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Wherein we witness a public brawl about journalism, privacy, and ethics
December 29, 2010 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Journalistic flamewar erupts over secret chat logs. It's a disagreement between Salon's Glenn Greenwald and Wired.com's Kevin Poulsen over the proper use of IM chat logs between Bradley Manning and Adrian Lamo. Revelant links within.

Monday - Greenwald asks why Wired will not confirm or deny that Lamo's statements about his conversations with Manning are true or false.

Tuesday
- Poulsen and senior wired.com editor Evan Hanson are outraged by Greenwald's piece and fire back.

Wednesday - Greenwald responds to the response.

Meanwhile, boingboing gets its hands on what appear to be additional parts of the chat logs.
posted by chaff (171 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
The fact that chat logs could be trusted and used as evidence in something like this is extremely concerning. I've got a directory full of chat logs. It would take 30 seconds in Notepad to make them suspicious, and I certainly wouldn't put it past Lamo.
posted by Jimbob at 2:38 PM on December 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


I would not call Greenwald a journalist, by the by. He's a commentator or nowadays a blogger.

It seems to me like the stuff that Wired cut is more incriminating to Manning and Assange than the stuff they left in. Perhaps it's also more incriminating to Lano, which Greenwald may find as reason enough for them to leave it out.
posted by muddgirl at 2:40 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


FWIW -- there has been conversation regarding Greenwald, Poulson and the IM chat logs in this previous FPP.

IMHO -- this is not a double post and deserves to stand as a place for conversation to continue on this latest development in the ever-evolving Assange, Manning, WikiLeaks, etc. story.
posted by ericb at 2:41 PM on December 29, 2010


I've got a directory full of chat logs. It would take 30 seconds in Notepad to make them suspicious, and I certainly wouldn't put it past Lamo.

I was going to say that there are ways to tell if text files have been altered, but presumably Lamo is a better hacker than the FBI, or at least he'd like to think so...
posted by muddgirl at 2:41 PM on December 29, 2010


TL;DR
posted by kipmanley at 2:42 PM on December 29, 2010 [13 favorites]


Also, Aaron Bady has a meatier summation.
posted by kipmanley at 2:43 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was going to say that there are ways to tell if text files have been altered, but presumably Lamo is a better hacker than the FBI, or at least he'd like to think so...

I can't think of any. It's not like editing a text file leaves a fingerprint like editing an audio file or an image. All you'd have to do is modify the file metadata to change the date created / date modified fields afterwards, which is trivial.
posted by Jimbob at 2:46 PM on December 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Also, since this is moving from the old post, I'll repost my comment:
Actually, here's my biggest beef with Greenwald's criticism:

"This part of Wired's conduct deserves a lot more attention. First, in his interview with me, Lamo claimed that all sorts of things took place in the discussion between him and Manning that are (a) extremely relevant to what happened, (b) have nothing to do with Manning's personal issues or sensitive national security secrets, and yet (c) are nowhere to be found in the chat logs published by Wired. That means either that Lamo is lying about what was said or Wired is concealing highly relevant aspects of their discussions. Included among that is Manning's explanation about how he found Lamo and why he contacted him, Manning's alleged claim that his "intention was to cripple the United States' foreign relations for the foreseeable future," and discussions they had about the capacity in which they were speaking.
"At this point, Greenwald had just finished typing approximately 1000 paragraphs on why Lano's account of anything can't be trusted, and indeed Lano has already been caught in several untruths and exaggerations about the chat logs, including the New York Times. Yet Greenwald turns around and concludes that Lano isn't lying and that Wired is deliberately concealing relevant parts of the discussion?" Following up with: It's pretty clear that Wired is denying that they've improperly culled the logs. Their position is clearly that Lamo is either fabricating his claims that they've left relevant stuff our or he is mis-remembering what is there, as he did in a recent NYT piece. I think the rest of their response IS highly relevant. It's understandeable that they don't directly address Greenwald's question, as it follow a long criticism of Poulsen and Lamo. Why should Wired just ignore the majority of the piece for one paragraph?
posted by muddgirl at 2:49 PM on December 29, 2010


Releasing chatlogs to third rate news services in order to win an argument automatically makes you lose. Its like Goodwin's law for journalists.

So who really released them? Because they lost the arguement, cowards.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:52 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those chat logs are pretty damned incriminating if they are true. You can bet that dozens of computer people for the Pentagon have been all over everything.

These flamewars are karma in action. People invested in one side of the battle or the other tied up with one another. Amazing.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:53 PM on December 29, 2010


the stuff that Wired cut is more incriminating to Manning and Assange than the stuff they left in.

Which is apparently the story that Lamo's trying to sell.

Between this debacle, the aggressively stupid opinion piece by overrated comedian Patton Oswalt and the "The Web Is Dead" cover story, Wired Magazine and Wired.com have earned a place with FoxNews as the opposite of journalism and one of the 'news sources' it is now safe to totally ignore.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:53 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


I would not call Greenwald a journalist, by the by. He's a commentator or nowadays a blogger.

Uh huh, well, I would call him a better journalist than most. He researches articles, writes frequently, publishes books, and you know, actually investigates things.

I'm sure there is something personally embarrassing about Lamo in those chat logs.
posted by mek at 2:56 PM on December 29, 2010 [14 favorites]


Jimbob beat me to it.

There's nothing you can examine with a plain ol' text file that will tell you if the data has been altered. On HFS+, for example, you can write tools that edit any part of the catalog info for a file or folder, including all date fields. (Either you can use existing public API or just hack around in the catalog itself, given the HFS+ format is well-documented, and the kernel and HFS+ file system itself are open source.) I'm not an expert on Windows file systems, but I assume the FAT, exFAT, and NTFS formats have the same level of control, given they're just bits on disk.

If the file in question wasn't already cryptographically signed, you need another copy that you can verify against. You can't use the other guy's copy, since you're trying to determine which one to trust. Chat logs are terrible evidence.
posted by Mikey-San at 2:56 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Due to Poulsen, Lamo is now the one driving many of the media stories about Manning and WikiLeaks even though Lamo (a) is a convicted felon, (b) was (as Poulsen strangely reported at the time) involuntarily hospitalized for severe psychiatric distress a mere three weeks before his chats with Manning, and (c) cannot keep his story straight about anything from one minute to the next.

Rich, Greenwald calling Lamo out for being a convicted felon. Assange is a convicted felon too. And I don't mean the sex stuff.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:57 PM on December 29, 2010


Repeated for muddgirl's benefit. Why should Wired just ignore the essence of the piece? Because Greenwald hurt their widdle feelings?
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:57 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


(I haven't read any of the links here yet, so don't take my comment as supportive of any side.)
posted by Mikey-San at 2:58 PM on December 29, 2010


We've almost surely seen the most incriminating parts given how they are otherwise running a trial by media. Instead, I'd imagine the excluded portions reveal more about how Lamo and Manning started communicating, which has two consequences for Wired. first, we're already much more aware the FBI is waay into Wired thanks to Greenwald, so these logs might further reveal how the FBI has been using Wired to place informants. Second, this might vaguely threaten the usage of the chat logs as evidence in court, i.e. Adrian Lamo might be declared a state actor. There is a third possibility that the logs will appear fabricated of course.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:08 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


My question is... where was Lamo, Greenwald, Manning, Poulsen and Hanson in 1990?

By their powers combined they could have stopped an alleged heinous crime.
posted by panaceanot at 3:08 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's missing in the chatlogs is probably a lot of chat related to Manning and Lamo both being gay, and probably a lot of Lamo pretending to care about Manning's struggles with being gay in the military (there are hints of that in the transcripts already available).

That's just a wild-ass guess.
posted by empath at 3:09 PM on December 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Personally, I doubt Lamo's story that he was working with the FBI, or that evidence at trial will be presented from these chat logs.

If Manning was indeed the one who accessed this information across the air gap, then once that breach is discovered it's trivially easy to figure out or confirm who did it, especially if they are unburdening their conscience to random people over IM. Greenwald keeps claiming that Lamo was the only person Manning talked to - is there any reason to believe that this is true?

Repeated for muddgirl's benefit. Why should Wired just ignore the essence of the piece? Because Greenwald hurt their widdle feelings?

No repeat necessary. I don't believe that they ignored it. The addressed that part quite clearly.
We have already published substantial excerpts from the logs, but critics continue to challenge us to reveal all, ostensibly to fact-check some statements that Lamo has made in the press summarizing portions of the logs from memory (his computer hard drive was confiscated, and he no longer has a copy).

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.

That doesn’t mean we’ll never publish them, but before taking an irrevocable action that could harm an individual’s privacy, we have to weigh that person’s privacy interest against news value and relevance.
I also dispute that the waste of $10 called heykevinpoulsen.com correctly summarizes the "critical issue" in Greenwald's piece. Here's the thesis statement:
For more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed -- but refuses to publish -- the key evidence in one of the year's most significant political stories:
Greenwald is clearly asking for the full transcripts to be published. Full stop. None of this "confirm or deny" bullshit.
posted by muddgirl at 3:09 PM on December 29, 2010


He isn't. He's asking Wired to publish more of the transcripts, not all of them.
posted by empath at 3:14 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's missing in the chatlogs is probably a lot of chat related to Manning and Lamo both being gay, and probably a lot of Lamo pretending to care about Manning's struggles with being gay in the military (there are hints of that in the transcripts already available).

That's just a wild-ass guess.


or text sex.

Normally I'm all against that kind of guessing. But damn if it didn't seem right on. It would be the kind of information that would be properly excluded from public discourse.

But hell, all information needs to be free, right?
posted by Ironmouth at 3:14 PM on December 29, 2010


He isn't. He's asking Wired to publish more of the transcripts, not all of them.

When will Greenwald feel comfortable that "enough" has been published?
posted by muddgirl at 3:15 PM on December 29, 2010


Rich, Greenwald calling Lamo out for being a convicted felon. Assange is a convicted felon too. And I don't mean the sex stuff.

So is Kevin Poulsen, incidentally.
posted by atrazine at 3:16 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rich, Greenwald calling Lamo out for being a convicted felon. Assange is a convicted felon too. And I don't mean the sex stuff.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:57 PM on December 29


What do you mean?
posted by mek at 3:18 PM on December 29, 2010


What do you mean?

Assange was convicted in Australia, in the early 90s, for some hacking into the Australian National University, Telecom, and I believe, the military. The judge let him go without jail time, on the grounds that he didn't do any damage, he was just exploring, and such a sentence would harm his obviously bright future.
posted by Jimbob at 3:21 PM on December 29, 2010


So he's.... not a felon?
posted by mek at 3:24 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure how that makes him a felon exactly, Jimbob.
posted by griphus at 3:25 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying he is, at all...I was just fleshing out what Ironmouth was trying to lay on him.
posted by Jimbob at 3:27 PM on December 29, 2010


In fact, as I actually thought, there's not even such thing as a felony in Australia...
posted by Jimbob at 3:28 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Firedoglake has some useful tools: merged chat logs, timeline, key articles.
posted by grounded at 3:31 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


……because Adrian Lamo is the bastion of credibility and integrity
posted by oliyoung at 3:45 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So the only one who isn't a convicted felon in this whole story is Manning?
posted by JackFlash at 3:50 PM on December 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


kipmanley links to this which suggests that Lamo has changed his story about whether Manning had help from wikileaks or if he just gave the information to wikileaks unsolicited. That is probably the key information Greenwald believes is in the unreleased chat logs -- why does Lamo *now* think that Manning was helped by wikileaks when he didn't before? So Greenwald is just asking Wired to either publicly say "there is nothing in the chat logs that confirms or disproves Lamo's current assertion" or to release the evidence in the chat logs for Lamo's current assertion (that Manning had help).
posted by R343L at 3:55 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure how that makes him a felon exactly, Jimbob

If you're convicted of a felony, that generally makes you a felon, regardless of the sentence.

NB: I have no idea whether what Julian Assange was convicted of was a felony or not, or even whether the legal category exists in Australia, but the fact that he recieved a non-custodial sentence wouldn't prevent him from being one.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:55 PM on December 29, 2010


Greenwald is clearly asking for the full transcripts to be published. - muddgirl

No, he's not.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 4:06 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you're convicted of a felony, that generally makes you a felon, regardless of the sentence.

But in most civilised countries, you aren't branded with a term like "felon" after you've served your sentence. Doesn't stop you voting or participating in society, for example.
posted by Jimbob at 4:10 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wired loses Pentagon access for the Danger Room if they release anything in the chat logs that could clear WikiLeaks of conspiracy charges. I would also not be the least bit surprised if Poulsen is an FBI informant.

Release the chat logs? Not. Gonna. Happen.
posted by ryoshu at 4:11 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you actually read what Greenwald is asking for, he's saying that at the very least, Wired should be confirming or denying Lamo's very public accusations, since they're being printed as unquestioned truth, in all their self-contradictory glory.

Better still would be release of some or all of the logs. He explicitly says that they could be redacted to protect confidential information. This doesn't seem even vaguely unreasonable, and I can't imagine why anyone would think it was.

Most of the rest of what's he saying is assorted evidence showing that Lamo is not just a source for Wired. Rather, he's close friends with Poulsen, and has been for many years. Greenwald believes that Poulsen may be hiding the transcripts on Lamo's behalf, even though he was given them without restriction, and also believes that they may contain critical information that would be of use to Manning's defense.

There certainly doesn't appear to be a good reason to hide them. As Greenwald points out, that's the kind of behavior you expect from governments, not from journalists. Protecting your sources from government retaliation is one thing ... protecting the ability of your sources to parade around and lie in public is a long, long way from journalistic ethics.

(I say "lie" because the things Lamo is saying cannot all be true... there are multiple separate published stories about how the two got in contact, for instance.)
posted by Malor at 4:13 PM on December 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


This article in Macleans describes the incident Ironmouth was alluding to. The telecom company was Nortel, so a Google search for Nortel and Assange should reveal more accounts.

He was charged with 31 counts for the hacking, but got off with a good behavior bond for three years.

I'm not sure if this means he's a felon. I thought you had to be convicted of a felony to be a felon. Also, Australia may not have had as severe computer hacking laws as the US at the time. The US CFAA was passed in 1986, but Australia didn't get an equivalent comprehensive set of laws until the Cybercrime Act of 2001. I'm not sure what Assange was charged with.
posted by formless at 4:15 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Assange's handle was Mendax. Chapter 8 covers what Assange was hacking, Chapter 9 describes what he was convicted of.
posted by ryoshu at 4:18 PM on December 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


ryoshu's link describes the incident in much better detail than the Macleans article. The only caveat is that it was written with help from Assange, so is probably not as critical as it could be of him.

It also states that the sentence the judge gave for Assange included a recorded conviction for all counts.
posted by formless at 4:30 PM on December 29, 2010


Bradley Manning Speaks About His Conditions
posted by homunculus at 4:35 PM on December 29, 2010


The central issue is simply Wired refusing to confirm or deny what Adrian Lamo claims is in the unreleased chat logs.

The central issue is simply Wired refusing to confirm or deny what Adrian Lamo claims is in the unreleased chat logs.

The central issue is simply Wired refusing to confirm or deny what Adrian Lamo claims is in the unreleased chat logs.

The central issue is simply Wired refusing to confirm or deny what Adrian Lamo claims is in the unreleased chat logs.

For folks who can't be bothered to click through, that's all it says at heykevinpoulsen.com.
posted by mediareport at 4:54 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


1) Arguing over what the facts are -- boring controversy
2) Arguing over what the facts mean -- might be interesting

Wired and Lamo have put forward enough information to get us to #1 and won't move us forward to #2.

I note for the record that Greenwald is demanding the sort of thing from Wired that he himself has refused to do in the past - followup and correct a story.

Interesting side question - how are the chat logs provided by a hacker different evidence than the testimony of the same hacker? I can see the defense arguing strongly to have the logs excluded.
posted by warbaby at 5:01 PM on December 29, 2010


ryoshu, Wired doesn't have Pentagon access, the Pentagon has Wired access.
posted by mike_bling at 5:02 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


grounded's links to firedoglake are essential reading for everyone in this thread.

I will happily print out this paragraph and eat it if I'm wrong, but right now the obvious conclusion is that Wired doesn't want the world to know that Adrian Lamo is kind of sort of lying a little bit about what's in the chat logs when he's quoted over and over again in the mainstream press.

Why would Wired not want to end the confusion over that? What possible reason could there be? In the absence of any reasonable answer, I can't help but find myself wondering if Poulsen and Lamo were once lovers, and I don't even have a clue that Poulsen is gay or bi or anything. My brain is just working overtime to fill the strange silence.

Jesus, Poulsen's on Twitter claiming to have "addressed" all of these questions here, but that supposed final reply leaves completely unanswered simple questions like "Are those excerpts the only place Manning and Lamo discussed Manning's relationship with Assange?" It would be so fucking easy to put those questions to rest for good, but Wired is instead performing this strange little dance. Maybe it's to increase hits, I dunno. But there's certainly no *journalistic* reason for them to keep playing coy instead of answering a few, very simple questions.
posted by mediareport at 5:10 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like Dave Winer's idea:
Wired, could we get a third-party opinion to confirm your belief that the transcripts shouldn't be released in full? Perhaps a couple of j-school profs could review the material, and decide independently which parts would help other journalists covering this story?
posted by mike_bling at 5:12 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth, don't you ever get tired of popping into these threads to sneer and gnash your teeth rather than engaging in good faith discussion? Cuz everyone else does.

I think that Greenwald is a polemicist and I generally find him to be unreadable but I do think (and have thought for a long time) that he was right on about this specific point. He unfortunately chooses to muddle the matter with his opinions about Poulsen's relationship to Lamo and Poulsen/Wired.com's relationship to this guy Rasch, which really doesn't have much to do with anything.

Greenwald is clearly asking for the full transcripts to be published. Full stop. None of this "confirm or deny" bullshit.

Sorry, that's incorrect. He certainly wants this stuff released, but it's not because he has some prurient interest in perusing Manning's emotional entrails. He is concerned about the journalists reporting Lamo's assertions about Manning's motives as fact. His concerns stem from the fact that Lamo is notoriously unreliable, and has made a ton of contradictory public statements about Manning. The guy seems very duplicitous, and this is information being used to send someone away for a long time.

From Greenwald's article:

Whether Manning actually said these things to Lamo could be verified in one minute by "journalist" Kevin Poulsen. He could either say: (1) yes, the chats contain such statements by Manning, and here are the portions where he said these things, or (2) no, the chats contain no such statements by Manning, which means Lamo is either lying or suffers from a very impaired recollection about what Manning said. Poulsen could also provide Lamo -- who claims he is no longer in possession of them -- with a copy of the chat logs (which Lamo gave him) so that journalists quoting Lamo about Manning's statements could see the actual evidence rather than relying on Lamo's claims. Any true "journalist" -- or any person minimally interested in revealing the truth -- would do exactly that in response to Lamo's claims as published by The New York Times.

Wired.com could, in a very WikiLeaks-like manner, redact the personal information and release only the segments that confirm Lamo's assertions. Instead, not only do they refuse to release it, they won't confirm or deny the truth of said assertions. In fact, even in their rebuttal, they spend most of the time talking shit about Greenwald and manage to dodge entirely the question that's being posed.

However, Greenwald's as much at fault for this as Wired.com is. he had the opportunity to fire a clear shot accross the bow, and instead decided to dilute it with what sounds like goofy conspiracy theory garbage.

I'm interested to see how this plays out.
posted by orville sash at 5:13 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


For my part, I want to just encourage everyone to look at everything else that Glenn Greenwald has written in the last several years. He's been very vocal about issues like renditions, habeas corpus, Guantanamo Bay, privacy versus the War on Terror - all manner of issues that I will wager are closely aligned with the outlook of most folks here on the Blue, I'll wager. That doesn't make him right on this issue, but it's worth emphasizing that in the aggregate, he makes a lot of very telling points about fundamentally important issues. And he does research what he writes. And he does issue corrections and follow-ups - often several after each initial posting.
posted by newdaddy at 5:19 PM on December 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


We need to make a sign like the safety signs at factories:
It has been three zero days since the last WikiLeaks post.
posted by scalefree at 5:22 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Greenwald's as much at fault for this as Wired.com is.

You know, I'm a huge Greenwald fan, but I agree that he diluted the "clear shot across the bow" with unnecessarily aggressive personal attacks. Again, maybe this is my brain filling in weird gaps, but I can't help thinking that Greenwald, a gay guy, is supremely pissed off that Lamo, a bi/gay/whatever guy, betrayed a young, questioning, possibly transgender guy and is being defended in an obnoxiously hamfisted way by Poulsen, whose "strange" connection to the story seems to me to be at the heart of the Wired v. Greenwald tiff.

*laughs*

It's so hard to keep one's own biases in check. Anyway, the point is that I agree Greenwald fucked up in the way he approached this issue. The point is also, however, that Wired is so completely full of shit in its justifications for not releasing more of the chat logs that it starts to cast *very* serious doubts on the magazine's (and Poulsen's) motives.
posted by mediareport at 5:24 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


In the absence of any reasonable answer, I can't help but find myself wondering if Poulsen and Lamo were once lovers, and I don't even have a clue that Poulsen is gay or bi or anything. My brain is just working overtime to fill the strange silence.

WTF? If this is what counts as "good faith discussion", then count me out. Feel free to continue on with this sort of unnecessary speculation into shit that doesn't matter.
posted by muddgirl at 5:29 PM on December 29, 2010


Oh come on, muddgirl; I know folks prefer not to think about gay issues when they're not blatantly obvious, but 3 of the 4 players in this tiff are queer, and there's very suggestive evidence that the only reason Bradley Manning approached Adrian Lamo in the first place was that he thought Lamo would be a sympathetic queer ear. If you haven't read through the Manning post I made a week and a half ago, you should probably do so before formalizing any strong opinions.
posted by mediareport at 5:34 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oops, I just realized you were the reason I made that post in the first place. Never mind. But seriously, how could you know that stuff and not see the obvious queer subtext here. Did you know Greenwald was gay? A lot of folks don't, so it's cool, but to me it's clear one of the reason's he's been just a little unhinged on this one is his strong sympathy for Manning's position.

In short, don't question my "good faith" when I post honestly about what I'm feeling here. Thanks.
posted by mediareport at 5:36 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Who fucking cares who's gay? Let's just stick with the published facts, eh? Even if Greenwald is upset over Lamo turning in Manning, that doesn't make his argument wrong.

It's very simple, and very clear: Wired is hiding information it shouldn't be. This is absolutely true... even if they can't release the chat log, they can certainly confirm or deny allegations based on those logs.

So, all this gay stuff? Just drop it. It's a total fucking derail. Keep your eyes on the ball, not who's balling whom.
posted by Malor at 6:01 PM on December 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Sorry, Malor, the gay stuff isn't a fucking derail. I agree with you about Wired's bizarre, indefensible position. But ignoring the very clear gay subtext here between Greenwald, Lamo, Manning and (I'm assuming at this point) Poulsen is being deliberately ignorant.

Sorry, but no.
posted by mediareport at 6:10 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Greenwald has had several apparently on the record conversations with either Manning or his direct supporters and associates. In the interests of total transparency, so that we may see if he is just spinning Manning's behavior and statements to support Manning. I demand that he release all transcripts and notes of his conversations. Furthermore in the interests of total transparency, I demand that he reveal all his journalistic sources for the last 10 years and publish a complete archive of his notes, call log and any transcripts or recordings that might exist.
posted by humanfont at 6:13 PM on December 29, 2010


I found all Greenwald's comments quite interesting and relevant. Wired has a historical status in the hacker community. Greenwald has very publicly accused them of being sorta kinda an FBI front, which sounds like a public service honestly.

As I implied up thread, there is a very real possibility that Manning is guilty, but this was determined by CIA CI officers who cannot reveal their methods, so now all the evidence against him including these chat logs was fabricated. We're confident exactly that happened to Julius Rosenberg, plus we killed his wife too trying to make him confess.

Greenwald has now demonstrated that Rasch, Wired, Poulsen, and Lamo are the perfect crew for fabricating evidence against Manning. Wired's behavior gives this conspiracy theory slightly more credibility.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:22 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Btw, firedoglake.com has been compiling resources related to Manning, Lamo, etc., via wlcentral.org.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:41 PM on December 29, 2010


Oooo! Humanfont demanding complete transparency and revelation of sources! That's a rare one!

* drinks *
posted by Jimbob at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, Wired, notorious FBI front.
posted by QuarterlyProphet at 6:50 PM on December 29, 2010


To clarify, I'd imagine that Lamo's undeserved celebrity hacker status ultimately played more role than anyone's sexuality, mediareport. Greenwald has observed that Lamo's status was created through Wired by Rasch & Poulsen, which now threatens Wired status and provides a route for fabricating evidence.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:51 PM on December 29, 2010


there is a very real possibility that Manning is guilty, but this was determined by CIA CI officers who cannot reveal their methods, so now all the evidence against him including these chat logs was fabricated

Military Investigators (MPD or CID), not CIA according to published media like the Wall Street Journal and Manning's lawyers have conducted the investigations. In addition to the chat logs from Lamo, there are statements from interviews with Manning's friends and physical evidence collected from his computer and network access.
posted by humanfont at 6:54 PM on December 29, 2010


Greenwald has had several apparently on the record conversations with either Manning or his direct supporters and associates. In the interests of total transparency, so that we may see if he is just spinning Manning's behavior and statements to support Manning. I demand that he release all transcripts and notes of his conversations.

David House:
* Special note: No notepads, pens, phones, tape recorders, or other useful documentation devices are allowed into the brig’s visitation rooms. For this reason the key points of my conversations with Manning, his explicit replies to questions regarding confinement, were temporarily stored mentally through repetition. I am fortunate that many of his replies could be summed up in very few words. When visiting hours conclude I create a voice memo with a brain-dump of the meeting that just took place. I’ll try to get the relevant recordings online in the next few days. Aside from that, I encourage any curious parties to file an FOIA request for the government-curated audio tapes created in brig visitation room #2 on December 18 and December 19 2010 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.
posted by enn at 6:55 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]



Greenwald has had several apparently on the record conversations with either Manning or his direct supporters and associates.


He has publicly disclosed his biases and relationships in this matter, for instance on CNN his introduction included pointing out he had spoken personally with Assange. This was in the links by the way, but don't let that stop you from ignoring the facts and making a false equivalence anyway.

In the interests of total transparency, so that we may see if he is just spinning Manning's behavior and statements to support Manning. I demand that he release all transcripts


Also in the links Greenwald mentions he does not want to see everything and is fine with redaction.


Come on guys, Greenwald is right on this one. Have some intellectual honesty and pressure Wired to to confirm or deny. You don't have to like the conspiracy theory part of it but on the central issue Greenwald has them dead to rights.

FBI has been using Wired to place informants.

I see what you did there FBI.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:56 PM on December 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Having read the chronology at Firedoglake, it's blindingly obvious that Lamo is pretty useless as a witness for the prosecution, at least in a federal court (as opposed to a military one.)
posted by warbaby at 7:10 PM on December 29, 2010


Kevin Poulsen is a convicted felon and world-class liar. The fact that he nows calls himself a journalist doesn't change this.
posted by photoslob at 7:28 PM on December 29, 2010


You know, I'm a huge Greenwald fan, but I agree that he diluted the "clear shot across the bow" with unnecessarily aggressive personal attacks. Again, maybe this is my brain filling in weird gaps, but I can't help thinking that Greenwald, a gay guy, is supremely pissed off that Lamo, a bi/gay/whatever guy, betrayed a young, questioning, possibly transgender guy and is being defended in an obnoxiously hamfisted way by Poulsen, whose "strange" connection to the story seems to me to be at the heart of the Wired v. Greenwald tiff.

Who fucking cares who's gay? Let's just stick with the published facts, eh?


I didn't want to be the person to bring this up (you know, pull the gay card) because yes, it's not useful in terms of public debate. Yet the Lamo-Manning relationship rings like a million alarm bells for me, and I am highly suspicious that an inappropriate, shitty relationship is precisely what Wired is hiding. This is just totally fucking sleazy and heads should roll at Wired.

But ignoring the very clear gay subtext here between Greenwald, Lamo, Manning and (I'm assuming at this point) Poulsen is being deliberately ignorant.

Poor choice of words, but I agree that there is some understanding amongst publicly gay figures that they have special responsibilities in positions of authority and as role models. Manning is living a total fucking nightmare and Lamo is both responsible and oblivious, and that should be totally enraging to everyone involved, not just us gays.
posted by mek at 7:38 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


More like Adrian Lame-o, amirite?
posted by wayland at 8:25 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oooo! Humanfont demanding complete transparency and revelation of sources! That's a rare one!

I'm just pointing out the ongoing hypocrisy of greenwald, Assange, etc. If their moral principles demand transparency, let them deliver it. Who are the donors supporting wikileaks, what is it's board and governance structure? Where are the minutes of the board meetings, who approved the budget? How much was raised duringp the Manning Defense Fundraiser what was taken as administrative expenses? What documents are in their to be published queue (I'm not demanding the docs, but a catalog of what they've received in summary) and a publication schedule. Do they have a BOA hard disk, ok when is it being published, what safeguards for personal account data? What safeguards are in ace to prevent this from being used for illegal market manipulation or extortion schemes?
Greenwald wants transparency from wired, but we are just to take him at his word? I war to see his editor's notes on the story. I demand his interview transcripts/ audio
with all relevant parties. Given his prior association with domestic terrorists, maybe he's working with them to undermine the US through a series of lies and exaggerations. (see we can all play that game).

As for me I've never been a supporter of transparency. I am quite comfortable with Wired using it's editorial judgement. My views are simply that Greenwald is hypocritical.

Greenwald is willing to do anything to push his narrative of Manning. He's not interested in the truth, or a journalistic act, he's just anointed himself unofficial spokes person for free Bradley Manning. He has zero skepticism of any of the reports out of the Manning team, and total disregar for anything from the opposition.
posted by humanfont at 8:40 PM on December 29, 2010


There's nothing you can examine with a plain ol' text file that will tell you if the data has been altered.

Well, not exactly true.

From a forensic point of view, if you were to have a copy of Lamo's hard drive, it might be possible to tell if the data has been altered. Hard drives generally try to write data in nice neat blocks right next to each other, making it faster to read it later.

So let's say Lamo is downloading an MP3, chatting, and then checks his email later. Part of his hard drive might look like this:

MMMMMMMCCCCCCEEEEEEEE

...where 'M' is that MP3, 'C' is this chat log, and 'E' is an email from his grandmother. This is a really simplified version of the way things go, but you get the point.

Now let's say that Lamo spends the next two months downloading pornography and Arcade Fire bootlegs. His hard drive will look something like this:

MMMMMMMCCCCCCEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPAPPAPPAAAPAPPAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

...now let's say, at some point after this, he edits the chat logs for whatever reason, and re-saves the file. Due to the magic of NTFS, his HD might now look like this:

MMMMMMMCCCCCCEEEEEEEEPPPPPPPPPPPPAPPAPPAAAPAPPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC

A trained forensic investigator would be able to conclude that the file had very likely been modified after the fact, in a case like this. However, this kind of analysis doesn't happen until after the police have seized your computer and hooked it up to an EnCase box.
posted by Jairus at 8:53 PM on December 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


2600 released a recording from last summer's HOPE conference where Adrian Lamo actually showed up and faced a mostly hostile crowd to discuss his decision to come forward. 64k file here.
posted by dr_dank at 9:00 PM on December 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Due to the magic of NTFS, his HD might now look like this

Please don't give me another reason to dislike Lamo.
posted by ryoshu at 9:07 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Greenwald has very publicly accused them of being sorta kinda an FBI front, which sounds like a public service honestly.

Good to know.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:08 PM on December 29, 2010


Wired sorta kinda comes clean on Twitter, sorta, via BoingBoing. Nut:
Kevin and Evan both independently verified that in the unpublished portions of the chat logs between Adrian Lamo and Bradly Manning there is no further reference to private FTP servers, and no further discussion about the relationship between Manning and Assange.

That's kind of a big deal, because the published portions of the logs do not support or back up the statements Adrian Lamo seems to have been making. And that would mean that his claims are based solely on opinion, not based on evidence in the chat logs.
posted by kipmanley at 9:27 PM on December 29, 2010 [9 favorites]


Jairus,

Defragging your hard-drive would probably take care of that, in a plausibly-deniable way. Small edits to a text file that kept the file size within sector boundaries might not show up either (if you took care to edit the metadata), even without defragging. There's always ever-more sophisticated forensic techniques to turn to however.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 9:46 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


And with the help of Bonner and the Boingers, we have Wired confirming that Lamo lied in a way that has absolutely no resemblance to journalism. The Wired Way.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:50 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


There seems to be a misconception. Wikileaks is not transparency. Wikileaks is an information source that perhaps advances transparency.
posted by cell divide at 9:53 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lamo seems to (vaguely) claim that the logs which Wired has support the theory that Assange and Wikileaks were not simply recipients of the data, but actively worked wih Manning to "liberate" it. If there's evidence of that, that's hugely important. I have trouble believing that Wired has any such thing, since Wired has, so far as I can see, zero reason not to release that if they had it. That release would serve their interests, as well as Lamo's, as well as the US Government's to let it out. Everyone's interest, in fact, except Assange's. So, provisionally, I am inclined to be skeptical of what Lamo says.

So, if there's no such bombshell in there, what is there that Wired doesn't want to let out? I don't buy for an instant that it's info detrimental to Manning's privacy. Even if they prioritized such a concern, which I frankly doubt, it's easily handled by redaction.

I'm left thinking it must be something that embarrasses them, or Lamo, or the US Government, or all three.

I'm mostly curious about two points here: first, Greenwald implies, but carefully never says that Lamo and Poulsen are doing the work of the FBI. To what extent is Lamo a de facto government agent? Has he gotten condsideration from the government? Is he legally a state actor?

If he is, then I get very interested. I'm in the MeFi minority by considering Manning a traitor to his nation and his oath, in spirit if possibly not in law, and no hero. But I nevertheless want him to get an actual fair and honest trial (and decent treatment until then, BTW). So, if Lamo is legally a government agent, and if Manning was arrested based on a confession to Lamo, and Lamo got that confession by claiming he would invoke a journalist's shield law, or claiming clerical privilege, I think that we have a right to know that. If everything stemmed from a confession made under those circumstances, that matters. Does the US have evidence that they would have arrested Manning completely independently?

Of course, I think it's more likely that they contain little of that. I expect that what Wired is hiding is merely Lamo deceptively playing to Manning's horrible situation of being gay while under DADT, and possibly trans as well, while in a terribly hostile environment. Embarrassing to Wired and Lamo, and disgusting so far as what it says about Lamo's own ethics, but not of larger significance.
posted by tyllwin at 9:58 PM on December 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm just pointing out the ongoing hypocrisy of greenwald, Assange, etc.

The problem is, it's not as effective a rhetorical maneuver as you might wish it to be. It may be true that hypocrisy is the only remaining sin, but what hasn't changed is that everyone is still a sinner. Everyone knows that no-one is totally consistent in all their actions and beliefs, and one of the most tiresome things about reading discussions in MeFi is people constantly deploying NO U as if it were a valid rebuttal. It's lazy and weakens your position, because if that's the strongest argument you have, you're in trouble.
posted by Ritchie at 9:58 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


The problem is, it's not as effective a rhetorical maneuver as you might wish it to be

Speaking of rhetorical manuevers:
-throwing up conspiracy claims that Wired is an FBI front group
-referring to Lamo as a "rat" what is this the mafia? Do we need no snitching shirts next to intimidate witness?
-calling Pauson a spokesperson for Lamo, while servic as the spokesperson for Manning's defense team.

It is all about whipping up controversy, FUD and confusion. Great rhetorical tricks, but having nothing to do with an obligation to report and discern the truth. Is Manning in an unjust confinement or is it just prison? Greenwald has pulled out his old lawyers tricks, but in the process shredded his credibility.
posted by humanfont at 10:19 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chat logs are horrible evidence, as others have pointed out.
$ echo "HELLO THERE" > testfile.txt
$ ls -al testfile.txt
-rw-r--r--  1 mrbill  staff  12 Dec 30 00:36 testfile.txt
$ touch -t 197411051200 testfile.txt
$ ls -al testfile.txt
-rw-r--r--  1 mrbill  staff  12 Nov  5  1974 testfile.txt

posted by mrbill at 10:38 PM on December 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


panaceanot: "My question is... where was Lamo, Greenwald, Manning, Poulsen and Hanson in 1990?

By their powers combined they could have stopped an alleged heinous crime
"

Which one is the lamer with the power of "heart"?
posted by Samizdata at 11:19 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Btw, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) just failed to pass the senate thanks to a secret hold by one anonymous senator. It would have eliminated current loopholes where whistleblowers are ineligible for federal whistleblower protection if "you are not the first person who discloses given misconduct; you make a disclosure to your co-worker; you make a disclosure to your supervisor; you disclose the consequences of a policy decision; and the kicker: if you blow the whistle while carrying out your job duties." I realize this seems only tangentially related here, as it was almost surely killed to protect particularly corrupt federal contractors, but one imagines that S. 372 would have reduced the need for wikileaks.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:25 PM on December 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


jayrus, how do you know lamo is using NTFS? Random hackers will be using ext2 or 3, and supposedly leet ones have aes encrypted homedirs.
If you can make that kind of forensic analysis on encrypted volumes I'd love to hear how you do it.
posted by 3mendo at 11:39 PM on December 29, 2010


Even if Lamo modified the chat logs to implicate Manning, the NSA should have the originals and will reveal his naughtiness. cryptoburger

Like others have mentioned, there's no metadata in a plain text file, so it's almost impossible to reveal tampering. Physical forensic analysis might work if you have access to the hardware, but there's still no guarantee that was what is on the disk is what was sent over the wire.

Another method would be statistical analysis of the language used in the logs. This would probably be very difficult to do given the informal nature of chat logs.

Similar techniques have been used to determine authorship of historical documents and detect plagiarism in academics. In a legal setting, linguistic forensics led to the posthumous pardon of Derek Bentley. Analysis showed the language in his "confession" matched the language used by the police and not his style.
posted by formless at 11:41 PM on December 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is important because Hacks are printing Lamo's assertions about Manning's statements even though they are unable to tell if Lamo is telling the truth.
Unfortunately for Wired the only way it is going to avoid such attacks is if it publishes the full transcripts and shuts the conspiracy theorists up. Instead it refuses and opens itself up to accusations of a government cover-up. via
posted by adamvasco at 1:14 AM on December 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


Btw, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) just failed to pass the senate thanks to a secret hold by one anonymous senator. It would have eliminated current loopholes where whistleblowers are ineligible for federal whistleblower protection

Well isn't that just goddamned fucking SPECIAL.

SECRET, no less. I dunno 'bout you, but I'd like to know who is speaking for ME.
posted by Marla Singer at 3:12 AM on December 30, 2010


...Hacks are printing Lamo's assertions about Manning's statements even though they are unable to tell if Lamo is telling the truth.
Unfortunately for Wired the only way it is going to avoid such attacks is if it publishes the full transcripts and shuts the conspiracy theorists up. Instead it refuses and opens itself up to accusations of a government cover-up.


adamvasco, whaddaya want, people to respect truth & honesty? Ask for the moon why don't ya?
posted by Marla Singer at 3:21 AM on December 30, 2010


Sounds like someone needs to get these transcripts to WikiLeaks.
posted by dudekiller at 4:20 AM on December 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wired sorta kinda comes clean on Twitter

Wonderful, if handled stupidly. I look forward to Wired now sorta kinda coming clean with regard to all the *other* claims Lamo has been making publicly since Manning's arrest.
posted by mediareport at 4:40 AM on December 30, 2010


I think the waters have been muddied a bit here regarding the request for Wired to release more of the chat logs. Greenwald is not requesting that Wired check every claim that Adrian Lamo makes to other media outlets (even leaving aside the observation that Lamo and Wired clearly have a special relationship). Wired has made the claim that nothing in the withheld portions of the chat logs has any bearing on the Manning case, which justifies their withholding them for ostensible reasons of protecting privacy. Yet many of Lamo's claims are totally unsupported by anything in the released chat logs, which means either that (a) Wired is lying and there *is* more relevant material in the unreleased logs which backs up Lamo's claims or (b) Lamo, Wired's source, is lying and there's nothing in the logs to support his claims.

What has happened here is that Wired has refused to respond to specific requests for even confirmation of (b), which seems totally unreasonable in the context of a jounalistic enterprise but totally reasonable if you consider the embarrassment that would result from your exclusive, special source being something of a habitual liar.
posted by indubitable at 5:39 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Speaking of rhetorical manuevers:
-throwing up conspiracy claims that Wired is an FBI front group
-referring to Lamo as a "rat" what is this the mafia? Do we need no snitching shirts next to intimidate witness?


As near as I can tell, Humanfront, plenty of other people, myself included, have brought this up as irrelevant and distracting. That doesn't mean that the core of the request is invalid. But far be it for you to actually read other people's comments, except in an attempt to bolster your case for a "journalist" to make claims unsupported anywhere in the public record, saying "they're in the chat log, but there's no need to release the chat log."

-calling Pauson a spokesperson for Lamo, while servic as the spokesperson for Manning's defense team.

While Paulson continues to deny any meaningful relationship between himself and Lamo, Greenwald (who I feel I need to mention again, I described as a polemicist and generally unreadable upthread) has been very public and forthcoming about his relationship to Wikileaks and where he comes down on all of this.

So, moving beyond your well-documented hatred of WikiLeaks, why would there be any reason to keep this information from the public? Because Glenn Greenwald is a hack? That's not really a reason. If there was any room in your argument for nuance, you would see that this isn't an issue of right vs. wrong and good vs. evil, it's a lot more complicated than that. I, for one, have a lot of reservations about the way that WikiLeaks disseminates information. I generally agree with the editorial Floyd Abrams wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, saying that releasing information as cavalierly as WikiLeaks has is, at best, problematic.

The fact remains that a lot of accusations have been made against WikiLeaks as an organization and Bradley Manning as a leaker by Adrian Lamo and Wired.com, assuring us that it's "in the chatlogs." They have not only refused to release the information contained therein, but they have refused to comment on the veracity of said statements. If, as Lamo says, WikiLeaks actively pursued Manning, it would greatly bolster the US Government's ability to make an espionage case against Julian Assange. The release of these chatlogs have a real-world impact that can not be measured against, say, Greenwald's notes on Manning's treatment in prison. Take off your blinders for a minute and be reasonable.

Moving right along.

the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) just failed to pass the senate thanks to a secret hold by one anonymous senator.

How come OpEdNews seems to be the only news organization reporting this? Not that I doubt it, necessarily, but you would think this would be news.
posted by orville sash at 5:54 AM on December 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dig deeper. Rasch is not a red herring, he is central to this dance, he has been a regular source for Wired's Kim Zetter, who was Poulsen's co-author on the Manning articles. It all smells more than a little bit.
posted by adamvasco at 6:03 AM on December 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


The chasm between "x smells fishy" and "x is a conspiracy" is vast. Until I see direct evidence, I'm not comfortable branding anyone a spook.
posted by orville sash at 6:21 AM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I using that term correctly? I always thought "spook" meant "government agent"
posted by orville sash at 6:22 AM on December 30, 2010


Spook > spy
posted by anigbrowl at 6:36 AM on December 30, 2010


It's now important to figure out what Republican senator placed the hold on the WPEA. bellaciao.org says the senator who held the bill is a Republican, most likely one of :

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Minority Leader
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-NC)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)

We'll likely need an fpp for the WPEA failure, but I decided wait for either a shorter list of suspects, or else a list of court cases that created the loopholes in the current WPA. I'd imagine the organizations who've fought the WPA through the courts have lobbying heavily against the WPEA, so follow the money to the guilty senator.

There are some other early comments by other blogs and news agencies summarized here.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:42 AM on December 30, 2010


but far be it for you to actually read other people's comments, except in an attempt to bolster your case for a "journalist" to make claims unsupported anywhere in the public record, saying "they're in the chat log, but there's no need to release the chat log."

I had a long post here but it got eaten by iPhone refresh. I'm not the issue here. Greenwald's behavior is the issue. A secondary issue (the tragically buried story) is that Lamo's claims are inconsistent with the chat logs published and provided. Lamo has not furnished chat logs to back up his claims when making them to other journalists and those journalists such as Charles Savage of the NY Times have failed to cite either the Wired provided transcripts or furnish additional details.. Furthermore Wired/Poulsen arn't the only ones with allegedly complete transcripts. The FDL links also indicate that Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post also received complete chat transcripts. Yet no call out, nor is there a call for Lamo to release the chat transcripts (as the source he is the one making the claims and withholding the information). I'm going to email Greenwald and demand answers and post a followup tomorrow at 4pm.
posted by humanfont at 10:25 AM on December 30, 2010


The longer this continues, the more my thoughts keep wandering towards this...
posted by gimonca at 10:47 AM on December 30, 2010


Greenwald's behavior is the issue.

It's funny how everything is the issue besides what's in the fucking leaks.
posted by empath at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


I've read through a bunch of this, and I can't seem to work out how the relationship between Manning and Lamo began. Is this abundantly clear and I'm just looking in the wrong place?
posted by jpziller at 11:29 AM on December 30, 2010


It's abundantly unclear, and one of the central issues of this particular dust-up.
posted by chaff at 11:52 AM on December 30, 2010


Nick Davies | The Guardian: The Julian Assange Investigation -- Let's Clear the Air of Misinformation.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on December 30, 2010


Yet no call out, nor is there a call for Lamo to release the chat transcripts (as the source he is the one making the claims and withholding the information). I'm going to email Greenwald and demand answers and post a followup tomorrow at 4pm.

Sounds like a reading comprehension problem to me.
posted by mek at 12:24 PM on December 30, 2010


how the relationship between Manning and Lamo began

If you dig back in Greenwald's posts a bit, he talks about how confused this is, because Lamo has given several different, conflicting stories to different news outlets. The chat logs in question probably wouldn't clear this up, because presumably they were already acquainted. That particular mystery may go unresolved.

If you actually read Greenwald's posts yourself, you'll find that they're measured, accurate, and extremely well-supported. Don't buy the bullshit about 'polemicist' and such upthread. Go read them for yourself. He's a good writer, and worth your attention. Even if you disagree, actually reading his words yourself is worthwhile, simply so you can see the blatant misrepresentations by Wired and the online commentariat.

It's funny how everything is the issue besides what's in the fucking leaks.

Amen, brother.

I don't get what humanfont's agenda is here, but he's sure emitting a huge amount of heat and noise about irrelevant bullshit. Greenwald has Wired dead to rights on this one, and all the invective hurled his way is missing the mark completely.

At least Wired has started to deny some of the allegations Lamo is making. I'd prefer it if they did more, but they're doing that much. It'll be interesting to see if the MSM keeps repeating Lamo's unsubstantiated claims.
posted by Malor at 12:41 PM on December 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's funny how everything is the issue besides what's in the fucking leaks.

We have had quite a few threads on what's in the leaks. This particular FPP was pointing out the back and forth.

I don't get what humanfont's agenda is here, but he's sure emitting a huge amount of heat and noise about irrelevant bullshit. Greenwald has Wired dead to rights on this one, and all the invective hurled his way is missing the mark completely.

My agenda is simply to point out that Greenwald is muckraking here and engaging in a propaganda campaign against Poulsen that is baseless. He has them dead to rights really? He asked the washington post and Nakashima for the chat logs "several month ago" and the corporate spokes person said no. Then he emails Poulsen on Chrismas morning and demands answers to his questions regarding a 10 day old NY Times story. This is after last June where Greenwald launched his first attack on Poulsen. This failure to respond over a holiday weekend is the basis for Greenwald's claim of non-responsiveness and coverup by Wired. He gave the Post months, but Nakashima gets a pass because he expects more from Wired.

Meanwhile Greenwald actually interviewed Lamo in June and failed to get the transcripts. He asked direct questions about how they (manning/lamo) met and got answers. The same messy answers everyone else has gotten. Greenwald is constructing a smokescreen which is designed to further his campaign to generate sympathy for Manning. That's not journalism it is propaganda. For him to call out Poulsen for journalistic malpractice is hypocritical, bombastic and outrageous. The only thing he has dead to rights is his own navel.
posted by humanfont at 1:05 PM on December 30, 2010


Greenwald is constructing a smokescreen which is designed to further his campaign to generate sympathy for Manning.

For anyone still paying attention, Greenwald's two-shot reply to the Wired accusations is very clear in putting humanfont's argument to rest. To me, anyway. Also, Greenwald has said that he expected better from Wired, and that's why he's focused on them. He certainly has gone after the Washington Post many times in the past, and has made clear on many occasions that he sees the paper's editors as a major wing of the conservative consensus-making machine and doesn't expect much in the way of principled stands from them.
posted by mediareport at 4:35 PM on December 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


If by putting to rest you mean validates every one of my points then I agree with you.

To quote
This is all false.  I've actually mentioned Poulsen's hacker past very rarely

 My objection to The New York Times smear job on Assange was that by prominently featuring gossipy, personality issues about him on the very day the Iraq War documents were released, the paper distracted attention from what actually mattered...


 more important, that they should release the portions about which Lamo has made public claims or confirm they do not exist.


 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.


 I raise most of these issues six months ago (about which Poulsen says "We took the high ground and ignored Greenwald and Salon"), but I loudly re-raised them on my Twitter feed -- from which Hansen quotes -- on Friday, December 24.

"I tweeted about it on Xmas eve" seriously?  He's going with that.  Oh i suppose he's also got "i said some nasty shit about you 6 months ago so you should have seen it coming."  My two year old has come up with better excuses than this.  Apparently mediareport and others consider this a devastating rebuttal.

 I waited the entire next day (Sunday) and, in the hopes of getting a reply from Poulsen, still didn't write anything.  I only published my piece mid-morning on Monday:  two full days after I first emailed Poulsen.  Once it was published, Poulsen, despite being "on vacation," certainly responded on Twitter very quickly.

Hey dumbass lots of people check their google reader before they check their email.  Also it was Monday, the office was open.  You think maybe someone like his editor called him to tell him.  The only thing this demonstrates is that Greenwald never wanted a response from Poulsen.   The professional thing to do would have been to call Wired's office when it opened on Monday.  That's how real journalists do their job when they are looking to do something other than manufacture a story. 

 Lamo posts smiling, arms-around-each-other pictures with Poulsen on his Facebook page, including one the day before Wired published excerpts of the chat log.  Nadim Kobeissi, Lamo's longtime friend, told me that Lamo has long considered Poulsen his friend.  This is anything but some objective, arms-length journalist-source relationship.

First Greenwald paints Lamo as manipulative and distorting the truth and making stuff up.  The he quotes someone who said Lamo said that Poulsen was a friend.  Then to seal it a few Facebook photos.  Except a source and journalist who meet regularly might actually have their picture taken.  Especially when the source likes to tell people how important he is to the media.  


 I will readily concede that Appelbaum's association with WikiLeaks should have been disclosed.  It wasn't for a simple reason:  I wasn't aware of it

Except when he wrote this peice about Jacob Applebaum being detained. Then he was totally aware of it.

 the reason I didn't quote Assange in my piece on Wired is because he had nothing of relevance to say.

But by Greenwald's logic the full transcripts of chats with Assange should be made available just in case he missed something.  What is he hiding? just to drive this point home here is the Greenwald standard:

 What matters is whether the things you say are well-supported and accurate, to correct them if they're not, and to subject yourself to the same accountability and transparency you demand of others.

I fail to see how Greenwald has done anything other than dig himself deeper here.  

Greenwald has manufactured story and that's not journalism, it's muckraking.  He should have called Wired on Monday and talked to an editor or spokesperson to get a commitment to an on the record response in a timeframe or a flat  decline to respond answer.  What he did was the equivalent of leaving an intentional voicemail after someone has left for the day.  He never wanted to get an answer from Poulsen on Monday, he wanted to run a story about hiding evidence because that furthers his campaign to win sympathy for Manning.
posted by humanfont at 7:33 PM on December 30, 2010


There is considerable analysis of Adrian Lamo's interviews and public statements at FireDogLake (see also adrianlamologs), along with other Bradley Manning related material and an index of key articles.

Also, FDL deals more directly with the question of whether Adrian Lamo is a state actor, avoiding Greenwald's attacks on Wired & Paulson's journalistic credibility.

Again, wlcentral.org has a useful list of facts about Adrian Lamo, Kevin Poulsen and Mark Rasch.

In a related journalistic spat, There is now a nice debunking of Nick Davies reply to Bianca Jagger called Clearing the Air of Nick Davies' Misinformation.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:09 AM on December 31, 2010


Humanfront, it would be REALLY GREAT if you would finally take everyone's suggestions here and RTFA.

Except when he wrote this peice about Jacob Applebaum being detained. November 9, 2010.

The article where Greenwald cites Applebaum. June 18, 2010.

You have no clue what is going on with this story and are grasping at straws to find some way to attack Greenwald. The facts are not on the side of your agenda, just drop it already.

As for Greenwald not giving them enough time? Fine. Bad boy. Now they have their time, we're waiting.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:12 AM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


So is this mostly settled now? As in "The central issue is simply Wired refusing to confirm or deny what Adrian Lamo claims is in the unreleased chat logs." and my understanding is that (according to BoingBoing) Wired have officially stated that there's nothing in the unpublished logs about Assange assisting Manning. So essentially Wired have denied Lamo's claims.

I like Wired magazine, but I like them for their gadget articles, breakdowns of what the various ingredients of toothpaste actually do, and occasional 'the internet is going to revolutionise the way we think about marmosets' type articles from Chris Anderson. Its interesting to see how they're handling suddenly becoming intimitely involved in one of the biggest and most controversial political stories of the year.
posted by memebake at 9:17 AM on December 31, 2010


As for Greenwald not giving them enough time? Fine. Bad boy. Now they have their time, we're waiting.

They answered. They said it isn't in the logs. His initial request was to confirm. Now apparently they have to do more. Why because this is just a bunch of bullshit muckracking. They cabt do enough because he'll just keep moving the bar. He wants to parade around with his holier than thou handing out citations for bad journalism, while at the same time being guilty of far worse offenses.
posted by humanfont at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2010


They are still going back and forth on twitter, yes. Greenwald and Wired readers deserve a response beyond a text message though. A real article should do it, they seem to be cooperating with Greenwald at the moment.

Humanfront, speaking of bullshit muckraking, would you like to issue your correction for the implication that Greenwald was lying about knowing about Applebaum's Wikileaks connection?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:55 AM on December 31, 2010


would you like to issue your correction for the implication that Greenwald was lying about knowing about Applebaum's Wikileaks connection

Sure I see now that I misread the timeline. The original quote was just an excuse to associate "Lamo" with the term "rat", and remains a pathetic and obvious bit of sophistry.

A note the NY Times updated the Charles Savage article today, which shows just how confusing this whole situation is since it seems that we can't even all agree on what's in the published logs:

Correction: December 31, 2010
An article on Dec. 16 about the possibility of prosecuting Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, after his Web site disclosed classified government documents referred incorrectly to Wired magazine’s publishing of excerpts of Internet chat logs that may be relevant to the investigation. The excerpts, recording online conversations between the main suspect in the leaks, Pvt. Bradley Manning, and an ex-hacker who turned him in, Adrian Lamo, do in fact contain references to communications between Mr. Assange and Private Manning, and to a server for uploading files to WikiLeaks. It is not the case that Wired’s excerpts omitted mention of such contacts.
Kevin Poulsen tweeted
It took two weeks, but @NYtimes has now issued its correction on the Manning chat logs. http://nyti.ms/h5U25t @Salon still has not.

posted by humanfont at 11:29 AM on December 31, 2010


So, called out on your bullshit...but Greenwald can't do enough because you will just keep moving the bar. You want to parade around with your holier than thou attitude handing out citations for bad journalism, while at the same time being guilty of far worse offenses. Am I doing it right?

Quote me where Greenwald uses the word, "rat." I can't find it in the Applebaum article, but Ctrl-F can be weird sometimes. Does he point out Lamo is an informer? Yes, he is an informer and that is part of the story. Greenwald does not make a "stop snitching" type complaint about it, he suggests that Lamo only did it for publicity. Attention whores can be less trustworthy witnesses than concerned citizens.

As for his communication with Wikileaks, well duh the dude is probably guilty as hell we know he talked to Wikileaks. This is about Assange though, if all Wikileaks did is tell Manning where to send the data...to the same drop box they have open for all leakers, that isn't involving them in the crime any more than a newspaper would be by accepting anonymous letters.

Lamo is implying in public that they did more than that, that is the kind of information Greenwald wants information on. Apparently, it is not in the logs according to Wired twitter posts. As you said, the timeline is confusing. It would be nice of them to finish up a comprehensive response once they have enough time. Maybe after the New Years holiday.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:49 AM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Wherein we witness a public brawl about journalism, privacy, and ethics

(but, for the record, I think its worthwhile)
posted by memebake at 12:03 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


...disagreement between Salon's Glenn Greenwald and Wired.com's Kevin Poulsen...

Douchebag vs. Shit Sandwich.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:22 PM on December 31, 2010


Quote me where Greenwald uses the word, "rat." I can't find it in the Applebaum article, but Ctrl-F can be weird sometimes.

You are correct the word rat isn't in the Applebaum article. He defended his use of Applebaum with the following passage this week

I quoted Appelbaum because his quote was most usable, but I could easily have quoted at least ten other people with knowledge of Lamo to make this same point. Indeed, in a June email he sent me after I wrote that article -- none of which was off the record: indeed, it was all explicitly on the record at his request -- Wired's own Ryan Singel told me: "Lamo is clearly starved for attention. Often he gets it by coming up with odd leads. Here he decided to become a rat, and then went on to brag about it."

I stand by the accusation that Greenwald's entire column is written with the intent to manufacture a story. I'm even willing to concede when I've been incorrect, unlike Mr. Greenwald. My bar is made of granite and is far too heavy to move. Greenwald should simply apologize to Poulsen. He is entirely in the wrong here. He should stop bullying Poulsen and behave like a professional.

You want to parade around with your holier than thou attitude handing out citations for bad journalism, while at the same time being guilty of far worse offenses. Am I doing it right?

No.

Lamo is implying in public that they did more than that, that is the kind of information Greenwald wants information on. Apparently, it is not in the logs according to Wired twitter posts. As you said, the timeline is confusing. It would be nice of them to finish up a comprehensive response once they have enough time. Maybe after the New Years holiday.

Yeah shocking that people would be reluctant to put anymore time into this at all given how pleasant and professional Greenwald has been throughout this whole mess. They don't owe you or me anything. They got the scoop, they reported it. We read it. Some other guy had questions and while waiting for them to answer he kicked them in the nuts.
posted by humanfont at 12:40 PM on December 31, 2010


You are correct the word rat isn't in the Applebaum article. He defended his use of Applebaum with the following passage

Ok, so let's move back to what you said earlier.

The original quote was just an excuse to associate "Lamo" with the term "rat", and remains a pathetic and obvious bit of sophistry.


Considering that the rat language was a quote he AVOIDED and instead went with Applebaum, what you are saying when you tell me this is you were clearly wrong with this accusation. Once again you display that you have no idea what is going on here.

Claim A: Greenwald knew Applebaum was involved with Wikileaks, here is an article.

Me: No, look at the dates, RTFA.

Claim B: Whatever, he still did it just so he could call him a rat.

Me: What? No. RTFA. Greenwald didn't say that.

Claim C: Well...maybe he didn't...but someone else did in a quote Greenwald didn't use until later because Applebaum's bias was now in play.

You have no standing to hurl insults at Greenwald or to have your comments on this story taken seriously in any way. You move the goalposts no matter how much your totally lacking grasp of the facts is pointed out.

I'm even willing to concede when I've been incorrect, unlike Mr. Greenwald.

Which claims do you feel he should be retracting? He conceded several points such as that Applebaum was not the best choice for quotes once he knew about the bias. You are again hurling insults with zero factual basis.

Yeah shocking that people would be reluctant to put anymore time into this at all given how pleasant and professional Greenwald has been throughout this whole mess


Which is it? This isn't worth our time or you didn't give us enough time?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:57 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I said Greenwald used a quote to associate him with the term. You seem hung up on if he did it in July or December. Greenwald used the quote. The obvious reason for using the quote is to call Lamo a rat while being able to deny it was you doing it because
you were just quoting someone else.

Poulsen has requested specific corrections regarding what is published in the logs. Greenwald has failed to respond.
posted by humanfont at 1:18 PM on December 31, 2010


You called it the "original" quote. It wasn't, it was a six months old quote he skipped over to use a quote that didn't use the rat language. You are desperately wishing for your reality where Greenwald wants to call lamo a "rat" to be true, but it's just not dude. It's just not. Fucking accept it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:54 PM on December 31, 2010


What corrections have they requested that Greenwald has not responded to?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:56 PM on December 31, 2010


Yeah, you've gone way into 'silly' territory with that one, humanfont. You're claiming that, in essence, he manufactured the chance to call Lamo a rat by choosing a quote from someone else that didn't say anything about rats? It was all a master plan to force a retraction and a replacement with a different quote?

If that was his real goal, why didn't he use the goddamn 'rat' quote in the first place, instead of Applebaum?

He didn't pick the replacement quote because it has "rat" in it, he picked it because it came from a Wired staffer.

I swear, he could be rescuing stray puppies and donating to orphanages in his spare time, and you'd call it a publicity stunt. Your bizarre explanation of the motivations behind the 'rat' quote shows pure prejudice, extreme mental contortions to support an existing opinion, not clearheaded analysis.

I posit that there can exist no evidence that would change your mind.
posted by Malor at 5:26 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you've gone way into 'silly' territory with that one, humanfont. You're claiming that, in essence, he manufactured the chance to call Lamo a rat by choosing a quote from someone else that didn't say anything about rats? It was all a master plan to force a retraction and a replacement with a different quote?

I don't see it as a master plan, merely an attempt to distract us from the fact that he didn't do his homework on Appelbaum as a source and taking the opportunity to dish a little more dirt on Lamo.

By the way Ryan Singel has his own blog post up: On Glenn Greenwald Distorting My Words

The entire Ryan Singel Quote is:
Lamo is clearly starved for attention. Often he gets it by coming up with odd leads. Here he decided to become a rat, and then went on to brag about it. I’m not sure how Poulsen gets tagged or slimed as an informant for reporting it, but Wikileaks managed to do that — and sadly, you helped out.

The NY Times (as I noted) has corrected its original story which served as the basis for Greenwald's screed against Wired and claims that they had not released information about a dedicated server or priority source treatment. Yet Greenwald seems unwilling to concede the point or issue a correction on the matter.

Even when confronted by Singel with overwhelming evidence Greenwald dodges refusing to apologize or admit his fault. Instead he tries to make an issue about if Singel was explicitly on the record or not. Just as you seem focused on if he used the rat quote in June or December. He used it, out of context and that seems to tilt things in favor of using it with the intent of taking another shot at Lamo. Not only is he vain, now he's a rat as well.

I swear, he could be rescuing stray puppies and donating to orphanages in his spare time, and you'd call it a publicity stunt. Your bizarre explanation of the motivations behind the 'rat' quote shows pure prejudice, extreme mental contortions to support an existing opinion, not clearheaded analysis.

I posit that there can exist no evidence that would change your mind.


His conduct with puppies and orphans isn't at issue. In fact it might do him some good to go volunteer somewhere for a while and demonstrate that there is something more human on the other side of his pen than a moralizing hypocritical gasbag.

I can be convinced that my assertions are invalid. I've conceded on corrections regarding the timeline, but I think my central points remain to go back to furiousxgeorge's comments

This is about Assange though, if all Wikileaks did is tell Manning where to send the data...to the same drop box they have open for all leakers, that isn't involving them in the crime any more than a newspaper would be by accepting anonymous letters.

Lamo is implying in public that they did more than that, that is the kind of information Greenwald wants information on.


As noted above this was documented in the chat transcripts. The NY times has issued a correction on this, Greenwald has not. Furthermore the stance is hypocritical. If this is about Assange's conduct with Manning why shouldn't the same test apply to Greenwald as he would put on Poulsen. As I noted Greenwald asserts he didn't quote Assange because he had nothing relevant to say. Apparently though if Poulsen and Wired editors assert they have released the relevant Manning / Lamo -WL content that isn't enough, we the audience must have the evidence to examine ourselves. You want to persuade me, you should explain how Greenwald isn't engaging in special pleading setting one standard for Wired, and holding himself to another. If the relationship between Manning-Lamo-Poulsen is open to question and 3rd party review; shouldn't the relationship between Manning-Assange-Greenwald be open to the same review?

Finally I've asserted that Greenwald's failure to take reasonable steps to contact Poulsen for comment, before launching a full throated attack on his journalistic credentials. How is this responsible or good professional conduct? I've asserted that based on the timing and lack of followthrough, Greenwald wanted to write about Wired's refusal to answer, so he made sure they didn't. That way he could trash Wired and Poulsen specifically.

In spite of the fact that 6 months ago he suggested to Singel regarding Poulsen:

“The very idea that I’ve “successfully impugned the reputation of a fucking good journalist” about whom I said: (a) he violated no ethical principle, (b) there was no evidence to suggest he did anything wrong, (c) is someone whose work I’ve admired, and (d) there’s no evidence to question his integrity or good faith — is, to put it mildly, fucking insane.”
posted by humanfont at 8:05 PM on December 31, 2010


I can barely read your post through the haze of distortion.

I don't see it as a master plan, merely an attempt to distract us from the fact that he didn't do his homework on Appelbaum as a source and taking the opportunity to dish a little more dirt on Lamo.

And you determinedly ignore the fact that in a tiff with Wired, Greenwald chose a quote from Wired. Further, since Wired's link with Lamo is, from available information, closer than any other news organization's, doesn't it strike you as very appropriate, purely on that score alone, to use a quote from a Wired staffer?

Appelbaum said something unflattering about Lamo, but because of the Wikileaks connection, he was deemed not to be a good source. Greenwald says he has about 10 similar quotes to pull from, and substituted one from the very publication he's arguing with.

Painting that as somehow being less than above-board strikes me as entirely disingenuous. You are not examining the facts with a clear mind, you are pushing an agenda. I wonder why?

The NY times has issued a correction on this,

Did you actually read it? It's nearly impossible to suss out what they're saying, it's so snarled up in negations. It's the usual non-correction correction schtick from the Times whenever they've been caught repeating an untrue government assertion. If you sat down and diagrammed the sentences, you might be able to extract useful meaning from it somehow, but a straight-through read on it reverses course so many times that it conveys no useful information.

This is almost certainly deliberate; the Times is perfectly capable of clear writing. That 'correction' is so confusing that you can read damn near anything into it. When the 'newspaper of record', world-famous for the clarity of its prose, produces such a muddle, you have to wonder why.

As I noted Greenwald asserts he didn't quote Assange because he had nothing relevant to say. Apparently though if Poulsen and Wired editors assert they have released the relevant Manning / Lamo -WL content that isn't enough, we the audience must have the evidence to examine ourselves.

In these sentences, you are directly misrepresenting the facts. I wonder why? Greenwald has said repeatedly that a full release is not required, simply a statement that Lamo's additional assertions are or are not supported by unreleased sections of the chat logs. He'd PREFER a full release, but has said several times that he understands it may not be possible.

Wired finally did finally publish a tweet, by the way, saying that there is no additional data supporting Lamo's claims in the media.

Greenwald is holding himself to the same standard; he's saying that nothing in his chats with Assange is relevant. That is the standard he was expecting of Wired. He'd like more, because it may be so important, but he is living up to his own standards exactly.

Yet, you keep repeating the assertion that he isn't. Again, I wonder why?

You want to persuade me, you should explain how Greenwald isn't engaging in special pleading setting one standard for Wired, and holding himself to another.

That's only happening in your imagination, with the false claims you've made about Greenwald's demands. His only actual demand has been for a confirm/deny statement. If Wired had claimed that Lamo's assertions were supported by the log, his demand would have extended to that part of the log. But, since we got a denial, his sole demand has been fulfilled.

Likewise, you have a denial from Greenwald that nothing he's gotten from Assange is relevant. Same precise standard.

In fact it might do him some good to go volunteer somewhere for a while and demonstrate that there is something more human on the other side of his pen than a moralizing hypocritical gasbag.

I find the implicit assumption that he doesn't to be very telling about your mindset.

Finally I've asserted that Greenwald's failure to take reasonable steps to contact Poulsen for comment, before launching a full throated attack on his journalistic credentials.

Of all the things you've said, this is probably the only one I agree with. He really should have given it another day or two. Likewise, I won't really be expecting anything more from him until Monday-ish, what with the holiday.

If the relationship between Manning-Lamo-Poulsen is open to question and 3rd party review; shouldn't the relationship between Manning-Assange-Greenwald be open to the same review?

Since neither Assange nor Greenwald got Manning thrown in jail, and nothing they're saying is being used as evidence to hold the man in extended solitary without exercise, no.

But, regardless, they are open to the same review; Greenwald has confirmed that nothing in his interviews with Assange is relevant, precisely the standard he expected of Wired and its chat logs.

Greenwald wanted to write about Wired's refusal to answer, so he made sure they didn't.

Isn't Greenwald Jewish? He might not have even been thinking about the holiday. But you jump instantly to the most damning possible explanation.

That last paragraph is pointless. It's taken from another context, well before the media started reporting on new accusations by Lamo. It adds nothing of substance, it's just noise.

Overall, your disingenuous argumentation makes me wonder very strongly if you don't have an iron in this fire somewhere.
posted by Malor at 11:58 PM on December 31, 2010


Lamo is implying in public that they did more than that, that is the kind of information Greenwald wants information on.

As noted above this was documented in the chat transcripts. The NY times has issued a correction on this, Greenwald has not.


Run your findings on this by me with links. I think I've read them all but as I said I can miss stuff.

The thing documented in the chat logs, as far as I can tell, is that Manning had access to a secure FTP server. As far as I know, this is the same anonymous dropbox they hold open for all leaks as part of their regular operations. If Wikileaks let him know how to contact them there, it was just like the NY Times telling an anonymous source on the phone their mailing address.

For illegality on the part of Assange and Wikileaks to be present, there has to be more. The MORE is what Greenwald wants to know about.


Honestly, and humanfront don't respond to this because I'm not sure you are up to speed enough to grok it, the main issue you could attack Greenwald for on this is the fact that this crusade has more to do with Assange than Manning and Greenwald is being disingenuous about that fact.

Once they suspected Manning, it seems pretty obvious the government would have the technical ability to confirm if it was him or not. Who else accessed and downloaded in total these massive caches of information? I can't imagine there were even TWO people doing it on that scale.

There are logs.

Once we start talking about what the Lamo chat logs have to do with the Manning/Assange/Wikileaks relationship, we are looking at prosecuting Assange, not Manning. They have Manning in their hooks already.

The claim at issue here is the nature of the improper Assange/Manning relationship that Lamo has suggested in the press, and the fact that the logs he said were evidence for this DO NOT SUPPORT IT.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 AM on January 1, 2011


As far as I know, this is the same anonymous dropbox they hold open for all leaks as part of their regular operations.

Let me make a note on this. The chat logs do not suggest an answer either way, the dropbox Manning used could have been provided especially for him, Wikileaks could have given him advice and encouragement for how to pull off his crime. This is 100% entirely plausible to me, and if it is what they did it would seem to qualify Assange/Wikileaks for the espionage charges.

Now, humanfront, for fuck's sake, read that again.


Ok.


What we are talking about is evidence relating to the possibility that Wikileaks/Assange committed espionage. Got that? Ok, now this: This is the ONLY evidence publicly advanced that Wikileaks/Assange did anything that could reasonably be considered espionage. Any time a talking head or politician goes on TV and tells you Assange committed Espionage, the only evidence they can publicly point to is those...fucking...Lamo claims about...those chat logs.

As far as I know, I'm drunk and it's New Year's Day.

Anyway, that is what is at stake. That is what Greenwald is writing for. The stakes go about a million times beyond scoring blog points by calling someone a rat.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:14 AM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's humanfont. Font, not front. Pedantic I know, but common courtesy etc.
posted by Ritchie at 6:49 AM on January 1, 2011


Let me see if we can at least agree on a few things:

1-Wired has asserted that they have released the relevant WL chats between Manning and Lamo. They asserted this from the beginning.
2-These chats merged into the FDL combined transcript include the following:
a) Reference to a sftp server which may or may not have been specially setup for Manning
b) Assange as using the ccc.de jabber server to securely communicate with Manning
c) Manning talking about notifying Wikileaks / Assange about items he'd uploaded since they knew him as a key source for their collateral murder and 9-11 pager leaks.
d) Manning indicating that he received priority over other leaks in the queue as a trusted source.
3-Wired has since clarified that no additional items remain and that some of Lamo's public statements are not supported. Greenwald's standard of 'confirm or deny' has been met.

A few points. First they have always asserted that they released all the relevant material. So how is Wired to blame in this. The claims that were there, were there (e.g. chat and file upload). The claims that were not there, wern't there. Charles Savage incorrectly suggested that the chat and upload were not in the logs at all in the NY Times and that has been corrected. The Savage story was the basis for Greenwald's attacks on Wired.

Second if they have in fact now issued a statement fulfilling Greenwald's request, why has he refused to issue a correction. Per Poulsen's last tweet:

@ggreenwald Not seeing that. And, of course, you wrote that we refused to say whether it was in the logs or not. That's also uncorrected.
1:51 AM Dec 31st via web in reply to ggreenwald


I guess we'll wait until after the Holiday Weekend. Though given that Greenwald is tweeting today, you'd think he could post a quick update to his blog saying that Wired has answered his questions.

Regarding my allegations that Greenwald is manufacturing the story I posit three points:

1-The "rat" quote -- which was apparently used out of context according to its author (Singel) and could reasonably be interpreted to be a rhetorical device designed to escalate the attacks on Lamo (from someone in it for his own vanity, to a rat).
2-Submitting the questions only via email and on Christmas day. To which the counter claim was made on this thread:

Isn't Greenwald Jewish? He might not have even been thinking about the holiday. But you jump instantly to the most damning possible explanation.

When given an opportunity to clarify his behavior he didn't supply this excuse/explanation, instead he insisted since he tweeted about it on the 24th and gave them a whole extra day it wasn't his fault. His failure to apologize for attacking them without taking reasonably simple steps to contacting them seems pretty damning. He could of course clear this up either by issuing an apology or at least acknowledging on his blog that they have answered his questions.

3-The fallacy of special pleading. To wit: Wired has secret information regarding the evidence against Manning/Assange (unreleased chats) which "shed substantial light on what really happened here, on the bizarre series of events and claims for which there is little evidence and much cause for doubt" Greenwald has talked with Manning and Assange. He has not disclosed the transcripts of those communications. We are required to take Greenwald at his word, but not Wired's.

As wired said in their first response:
Though we didn’t report it ourselves, Greenwald argues that we have a duty to publicly refute the theory. In his world, our consideration, thus far, of Manning’s privacy leaves us with an obligation to chase down every story on Manning, correct any errors, and refute any reporting that we disagree with.
He is, again, wrong. Our obligation is to report the news accurately and fairly. We’re responsible only for what appears on Wired.com. And our record on WikiLeaks and Manning is unblemished.
As to my own agenda. I have no iron in the fire beyond my own personal views, which I've previously stated.
posted by humanfont at 7:40 AM on January 1, 2011


It's humanfont. Font, not front. Pedantic I know, but common courtesy etc.

Haha, I've seen his name a million times and I still read it wrong. Sorry, Humanfont, no disrespect intended.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:12 AM on January 1, 2011




A few points. First they have always asserted that they released all the relevant material. So how is Wired to blame in this.

It's a major news story. A source is going around to major newspapers and lying. You know he is lying. Do you publish that fact?

two days to get back to us he used a mean quote

Dude, Malor and I have pulled down our pants and took a messy fucking shit all over your argument here. There is no other way to describe it. It's over. There is no reasonable way for you to suggest this is about side issues like that.


To wit: Wired has secret information regarding the evidence against Manning/Assange (unreleased chats) which "shed substantial light on what really happened here, on the bizarre series of events and claims for which there is little evidence and much cause for doubt" Greenwald has talked with Manning and Assange. He has not disclosed the transcripts of those communications. We are required to take Greenwald at his word, but not Wired's.


LET'S FUCKING WORK IT OUT LIKE A MATH PROBLEM.

This is Lamo/Wired

Evidence + Claim
Evidence != Claim
Publish additional evidence or Claim = False

Where is the

Evidence + Claim
Evidence != Claim

for fucking Greenwald that would require us to fucking ask him about it?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:21 AM on January 1, 2011


It's a major news story. A source is going around to major newspapers and lying. You know he is lying. Do you publish that fact?

The reporters writing the story with additional allegations from Lamo have access to the record. Isn't fact checking primarily their responsibility? Wired doesnt have to check everones facts and Greenwald has all the information he needs to check the statements in the logs vs. Lamo's statements. Instead of going after Lamo or the reporters he chose tong after wired.

Regarding the rat quote you've not even touched the my core assertion that this was a deliberate manipulation. How you can read the blog post by the author of the quote as anything other than total victory for my point here is beyond logic, did you read the interacted quotes on Singel's blog. The only plausible explanation for manipulating the quote's context and meaning would be to use it for propaganda and demagoging. He uses the quote in the same article he is impeaching the relationship between Lamo-Poulsen. The same article yet he neglects to include the sentence after the "rat" bit or any of the statements where Singel states tha they have nothing but a fairly standard source-reporter relationship. What would it take to convince you that this is at least a bit of a foul, perhaps a tad off? Maybe you see it as a minor infraction, but seriously you think you and you pal demolished my argument. The only thing you've done is establish I had mis-understood the quote to Appelbaum's and put it in June instead of December. I was pretty clear that I made an error there. The more you've pressed on re eat quote the worse it looks. Greenwald says I had 10 other quotes, here is one from your collegue. (ignoring that its context was to defend Poulsen, and indicator the email was explicitly on the record, when in fact that phrase it not in that email or subject chain). Do we have a correction, clarification or update from Greenwald?

You and Malor have tried to create alternate plausible excuses for the Christmas day email. Apparenly you think putting excuses he's never proffered are adaquate logical rebuttals. Greenwald is an established professional journalist. If this was just an accident or mistake let him make the excuse. He has not. He has only added more protestations that what he did was entirely proper. One email on Christmas day and a demand for an immediate response. No followup email asking of they saw his email. Not phone call to Wired's offices. No attempt that might reasonably prevent him from writing that Wired refused to respond. You seem willing to give him an incredible amount of benefit of the doubt without a single shred of evidence that he should receive such a benefit.

Finally on the claim of Greenwalds special status and hypocrisy. You write

for fucking Greenwald that would require us to fucking ask him about it?

Ok since you seem to feel this is a major issue, I'm composing an email now:

Dear Glen,

I am curious as to your conversations with Manning and Asange noted in your columns. As you have noted the public case against Manning and Assange is limited to the publish chat logs and public statements from Adrian Lamo. The limited public record makes it difficult for the public to understand and shed light on this bizarre story. In the interests of adding to the public record of archival material will you provide transcripts of your chats with Assange and or Manning it and other Wikileaks staff on this matter? Can you clarify if you have spoken to Assange, Manning or other Wikileaks staff to clarify if Manning received technical assistance or a private upload channel?

Thanks,

humanfont
posted by humanfont at 12:46 PM on January 1, 2011


Wikileaks And The Silence Of Jordanian Media (via)
posted by jeffburdges at 1:01 PM on January 1, 2011


Jordanian news sites launch project to translate WikiLeaks cables
posted by adamvasco at 1:18 PM on January 1, 2011


I'm composing an email now

In the interests of transparency, would you be willing to cc furiousxgeorge and Malor in on that email when you send it? ;D
posted by Ritchie at 3:29 PM on January 1, 2011


I don't have their emails.
posted by humanfont at 5:11 PM on January 1, 2011


It's alright, I wasn't serious.
posted by Ritchie at 5:20 PM on January 1, 2011


The reporters writing the story with additional allegations from Lamo have access to the record. Isn't fact checking primarily their responsibility?

They can't fact check any of his claims about the logs aside from what is in public. They take him at his word because he is considered a credible source by the magazine that DOES have the logs.


Regarding the rat quote you've not even touched the my core assertion that this was a deliberate manipulation.


It has been touched. It has been debunked. You are at truther levels of insanity now. We are talking about espionage charges for two men, no one gives a fuck about calling people rats. Again, just like your feeling that Greenwald was being a big meany with the Christmas letter, it's nothing but a sideshow. Even if Greenwald put a quote in there that said Jesus called Wired a front for Nazi Child Rapists...GREENWALD IS STILL RIGHT ABOUT LAMO'S STATEMENTS NOT MATCHING UP WITH THE LOGS which is all that actually matters here.

And yeah, I've read the quote in context. Just like everything else about this story, I'm gonna suggest you go do that too since you apparently didn't before spouting off about it as if you have any fucking credibility left. When you take the quote in context, it still says that Lamo is an attention whore. Again, this was not Greenwald's first choice of quotes. He used it because Wired complained about his other quote, so he moved on to the next one. If he was PLANNING to manipulate he would not have waited for his first quote to be called out. The only way you could possibly think that is if you are at conspiracy theory level thinking.

The only plausible explanation for manipulating the quote's context and meaning would be to use it for propaganda and demagoging. He uses the quote in the same article he is impeaching the relationship between Lamo-Poulsen. The same article yet he neglects to include the sentence after the "rat" bit or any of the statements where Singel states tha they have nothing but a fairly standard source-reporter relationship.


Greenwald straight up says in his response that despite the fact he is using this quote Singel was in fact defending the relationship between Lamo and Wired. He straight up disclosed that, which would be a funny thing for someone trying to create the opposite impression by chopping quotes to do.

YOU WOULD KNOW THIS IF YOU READ THE ARTICLES, GO READ THEM, FOR FUCK'S SAKE. How many times are we going to go through this cycle?

You and Malor have tried to create alternate plausible excuses for the Christmas day email.


No, I have said who gives a fuck because WHO GIVES A FUCK. Wired is working on it now, we will have the info. None of the ways in which Greenwald was a big meanie about it are the major issue here unless you are trying to spin like a top to get away from the real questions.


As you have noted the public case against Manning and Assange is limited to the publish chat logs and public statements from Adrian Lamo. The limited public record makes it difficult for the public to understand and shed light on this bizarre story. In the interests of adding to the public record of archival material will you provide transcripts of your chats with Assange and or Manning it and other Wikileaks staff on this matter? Can you clarify if you have spoken to Assange, Manning or other Wikileaks staff to clarify if Manning received technical assistance or a private upload channel?



LET'S FUCKING WORK IT OUT LIKE A MATH PROBLEM.

This is Lamo/Wired

Evidence + Claim
Evidence != Claim
Publish additional evidence or Claim = False

Where is the

Evidence + Claim
Evidence != Claim


Greenwald did not get up one day and decide to be a bully to wired and call them mean names. There was a dispute between the public record and the claims Lamo was making. WITHOUT THAT DISPARITY GREENWALD WOULD NOT BE ASKING WIRED FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY, HE WOULD BE TAKING THEM AT THEIR WORD.

I ask, for fuck's sake, again. Where is the disparity between what Greenwald has claimed and what is in the public record in regards to these matters that would require us to check his work and not take him at his word like we did with Lamo before he started lying to the press?

Until you can actually answer that, instead of making a pointless snarky false equivalence about transparency, you are wasting my time.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:18 PM on January 1, 2011


You're totally off the rails here, humanfont. Take a time out.
posted by mek at 7:42 PM on January 1, 2011


Ryan Singel wrote:

I appreciate that you spent the time to interview people in the case. But it’s unclear to me where Poulsen crossed any journalistic line. People aren’t *friends* with Lamo. They just end up talking and IMing with him. He used to contact me out of the blue on IM, offering odd leads.

Lamo is clearly starved for attention. Often he gets it by coming up with odd leads. Here he decided to become a rat, and then went on to brag about it. I’m not sure how Poulsen gets tagged or slimed as an informant for reporting it, but Wikileaks managed to do that — and sadly, you helped out.

I’ve long been a fan of your work and I’ll continue to be, but I think you screwed this up, Glenn, and it’s pretty disappointing that you seemed to let your infatuation with Wikileaks color your analysis.


Greenwald quotes as:

Indeed, in a June email he sent me after I wrote that article -- none of which was off the record:  indeed, it was all explicitly on the record at his request -- Wired's own Ryan Singel told me: "Lamo is clearly starved for attention.  Often he gets it by coming up with odd leads. Here he decided to become a rat, and then went on to brag about it."  

Then about 20 paragraphs later we get. 

Over the years, Wired has repeatedly -- and always approvingly -- cited to, quoted from, and otherwise used my work.  Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise. After my first article about Wired in June, Singel emailed me to defend Poulsen and contest my objections but wrote:  "I've long been a fan of your work and I'll continue to be.

Greenwald made no assertion that these were from the same email. He truncated the quotes in both cases to make them look like support for his position and ignoring the writer's attacks on Greenwald's allegations regarding the Poulsen-Lamo relationship.  The people aren't friends with Lamo statement directly refutes a quote from another source. This goes unmentioned.

Note how he introduces the second quote: "Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise."

Then he notes the email was "to contest my objections" and provides the truncated fan quote.  Which he reads as praise but is instead stating "I'm disappointed"

Even if we accept that he gave us ample information to link these quotes to a single email. The meat of Singel's objections are omitted.  Despite the fact that they directly counter much of his Lamo-Poulsen friendship thesis. 

Evidence (partial quotes from Ryan) + Claim (they praise me even when contesting my articles)
Evidence (full quote from Ryan) != Claim (as above)
posted by humanfont at 9:18 PM on January 1, 2011


Greenwald made no assertion that these were from the same email. He truncated the quotes in both cases to make them look like support for his position and ignoring the writer's attacks on Greenwald's allegations regarding the Poulsen-Lamo relationship.

Singel's "attacks" on Greenwald are as groundless (contentless, really, what substance is there?) and biased as yours, but at least he has the courtesy of acknowledging his bias. He goes on to graciously praise the journalistic endeavors of Greenwald, even though he disagrees with him in this particular instance. I suppose it is understandable that this is incomprehensible to you.
posted by mek at 9:48 PM on January 1, 2011


Humanfont, for fuck's sake.

He truncated the quotes in both cases to make them look like support for his position and ignoring the writer's attacks on Greenwald's allegations regarding the Poulsen-Lamo relationship.

Greenwald:
Over the years, Wired has repeatedly -- and always approvingly -- cited to, quoted from, and otherwise used my work. Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise. After my first article about Wired in June, Singel emailed me to defend Poulsen and contest my objections but wrote: "I've long been a fan of your work and I'll continue to be."

There was zero attempt to hide that Singel was not aggreing with him. We know this because GREENWALD JUST FUCKING TOLD US SINGEL WAS NOT AGREEING WITH HIM.

He didn't quote more to support the idea that Singel was not aggreeing with him BECAUSE HE JUST FUCKING TOLD US.

He quoted Singel to establish support for his claim that Lamo is an attention whore, nothing else. Does Singel now deny that Lamo is an attention whore? I know you won't go read it to find out so I'll just tell you : No, he doesn't.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:50 PM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Leaving out the qualifier so as to declare that a person has lavished praise upon you might work for movie posters and book jackets, but it is still deceptive. I do not see how you reach any other conclusion. Emailing someone out of the blue on Christmas weekend so you can write your column about their lack of response is creating a story. It is theater not journalism. The only reason for doing it is to say they didn't comment. The fact that you do not see these obvious rhetorical tricks does not leave me with a favorable impression of your critical reading skills.
posted by humanfont at 9:12 AM on January 2, 2011


Leaving out the qualifier so as to declare that a person has lavished praise upon you might work for movie posters and book jackets, but it is still deceptive. I do not see how you reach any other conclusion.

YOU REACH THE OTHER CONCLUSION BECAUSE THE PURPOSE OF THE DECEPTION YOU ARE PROPOSING IS TO IMPLY SINGEL DOES NOT DISAGREE WITH HIM, YET GREENWALD JUST SAID HE DOES, MAKING IT 100% CLEAR HE IS NOT TRYING TO DECEIVE ANYONE ON THAT POINT.

HAD A FUCKING MOVIE JACKET SAID "THIS REVIEWER SAID OUR MOVIE BLOWS," BUT ALSO, "GOOD CAMERAWORK" AND THE FULL QUOTE IN CONTEXT WAS "GOOD CAMERAWORK, BUT THE MOVIE BLOWS" THERE IS NO FUCKING DECEPTION YOU RAGING MORON.

The fact that you do not see these obvious rhetorical tricks does not leave me with a favorable impression of your critical reading skills.


HOLY CHRIST.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:20 AM on January 2, 2011


A test of your English compression skills:

True or False: posted by humanfont at 1:22 PM on January 2, 2011


Whatever dude, you win, the sky isn't blue.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:31 PM on January 2, 2011


After my posts to Metafillter in January furiousxgeorge posted to defend Greenwald and contest my objections but wrote, "you win."
posted by humanfont at 2:02 PM on January 2, 2011


"Humanfont is a dumbass that pretends it is the same to chop a quote without pointing out the additional context as it is when you do."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:49 PM on January 2, 2011


Nonsense by your very standard I provided the context. I stated that you defended Greenwald and contested my objections. Easily reduced to a=a. The only difference is the exemptions you give to one writer based on your subjective predispositions and biases. The rebuttal you provide lacks intellectual rigor. You seem to be attempting to obfuscate the obvious holes in your argument with a mixture of all caps text, insults and profanity. It is not persuasive nor does it reflect well upon your character.
posted by humanfont at 5:26 PM on January 2, 2011


Of course humanfont has moved the goalposts so many times in the course of this thread I have no idea what we are arguing about anymore. Certainly not the matter of the OP which has been resolved by Wired's caving to Greenwald's requests.
posted by mek at 6:32 PM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Easily reduced to a=a

Let's not bring Ayn Rand into this.
posted by empath at 7:28 PM on January 2, 2011


SUBJECT: SADDAM'S MESSAGE OF FRIENDSHIP TO PRESIDENT BUSH - 1990-07-25 12:12
posted by ryoshu at 8:47 PM on January 2, 2011


*sigh*

Singel's full unedited quote did not "lavish praise" on Greenwald.

It most certainly did, to the extent Greenwald claimed it did.

Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise. After my first article about Wired in June, Singel emailed me to defend Poulsen and contest my objections but wrote: "I've long been a fan of your work and I'll continue to be."


No part of Greenwald's statement there claims Wired thought this particular article was deserving of lavish praise. It is lavish praise for his previous work, this is fully accurate and not in denial from Singel. Greenwald pointed out that DESPITE THE DISAGREEMENT on the subject they are disusing, Wired considered him a respected source.

He did not do this to claim they loved his Lamo arguments. Anyone who read the articles would have noticed he did it to point out it was weird for Wired to say, "But by now it should be clear why we don’t seek Greenwald’s advice on a serious matter of journalistic ethics."

It was clear they do consider him a worthy journalist, no matter the dispute at hand. Now, you could have read this, I could have pointed this out before instead of being snarky, but it's pretty clear IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER. You don't care about the facts, you are bending them any way you can even when it makes no sense.

Is this really worth my time? No, but let's go on.

Singel expressed not only an objection to the article and defense of Poulsen, but also a statement of disappointment in Greenwald.


He expressed disappointment at the same time he said he was a fan of his work and would continue to be, so there obviously isn't that much disappointment, is there?

Singel said he was a fan in the past, and will be in the future. His disappointment clearly does not extend to considering Greenwald someone who lacks respect for journalistic ethics. He does indeed consider Greenwald someone who is wrong in this case, and maybe should have done better. This is what disagreement is. This is why Greenwald said quite clearly there was a disagreement.

Singel's email expressed disappointment in Greenwald the person, not just the article.

To the extent that he is not an ethical journalist? No. He thought Greenwald should do better, but still considered himself a fan. You are overstating the disappointment if you claim it is anything else, you simply can't support that claim with facts.

Greenwald's omission of the second half of the "I respect you" quote changes its meaning and intent.


The meaning and intent was to express disagreement with Greenwald, Greenwald noted as much. There is a really important "BUT" that you seem to be blinding yourself to in his quoting. He disagreed with me but also praised me.

Greenwald did not use elipsis to indicate a partial quotation as the rules of formal writing would require.

He managed to convey the meaning of the text that the elipses would have represented so they were unnecessary.


If he had said something like (as the quote appears in your imagination)..."Even Wired reporters think I was fucking awesome for writing about this and totally agree with me, look at this quote, 'I've long been a fan of your work and I'll continue to be.'"

then you would have a point, and your false equivalences would make sense. But that isn't what happened.























Ok, once again shot down by RTFA, where do you move the goalposts now?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:25 PM on January 2, 2011


Woah, is that cable new? I realize it was reported before, but that's fascinating.

NOTE: ON THE BORDER QUESTION, SADDAM REFERRED
TO THE 1961 AGREEMENT AND A "LINE OF PATROL" IT
HAD ESTABLISHED. THE KUWAITIS, HE SAID, HAD TOLD
MUBARAK IRAQ WAS 20 KILOMETERS "IN FRONT" OF THIS
LINE. THE AMBASSADOR SAID THAT SHE HAD SERVED IN
KUWAIT 20 YEARS BEFORE; THEN, AS NOW, WE TOOK NO
POSITION ON THESE ARAB AFFAIRS.

posted by empath at 9:27 PM on January 2, 2011


It isn't news that Saddam had so much back & forth with the US government before the first Gulf War. I used to steer people to a book called The Death Lobby (1991) as a source of good reference material about relations between Iraq and the west during that time. However, given the the author, Ken Timmerman, has since turned out to be an extremely conservative Republican, I'm no longer sure whether it's reasonable to cite him as a objective source.

It seems like at least part of his agenda with The Death Lobby was to bash European nations like France and Germany for having done business with Saddam Hussein - but on the other hand, he also bashed the Reagan and Thatcher governments with equal vigor. I'm not aware that any of the research in that book was discredited, although the objectivity and accuracy of his more recent work has been questioned and much of it is very obviously agenda-driven. From what I recall he was an enthusiastic cheerleader for W's invasion of Iraq, lending his name to allegations of nuclear WMD and so forth. But the 1991 book seemed pretty non-partisan in its criticisms of the west and allegations of tacit US approval for/complicity in the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:27 PM on January 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


If he had said something like (as the quote appears in your imagination)..."Even Wired reporters think I was fucking awesome for writing about this and totally agree with me, look at this quote, 'I've long been a fan of your work and I'll continue to be.'"
I've done a simple edit of Greenwald's original passage with the full Singel statement:

Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise. After my first article about Wired in June, Singel emailed me to defend Poulsen and contest my objections but wrote: "I’ve long been a fan of your work and I’ll continue to be, but I think you screwed this up, Glenn, and it’s pretty disappointing that you seemed to let your infatuation with Wikileaks color your analysis.
In restoring the quote one can must note that the evidence does not match Greenwald's claim.

Here is the definition of "lavish"
–adjective
1. expended, bestowed, or occurring in profusion: lavish spending.
2. using or giving in great amounts; prodigal (often fol. by of): lavish of his time; lavish of affection.
–verb (used with object)
3. to expend or give in great amounts or without limit: to lavish gifts on a person.
Singel is not bestowing a profusion of praise, he is adding another criticism based on the inconsistency between his longstanding views about Greenwald and Greenwald's conduct in this matter.
posted by humanfont at 5:42 AM on January 3, 2011


US embassy cable recommends drawing up list of countries for 'retaliation' over opposition to genetic modification
posted by ryoshu at 10:32 AM on January 3, 2011


Singel is not bestowing a profusion of praise, he is adding another criticism based on the inconsistency between his longstanding views about Greenwald and Greenwald's conduct in this matter.

Context, you idiot, is not just for when you are trying to score your points. Greenwald was using the quote in support of his assertion that he was generally respected by Wired. The quote, no matter how much context, supports that. Greenwald made NO FUCKING CLAIMS that could possibly suggest he meant this particular article was being praised. He went out of his way to say IT WAS NOT.

No matter how many times you slam your head into your keyboard and wipe your drool around it and mash the post button, you can't change that. You are wrong, stop already.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:10 PM on January 3, 2011


Context, you idiot, is not just for when you are trying to score your points. Greenwald was using the quote in support of his assertion that he was generally respected by Wired. The quote, no matter how much context, supports that. Greenwald made NO FUCKING CLAIMS that could possibly suggest he meant this particular article was being praised. He went out of his way to say IT WAS NOT.

He didn't say "I'm generally respected by Wired" he said they lavish him with praise even when contest his arguments or defend their colleagues. He then uses a partial quote as an example. If the complete quote holds the same meaning why would he truncate it? It is plain as day when the full quote is used that the statement was a diplomatic preface of clear statement of criticism, not praise. The same as politician refering to thieir opponents as a "right honorable gentleman" Omission without elipses, a manipulation of the meaning. We all agree he isn't hiding his biases or strong support for Wikileaks and Manning. To sum up my as yet totally iron clad points:
-Greenwald created the story. He accused Wired's journalists of professional misconduct. It was engineered by his Christmas day email.
-Wired's position has been consistent. They released the relevant logs. They would have talked to Greenwald had he actually made a legitimate effort to contact them. Poulsen and Lamo's relationship is journalist - source. When badgered by Greenwald's ridicules but you havnt refuted that n isn't in the logs, even though you said all the logs are released, they confirmed what wasnt in the logs. They also asked the NY Time to correct their story--A reasonable person could conclude from this (as many above and elsewhere), that Greenwald was a bit of a dick here.
-Greenwald is a bit of a hypocrite given his demand for total transparency from Wired because they might be manipulating the record by withholding details and he is doing the same.

The sad thing is that this wave of bullshit against Wired has only served as a big media distraction from the fact that based on chat logs alone there is a very weak case against Maning. One doesn't need to go after Wired to make that statement. We have no evidence of any other confession. As noted above chat logs are easily manipulated, furthermore AIM is notoriously insecure and the person on the other end could be anyone. The source of these logs is a recently released mental patient, untrusted by most of his fellow hackers, with a criminal record and a penchant for hacking. Did I mention he loves to have his name in the paper. He could have framed Manning just to be famous, or to hide his own crack of .mil. Find some gay soldier in intel. Chat him up to get the right timestamps, then rewrite the quotes to have him confess to the crime of the century. It would he easy for Greenwald to write this story, especially since he has so much experience re-using quotes out of context and even faking the dialogue to boost his own ratings.
posted by humanfont at 6:56 PM on January 3, 2011


He didn't say "I'm generally respected by Wired" he said they lavish him with praise even when contest his arguments or defend their colleagues. He then uses a partial quote as an example.


Over the years, Wired has repeatedly -- and always approvingly -- cited to, quoted from, and otherwise used my work. Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise.


That is the context, it refers to how wired views him over the years, not to the issue at hand. I'm not continuing to read the rest of your post since I assume it will be just as full of lies as the start. Give it the fuck up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:00 PM on January 3, 2011


Humanfont's argument, weak though it is in places, is a lot more persuasive than the flow of invective in response, which I find needlessly offensive.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:12 PM on January 3, 2011


Yeah, when someone tells you the sky is green 100 times over it gets annoying.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:37 PM on January 3, 2011


Perhaps you could try anger management, although I appreciate this would make your username somewhat obsolete. Obviously you two are not going to agree, but (metaphorically) yelling and swearing with every post undermines your own argument. It is not conducive to a 'healthy, respectful discussion,' which is a pity as there was an interesting conversation going on before the two of you turned into the Rock'em Sock'em Robots.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:10 AM on January 4, 2011



Over the years, Wired has repeatedly -- and always approvingly -- cited to, quoted from, and otherwise used my work. Its reporters, including Ryan Singel and others, have sent emails with lavish praise.


I am not advocating for a green sky. I agree this is context. The context does not support your assertion re: Greenwald. Greenwald is using this to support a thesis that he has suddenly been converted into a "unreliable hack" for his prior attacks. The evidence he cites is:

Let us examine each argument
-repeatedly and always approvingly used my[Greenwald's] work
--an appeal to common knowledge and stating a prior relationship.
-reporters including Ryan Singel...sent emails with lavish praise
--ie not only did they use it they lavished praise upon me, including Singel.
-Ryan Singel defended... and contested... but stated "quote in question"
-- ie even when objecting, here Singel is praising me

Except he wasn't praising him. It is not unreasonable to read the full quote as a diplomatically phrased criticism, rather than a statement of support or praise. The omission and full stop period remove any doubts the reader may have and leave it able to be read only one way. The way Greenwald wants it read.

Look at what was omitted, theee major criticisms aimed at Greenwald (not just his article)
-You [Greenwald] screwed up
--that isn't contesting Greenwald's arguments, it is a direct criticism
-Its disappointing
--another direct criticism
-your infatuation with wikileaks has colored your analysis

That's 3 direct crticisms of Greenwald with a soft diplomatic introduction. Not praising him, not "defending / contesting". All were attached to the sentence, and were withheld by Greenwald.
posted by humanfont at 5:33 AM on January 4, 2011


Humanfont's argument, weak though it is in places, is a lot more persuasive than the flow of invective in response...

humanfont's argument suffers chiefly from over-reliance on the myth of objectivity. If you believe that only One True Perspective is possible in human feelings and relationships, he might have a point. Here's the thing: Greenwald believes he was praised, humanfont believes he wasn't. humanfont's argument that Greenwald is being disingenuous relies on showing that Greenwald doesn't believe the words he has written. furiousxgeorge is attempting to point out that Greenwald's actions are consistent with those of someone who believes he was praised.

Now, I agree with humanfont that Singel's praise is hardly lavish, and could be read as a mere sugar-coating on the bitter pill of criticism that follows. However, it seems to me that Greenwald didn't feel that way and therefore he isn't being disingenuous - he's just writing what he feels is true. Self-deluded, possibly, but still acting in good faith.

Also this
The omission and full stop period remove any doubts the reader may have and leave it able to be read only one way. The way Greenwald wants it read.
is obviously and self-reflexively not true. If it could only be read one way, then how is humanfont making a totally oppositional reading? Either Greenwald is really sloppy and stupid in which case there is nothing to fear from his obvious distortions, or humanfont is much, much smarter than everyone else. Neither interpretation satisfies.

Lastly, I too have blinked a couple of times that this argument is still limping along. I can only assume that humanfont and furiousxgeorge are snowed in or something, with nothing else to do over the New Year's long weekend while they await rescue.
posted by Ritchie at 5:14 PM on January 4, 2011


I made an oppositional reading because Singel posted his full quotation. From Greenwald's presentation it was simple praise eg "I'm a fan and continue to be." vs "I'm a fan and continue to be but you screwed up here and I'm disapointed."

The reader is not presented with the whole statement. It is possible that Greenwald saw is as praise. Yet I think many people would not consider the statement evidence of ongoing praise. The author of the quote seems to feel that way. Furthermore when one truncated a sentence in a citation one is usually obliged to include elipses in the quotation as in this example: "I've long been a fan of your work and I'll continue to be...."
posted by humanfont at 6:06 PM on January 4, 2011


But if you agree it's possible Greenwald thought he was being praised*, then what's left to discuss? The fact that the entire world might disagree with his assessment doesn't mean he's guilty of anything other than an honest mistake. Fundamentally this argument boils down to claiming you have a special insight into another person's mind, which is why I find it odd that both of you have remained engaged for so long. I mean, you're an adult and you can spend your time however you wish, it's not my place to say otherwise. It just comes off as weird to me.

* personally, I think it was genuine praise - the alternative being that Singel is an insincere schmuck.
posted by Ritchie at 6:44 PM on January 4, 2011


Bradley Manning's attorney David Coombs has filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Speedy Trial (via).
posted by jeffburdges at 10:48 PM on January 4, 2011


NBC: U.S. can't link Army private to Assange -- "U.S. military officials tell NBC News that investigators have been unable to make any direct connection between Bradley Manning and the WikiLeaks founder."
posted by ericb at 6:25 PM on January 24, 2011


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