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a Saturday night in the summer of 1998, an undercover officer logged in to a child-pornography chat room using the screen name Indy-Girl.
You can pick either, and treat this as a confession or an interview (never to be published) & enjoy a modicum of legal protection. or apparently sensitive government information." As Boing Boing's Rob Beschizza put it in rejecting 's claims: this passage "reads like a deliberated attempt to manipulate or even entrap Manning, on Lamo's part, and seems quite important to understanding what Manning thought he was doing by talking to him." There are multiple passages for which that's true. Lamo's claim in his interview with me about one of the great mysteries here -- namely, how and why Manning chose him of all people to contact and confess to (Manning "was searching for ' Wikileaks' on Twitter") -- is also not in the chat logs, certainly not with that specificity.
In a subsequent conversation, Lamo again promised him: "i told you, none of this is for print." So Lamo lied to and manipulated Manning by promising him the legal protections of a journalist-source and priest-penitent relationship, and independently assured him that their discussions were "never to be published" and were not "for print." Knowing this, hid from the public this part of their exchange, published the chat in violation of Lamo's clear not-for-publication pledges, allowed Lamo to be quoted repeatedly in the media over the next year as some sort of credible and trustworthy source driving reporting on the Manning case, all while publicly (and falsely) insisting that the only chat log portions it was withholding were -- to use Poulsen's words -- "either Manning discussing personal matters . Nor is Lamo's contradictory claims to both CNET and when he told them "that [Lamo] spelled out very clearly in his chats with Manning that he wasn't affiliated with Wiki Leaks or acting as a journalist," nor is there any mention in the logs of this story Lamo told to the And Lamo's statement in my interview with him -- that Manning's "intention was to cripple the United States' foreign relations for the foreseeable future" -- also appears to be a complete fabrication; Manning talked endlessly about his desire to trigger worldwide reforms, not to cripple American foreign relations.
He told Indy-Girl that he was a “real-life pedophile,” adding, “At least here I can come out and admit it.”“What’s the kinkiest you’ve done? John said he’d had sex with a ten-year-old while her parents were skiing, and with a fourteen-year-old at a night club in Germany. blaaaahhh.” She apologized for getting “a bit too gabby” and for “being so weird” and “reading into things.” John said it wasn’t her—he worked long hours and was tired. An athletic man with light-brown hair and green eyes, John slowly walked over to the girls, who were playing with a beach ball.
Indy-Girl recognized that she was too old for him, which was “depressing,” but she offered that her little sister liked older men. “We could meet somewhere discreet.”John had been in the Army for eight years, serving in Desert Storm and Bosnia, and had graduated from Penn State with a degree in history. He also admitted that he wanted a relationship more than he wanted sex. He offered them sodas, and they chatted about what they liked to drink—Indy-Girl said she preferred beer—and about how long the drive had taken.
He was thinking of leaving the service, in part because he felt picked on by other soldiers. He hoped to find someone who “could accept me the way I am.” “Give it a chance,” Indy-Girl encouraged. It was a “normal conversation,” one of the cops later wrote, until John “saw the agents approaching him, and he began backing away.” A plainclothes officer whom John had seen standing by the lake, holding a fishing pole and a tackle box, shouted at him to put his hands behind his back.
He had been commended for having a memory for technical details, but he was also nervous, nerdy, and eager to please. John waived his right to a lawyer, hoping to end the humiliation quickly. report summarizing the interview, “Everything that he said on the Internet was John pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and to using the Internet to persuade a minor to have sex, and was sentenced to fifty-three months in federal prison—a relatively light sentence by today’s standards.
To the contrary -- as the quotes above demonstrate -- I repeatedly argued that such purely personal material was properly withheld.
Rather, the controversy was over 's obvious concealment of matters outside of the scope of Manning's personal issues, ones that were plainly relevant to newsworthy matters and, in particular, to Lamo's claims about what Manning told him.
He began downloading child pornography after watching a television special about how Internet child porn had become epidemic. In the five months since he’d seen the show, he had downloaded more than two thousand images from child-pornography news groups. Two weeks after their first conversation, John drove three hours to the appointed meeting spot. The Military Police Investigations unit, working with the F. I., had recruited two young officers to play the roles of the two sisters.