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RSN's Scott Galindez reporting from the Fort Meade Army base begins; "Bradley Manning came face-to-face on Tuesday with the man who turned him in to military law enforcement – Adrian Lamo."

Self profesed
Self-professed "Grey-Hat Hacker" Adrian Lamo was a feature witness for the Army. (art: Kay Rudin/RSN)

Bradley Manning Faces His Accuser

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News

04 June 13


RSN Special Coverage: Trial of Bradley Manning

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radley Manning came face-to-face on Tuesday with the man who turned him in to military law enforcement - Adrian Lamo, a convicted computer hacker, who testified about the six days of computer chats he had with Manning in May of 2010.

David Coombs, Manning's defense lawyer, used the cross-examination of Lamo to show his client's true motivations for leaking hundreds of thousands of government documents. Lamo also testified to Manning's state of mind.

During the chats, Manning told Lamo that he had decided to leak the information as a way of instigating a worldwide debate.

Lamo, dressed in black, told the court that he was a" grey-hat hacker," meaning he would hack into systems without malicious intent.

When asked by Coombs if Manning had indicated in the course of the conversations that he knew the witness had donated to WikiLeaks, Lamo said he had. Coombs pressed further. "He told you he reached out to you as someone who might understand him?" Coombs asked.

"That is correct," Lamo replied.

Lamo agreed that at the time of their chats Manning described himself as an emotional wreck who thought his life was falling apart and was considering suicide. Manning said he was too traumatized to care what the consequences to him would be. He was more afraid of being misunderstood.

Coombs asked, "[Manning] told you he was the kind of person who would always investigate the truth?"

"That was something I could appreciate," Lamo said.

Lamo admitted that Manning told him that it was important the information got out, and that if it got out it might actually change something. Coombs then elicited a series of responses from the Manning-Lamo web chats: In summary, Manning told Lamo that he did not believe in good guys and bad guys anymore, only a plethora of states acting in self interest. Manning thought he was maybe too idealistic. Based on what he had seen, Manning said he couldn't let the information stay inside. He said he felt connected to everybody, that we were all distant family. And he said he cared.

Manning called himself a humanist and said he had custom dog tags where he had written humanist on the back. Pfc. Manning said that we are all human and we are killing ourselves and no one seems to care. He was bothered that nobody seemed to care, that apathy was far worse than active participation. He said that he preferred the painful truth over blissful fantasy.

To each of these statements above, Lamo replied: "He did."

At one point Lamo admitted that it wasn't lost on him that he and Manning were a lot alike.

During Lamo's questioning by the prosecutor, he focused on the technical issues surrounding the chats rather than their content.

Lamo came under fire in 2010 for turning in Manning. Manning supporters called him a "snitch" and a "rat." What would have happened had Lamo not gone from grey-hat hacker to government informant and turned Manning over to the authorities?

This report is being filed from the Fort Meade Bowling Alley, as we are still not allowed in the Media Center where other journalists are allowed to file their reports.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner
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