing everything at once causes information overflow and the individual atrocities don't get enough attention.

        Releasing the cables over a prolonged period of time allows press coverage, discussion and digestion.

        In Sweden we're currently somewhat disturbed by the Wikileaks-revealed fact that several laws having been imposed on us during the last few years were dictated by the US, with a threat of sanctions if we didn't implement them even though it was known the populace weren't in favor.

        That's info from one single cable.

        • by js3 (319268)

          I don't buy this logic. If truth should be free then it should not be held hostage as someones insurance, or for attention whoring.. if truth should be free then release all of it now or you're a hypocrite like everyone else.

    • They never said they didn't share the chat logs with the government. In fact, Manning was arrested after Lamo tipped off the FBI about his confessions. I presume Lamo gave the FBI the same chat logs he gave Poulsen. This is about sharing the chat logs with everybody else.
    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      The thing is, reporters that refuse to divulge information to protect the rich and powerful often win their cases and successfully protect the rich and powerful. For instance, Judith Miller [wikipedia.org], who by all appearances was trying to protect somebody in the vice-president's office (possibly Scooter Libby, possibly somebody else that Libby took the fall for).

      So it's safe to say that Hansen is trying to protect somebody, and using this as a lame excuse.

    • You don't see how it might set a bad precedent allowing government to seize evidence held by news organizations and journalists?

      • What's more important, the law or individual journalist's opinions of their own self-worth?

        There is 200 years of law & court decisions on this topic in the US.

        • by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:57AM (#34697776) Journal

          I'm an attorney and I say [citation needed].

          Despite the fact that I carry no burden of proof to show you're full of it, I will cite you this:

          42 USC 2000aa - Privacy Protection Act

          (a) Work product materials
          Notwithstanding any other law, it shall be unlawful for a government officer or employee, in connection with the investigation or prosecution of a criminal offense, to search for or seize any work product materials possessed by a person reasonably believed to have a purpose to disseminate to the public a newspaper, book, broadcast, or other similar form of public communication, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce; but this provision shall not impair or affect the ability of any government officer or employee, pursuant to otherwise applicable law, to search for or seize such materials, if—
          (1) there is probable cause to believe that the person possessing such materials has committed or is committing the criminal offense to which the materials relate: Provided, however, That a government officer or employee may not search for or seize such materials under the provisions of this paragraph if the offense to which the materials relate consists of the receipt, possession, communication, or withholding of such materials or the information contained therein (but such a search or seizure may be conducted under the provisions of this paragraph if the offense consists of the receipt, possession, or communication of information relating to the national defense, classified information, or restricted data under the provisions of section 793, 794, 797, or 798 of title 18, or section 2274, 2275, or 2277 of this title, or section 783 of title 50, or if the offense involves the production, possession, receipt, mailing, sale, distribution, shipment, or transportation of child pornography, the sexual exploitation of children, or the sale or purchase of children under section 2251, 2251A, 2252, or 2252A of title 18); or
          (2) there is reason to believe that the immediate seizure of such materials is necessary to prevent the death of, or serious bodily injury to, a human being.

          • If you think about it, realistically they violated that clause when they shut down (or demanded it of) the WikiLeaks DNS servers/site. Assange was clearly in the process/business of disseminating information in the form of a 'broadcast, or other similar form of public communication' and yet, the government didn't think twice before trying to shut him down.

          • Thank you for the relevant citation.

            Why doesn't this particular provision apply? ... but such a search or seizure may be conducted under the provisions of this paragraph if the offense consists of the receipt, possession, or communication of information relating to the national defense, classified information, or restricted data ...

            We're talking about an investigation on the release of classified material to unauthorized recipients, focusing on "who", "what" and "how". IANAL, but this seems to be pretty c

            • 18 USC 793 - relates to national security information related to designs for military vehicles, structures, munitions, etc. (This doesn't apply to Wired. This is for chat logs where Manning implicates himself, not for classified designs)

              18 USC 794 - relates to delivering classified information to a foreign government in order to aid that government (Again, not applicable. Wired is not delivering classified information to a foreign government. Remember, once again, this is for chat logs)

              18 USC 797 - relates

        • http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/42/2000aa.html [cornell.edu]

          Here's the link to the statute.

          And as far as your "200 years of law and court decisions", pretty much every lawyer and judge realizes that the Alien & Sedition law was a really bad law 200 years later.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      With the warrant, Hansen and Poulsen have two choices: Cooperate or go to jail. And that's at the heart, by the way, of civil disobedience. It's that you're willing to -pay the normal punishment- for that disobedience (and not just get a slap on the wrist because you were "doing it for the right reasons".)

      Actually, at the heart is the risk of punishment. And really, living a life of fleeing from prosecution is just another kind of punishment. I'm tired of people suggesting you have to go to jail to be civilly disobedient.

    • I don't know why the government should feel the need to exercise any warrant against Wired... apparently they (the FBI) have the hard drive the logs were stored on, according to TFA.
    • You seem to be confusing the cushy county lockup you may have seen after a late-night bender with Leavenworth Prison, where they send those accused/convicted without proper due process and civil rights because they chose to put their lives at risk by joining the military.

      The press has a right/obligation to protect its sources - it always has, and it always should. How good for business would it be for a journalistic outlet to go "Oh hey, guess what awful government secret John Doe over here just gave me" ?

  • by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:33AM (#34697596)

    Wired stated the following in TFA:

    Not one single fact has been brought to light suggesting Wired.com did anything wrong in pursuit of this story.

    I've seen this word play before. In fact, it was done by Portugal's foreign affairs minister, when discussing the issue of CIA flights passing through portuguese territory to move kidnapped "terrorists" to Guantanamo. He also repeatedly iterated that no one had any proof that these flights existed and that the Portuguese government authorized them. Yet, thanks to the cablegate posts from the US embassy in Lisbon [213.251.145.96], it has become clear that that very same minister not only knew those flights were passing through Portuguese territory, and some even making stops in Portuguese airports, but he also had an understanding with the US government that, whenever he was asked about them, he would simply iterate that there wasn't any proof they existed. And notice the subtle detail: he never said they never existed, and only claimed that no one could prove they existed. Subtle and important.

    This is exactly the same approach Wired is making to this problem. Wired doesn't claim they never did so. Wired doesn't claim they are innocent nor wired's spokesperson tries to dispel the accusation. Wired only claims that no one can prove they did it. But that, as we've seen before, is not the same thing as not making them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Your attempt to conflate the two situations is ridiculous because in one case we're discussing the illegal incarceration of human beings with... what, exactly? It's asserted that Wired is being less than responsive when asked to hand over information that may be used to incriminate someone being punished for providing information needed to evaluate the state of a democracy?

      This is exactly the same approach being used to assassinate the character of Julian Assange. I sure fucking hope you're getting paid for

      • You fail at reading comprehension. No one insinuated that Wired's alleged wrongdoings and unethical behaviour has any relation to the "illegal incarceration of human beings". The parallel which was pointed out between Wired's unethical mishaps and Portugal's foreign affairs minister's fuckup is that both have been responding to the series of suspicions that they are involved in unethical and even criminal acts not by denying but by simply claiming "you can't prove that", which is a convenient way to appear

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          By comparing one to the other you conflate them in the mind of the typical reader; then you say "but I was only comparing a single aspect." It's like saying "You're a crossdresser so you're like Hitler, but only because a shared enjoyment of women's underwear."

          • By comparing one to the other you conflate them in the mind of the typical reader;

            That would only be true if the "typical reader" lacks any reading comprehension skills and suffers from functional illiteracy. What I wrote was pretty clear and the fact that a set of fellow slashdotters managed to overcome my poor grasp of the english language and were quite capable of understanding exactly what I said is a clear sign that no, the "typical reader" does not "conflate" these two issues.

            Come on, man. It's at least 5th grade reading comprehension.

      • He's not conflating anything. He is saying that Wired didn't say, "We didn't do anything wrong". They said, "Not one single fact has been brought to light suggesting Wired.com did anything wrong". Those two statements are not the same.

        Anyway, the issue Glenn Greenwald raises is that Lamo has been making public statements about stuff in the chat logs that is not in the published excerpts. Lamo has changed his story a number of times. So Greenwald wants to see the rest of the chat logs to see if they back

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      And notice the subtle detail: he never said they never existed, and only claimed that no one could prove they existed.

      This is one of the classic versions of what Carl Bernstein described as the "non-denial denial": You don't actually say it's untrue, you just say that the intrepid reporter can't prove anything.

    • by zero0ne (1309517)

      I am a bit confused, and to be honest don't feel like reading an article on Wired that is clearly 100 paragraphs too long.

      Is the current common belief that Wired was the sole entity that had the chat logs and that they were served a warrant for the info at which point they coughed up the information? IE the source Wired got the info from ended up being a dead end for the US Gov't and they leaned on Wired and got what they needed?

      This would mean that Wired basically gave up their source without a fight.

  • The Critical Section (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ieshan (409693) <ieshan @ g m ail.com> on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @09:40AM (#34697656) Homepage Journal

    When The New York Times ran an entirely appropriate and well reported profile of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — discussing his personality and his contentious leadership style — Greenwald railed against the newspaper, terming the reporters “Nixonian henchmen.”

    Similarly, when Assange complained that journalists were violating his privacy by reporting the details of rape and molestation allegations against him in Sweden, Greenwald agreed, writing: “Simultaneously advocating government transparency and individual privacy isn’t hypocritical or inconsistent; it’s a key for basic liberty.” [twitter.com]

    With Manning, Greenwald adopts the polar opposite opinions. “Journalists should be about disclosing facts, not protecting anyone.” [twitter.com] This dissonance in his views has only grown in the wake of reports that Manning might be offered a plea deal in exchange for testimony against Assange.

    I don't know whether or not Wired is guilty or innocent here. But it seems they've got a fair point about Greenwald, and it seems fair to give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • by Boronx (228853)

      Not really, there's no indication that Greenwald intends to go after Manning's or Lamo's personal life, so there's no equivalence here. The Assange rape story has been blown out of proportion in an effort to crucify the guy in the press. Acknowledging that is not the same as saying that the press should cover it up. Wired may be covering up important information. Acknowledging that is not the same as saying that Manning's personal life should be splashed all over the Times.

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      Yes. Greenwald is a huge, agenda-driven, axe-grinding hypocrite on this entire topic. He wants to have it both ways, but only when and how he sees fit. Just like Assange.
    • by blank axolotl (917736) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:26PM (#34700396)

      Greenwalds reply [salon.com] to that section:

      Hansen again wildly distorted what I wrote by taking a Twitter comment and tearing it out of context. I most certainly never "agreed" that "journalists were violating [Assange's] privacy by reporting the details of rape and molestation allegations against him in Sweden," That's a total fabrication. I don't believe that and never said that. Hansen made that up.

      Assange was asked in a BBC interview questions such as "how many women have you slept with?" When Assange refused to answer, many WikiLeaks critics pointed to this as hypocrisy -- oh, see, he doesn't believe in transparency for himself -- and my tweet pointed out the obvious fallacy of that claim: there is nothing inconsistent about demanding transparency for government while insisting upon personal privacy.

      Moreover, the question Assange refused to answer -- "how many women have you slept with?" -- is relevant to absolutely nothing of public interest, including the rape accusation. By stark contrast, the information Wired is concealing -- whether Lamo is telling the truth about his various claims -- goes to the heart of one of the most significant political controversies in the world.

    • by jellie (949898) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @01:47PM (#34700710)

      No, you're wrong. Greenwald has consistently been on the side of protecting the individual. That's what a constitutional lawyer should do, after all. It's Wired that has been misusing this argument to defend itself.

      With Assange, releasing information about rape and molestation allegations against Assange, who has not been charged with a crime, is character assassination. If the US government publicly stated: "We want to interview Person A in regards to potential child pornography charges," then it is just destroying Person A's reputation.

      The same applies to Manning. Wired has already leaked portions of chat transcripts that it alleges demonstrates Manning's guilt (and Lamo's supposed hacking skills). Paulsen has written stories implying Manning's guilt, and suggesting that he was trying to brag to Lamo about what he did. However, as Greenwald writes in his column, there are holes in the chat logs (such as timestamp discrepancies) and other questionable conclusions in Wired's stories that don't quite make sense. Wired's publications have already caused a man to be jailed for months without being charged with a crime. Greenwald and others want to see the unedited chat logs to clarify things up.

      I find it disingenuous that Wired tries to misquote Greenwald. The "Journalists should be about releasing facts, not protecting anyone" quote was directly about Wired. He says that Wired should not hide behind the claim of protecting Manning. How can Wired publish allegations of potential treason against Manning (as the US government calls it) and then claim that it now want to protect him?

  • Another theory (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sean_nestor (781844) on Wednesday December 29, 2010 @10:12AM (#34697902) Homepage
    I was at The Next Hope over the summer, where they had Adrian Lamo on a panel along with Emmanuel Goldstein, Kevin Mitnick, BernieS, and Phiber Optik, discussing the ethical issues of becoming an informant. It was obviously a pretty tense panel; Julian Assange was originally supposed to be the keynote speaker the day prior, though obviously he couldn't because by that point he was a wanted man. A lot of people had really, really harsh words for Lamo, and you had to give the guy credit for knowing that and still being willing to show up.

    Anyway, at one point during the panel I recall someone asking him how he came to know Manning; his response was that Manning found him after reading a little about him online, and then proceeded share a lot of "personal things" with him. The insinuation seemed to be that it wasn't anything as simple as moral opposition to the war or his role in it; the fact that Lamo left it so open and wouldn't go into details seemed to me that Manning may be gay, and was struggling to deal with being a closeted member of the military under DADT policy. If you check Lamo's Wikipedia page, it classified him as being an "LGBT person from the United States". Maybe Manning spoke at length to Lamo about being a closested homosexual, and the frustrations that came with it, especially being in the military?

    I could be way off here, but maybe the reason they don't want to release the logs is more to protect Bradley Manning's right not to be outed, or to have other potentially "embarrassing" things revealed about his private life that are irrelevant to the rest of the case.

    • Character assassination is so much easier than dealing with the truth!
    • by thethibs (882667)

      In a thread full of juvenile rotgut, a calm, reasonable voice!

      Careful. If this spreads, it could change /. completely.

      • by jovius (974690)
        There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what Slashdot is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.

        There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
  • So many people speak like they are an authority on a subject without any real knowledge or true understanding of what they are speaking about.

    Rule #1. Assume nothing as to assume is always the first mistake. The odds in someone here on Slashdot speaking with authority on the subject are next to nil yet people imply a lack of creditability on the magazine because they don't like their articles. Yet others claim they are doing the right thing because said information has no barring on Wikileaks or indicts

Philogyny recapitulates erogeny; erogeny recapitulates philogyny.

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