back to article Pentagon Wikileaks probe reaches MIT

The investigation into Bradley Manning - the US Army intelligence private suspected of sending tens of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks - has led to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it's claimed. Adrian Lamo, the hacker who reported Manning to authorities in May, said that two men at the prestigious …

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Stop

None of this Pentagon huff and puff detracts from the fact ,,,

that U.S. military deliberately murdered reporters acting lawfully.

We should also never forget all the British and Canadian soldiers who have been killed by 'friendly fire' by these American shoot first and ask later tactics.

It's not not security they are worried about but gross offences under international law governing war - and we should remember that the Bush government had 'issues' with the Geneva Convention. Of course, killing off likely complainants solves lot of problems.

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Stop

Addendum: The sound track was the revealer

The above mentioned video showing the murder of reporters was made even worse by the light-hearted banter of the aircrew.

How can anyone defend the sound track, let alone the murder with aforethought.

Totally, totally reprehensible.

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FAIL

Revise History Much?

War is an ugly thing, and no amount of outrage of casualties on either side, or of innocents, will ever cause it to change. Instances of friendly fire have been reduced considerably since WWII, VietNam, Desert Storm, etc. But, they will never go to zero. Characterizing friendfly fire as murder is an injustice to the men and women who are in harm's way, who sometimes have a split second to make decisions, and who sometimes err and unintended casualties ensue. It is regrettable, but it is a part of war. Americans too, have been hit by friendly fire from allies and their own troops. We try to figure out how to prevent mishaps like that, put ROE in place, use better communications and planning, but it still happens.

In this particular case, that area of Baghdad had earlier seen a series of firefights and RPG fire. Now come along several men with "something" on their shoulders. From the video it is not possible to tell what the objects were. The crews asked for clearance and received it, because the reporters were acting independently in a war zone and no U.S. or Iraqi military had any knowledge of their presence. The van that was subsequently targeted could just as easily been a support truck for the hostiles. This is what happens when your enemy refuses to abide by the Geneva Convention, and when reporters take it upon themselves to wander around unescorted in a war zone. Everyone, besides your own troops, looks like a bad guy. Yet we ask young men and women who are putting their lives at risk to somehow discriminate correctly every time. It will never happen.

As for friendly fire incidents involving both Canadian and U.K. troops, each has received and given of their own, sometimes shooting up U.S. personnel as well as Afghan units. It's not pretty, it will never be "precise" (I hate that term, along with "collateral damage") because everyone assumes there is some kind of "fix" that will enable allied forces to only hit bad guys, with no innocents being killed. Welcome to war, it is an ugly, horrid proposition.

If you don't want your country's troops engaging in war, fine, notify your representative in your government that you oppose such things. Vote for the party that opposes war, speak out against war on streetcorners (if such an action is legal where you live). But do not, EVER, accuse the young men and women who are out there trying their best to kill the enemy before they get killed, of murder in the course of their legal actions. If you can find another My Lai Massacre, go for it, but so far the leaked emails don't show any such thing. Just ordinary people trying their best to get the job done and come home to their families.

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WTF?

@F111F

You started off well then...

"From the video it is not possible to tell what the objects were. The crews asked for clearance and received it, because the reporters were acting independently in a war zone and no U.S. or Iraqi military had any knowledge of their presence. The van that was subsequently targeted could just as easily been a support truck for the hostiles."

...you just sound like an apologist for the no-brain trigger-happy fuckwits in the helicopter kms from the target.

A lot of what you say is true but please don't insult people's intelligence by defending these idiots - the soundtrack to the video said all that was needed.

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Unhappy

History revised indeed.

1 - Can I accuse the heroes-fighting-for-no-known-cause of killing as if it was funny?

>This is what happens when your enemy refuses to abide by the Geneva Convention

2 - The Geneva convention? You mean the one that bans torture? Or that regulates imprisonment conditions? Right... And don't get me started on the The International Court of Justice or the land mine treaty. I am afraid holding the high ground requires some behavioural constraints not met here.

3- Can I treat said heroes like Rumsfeld did? Cool! "Your lifes are cheap, and frankly we don't care about them, and equipment is rare, so go fight without proper equipment if that's the case and shut up." I am paraphrasing a little I think.

Seriously, the guys on the front are mostly victims too. They were sent for no good reason and under false pretences fight a war they cannot win, get their contract extended without consultation, and those who do come back are scared for life (and receive no help whatsoever btw, they are just let lose in society).

Their being victims too is no reason to condone what they do when they are in the wrong, which they too often are, mostly due to their hierarchy either unwilling to train them to behave properly, of even encouraging them to behave improperly, as in Abu Ghraib.

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Revise this

there is a huge different between munitions accidently going off target and blowing up the school next to the chemical weapons factory, and the American ethos of Force Protection. Shooting at anything that looks like it might possible be some sort of threat at some point is an insane doctrine, it was bound to end with some idiot shooting at the wrong people just for the hell of it.

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Lamo paid?

So how much was he paid to blow wikileaks? sounds like a set up to me.

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Black Helicopters

... And so the witch hunt continues to expand...

As time goes on, this "Pentagon Wikileaks probe" sounds ever less like a true investigation into that leaked video and ever more like a witch hunt to find as many people as they can behind Wikileaks.

I bet some in power have just been waiting for an opportunity to dig deep into Wikileaks to find out who some of the people are behind it.

Never mind the fact that the military are ultimately paid for and act in the name of the public and so the public have a right to know exactly what they do in their name.

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To a point...

"Never mind the fact that the military are ultimately paid for and act in the name of the public and so the public have a right to know exactly what they do in their name."

While I agree that government and the military could be more transparent, obviously some things need to be kept secret: nuclear launch codes, tomorrow's invasion plans, etc. It's difficult to know where the line should be drawn. Of course, suppressing reports of civilian deaths to make yourselves look better is clearly on one side of the line, but things like the reports about the ISI aiding the Taliban could have done with not being leaked. It meant that Cameron was forced to condemn Pakistan, and we get an international bust-up, all due to a small-time guy deciding that secret reports aren't secret.

As usual, things are much more nuanced than commentators and the media say, because nuances aren't ten-second soundbites.

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@DavCrav ... You are taking my comment out of context.

DavCrav, I was refering to the specific case of the leaked video. War crimes must not be hidden to protect the guilty and if they are hidden then the people doing the hiding are legally complicit and so guilty of aiding and abetting a war crime by allowing them to get away with that crime and by helping to cover up their crime.

The Military is not above the law.

Also you cannot distort the context of a comment to then say your distorted version is then wrong, because that is a Straw Man, i.e. an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.

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Anonymous Coward

round up

Round up those dirty commies!

Different era, same old system.

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Ouch

"He was flown back to the US from the Middle East on Friday"

Ah, so they've finished "questionning" him then?

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Unhappy

since when is providing encryption software and education a crime

Even acting as a middleman and passing encrypted files to a third party probably isn't a crime, if it were we would have to arrest all the ISPs too. Just so long as you don't ask whats in the package.

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Terminator

Its called a Criminal Conspiracy

You can't be that daft not to know that ...

As for shooting reporters .. I seem to remember you Brits shot some poor bastard in the head for just standing on a subway platform not too terriably long ago... The reporters at least knew they were in a war zone.

As for the Private .. if he is proven guilty then he should be punished as should those who assisted him in breaking the law. If they cannot be extradited then fine there are ways to deal with that as well.

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Terminator

Its called a Criminal Conspiracy

You can't be that daft not to know that ...

As for shooting reporters .. I seem to remember you Brits shot some poort bastard in the head for just standing on a subway platform not too terriably long ago... The reporters at least knew they were in a war zone.

As for the Private .. if he is proven guilty then he should be punished as should those who assisted him in breaking the law. If they cannot be extridated then fine there are ways to deal with that as well.

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WTF?

One rule for one...

'The reporters' mostly lived there you know - in their own country. Shot down by you gung-ho bloodthirsty yanks whilst whooping and hollering about how they 'shouldn't have been there in the first place' - in their own country. What about the family who stopped to try and provide help for the man they saw dying - you know - the van with the kids in? They got shot too.

There is no way in hell you can justify their behaviour.

Speaking of shooting reporters, google for Terry Lloyd, while you're at it, google for Matty Hull too - he wasn't a reporter - shame the US refused to cooperate at all there...

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FAIL

How many effing times

Did you post this ignorant tripe?

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Orange panels

Yup, and the key phrase 'orange panels', referring to friendly vehicle identification techniques, is repeatedly heard on the video: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Matty_Hull

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Boffin

Platform

There certainly was an error there, but do notice that it occurred at a time when this country was under attack by a civilian enemy, following the loss in 2001 of thousands, and was not on quite the scale of My Lai, Bhopal, Fallujah (which has also left a genetic trace, with many deformed babies being born today, quite probably due to use of the modern form of napalm, aka 'Willy Pete'), or any of the other noteworthy incidents that people drag out in response to such citations as yours; my point is that we, you and I, are members of the most dangerous species on the planet or, as the fictional Agent Smith pointed out on behalf of the script writer, our "species is a like a virus" and is over reproducing. Control that and we reduce the competition for resources, it being that conflict is always over some resource, real, imagined or (in the case of the Jesus Phone), hyped.

This has been a public service announcement. Please drive on.

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Stop

Stop Snitching

Will Lamo just STFU and stop snitching on people.

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That Lamo guy sounds like a bit of a tit

Certainly the Channel 4 presenter got a bit irritated listening a very tired and emotional Mr Lamo.

But does tired and emotion man medicated or pissed as a fart?

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Big Brother

Adrian Lamo said ..

"Adrian Lamo, the hacker who reported Manning to authorities in May, said that two men at the prestigious university assisted in releasing the material, CNN reports. Lamo also said the men were connected to Wikileaks and gave Manning encryption software, and taught him to use it"

Any reliably third party verification for any of this ?

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates has suggested that security measures would have made it very difficult for Manning to send the reports to Wikileaks over the US Army network. The New York Times reported that investigators believe he copied the mass of files to CDs and may have physically passed them to a contact"

`suggested', `believe' and `may have' ..

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Terminator

It's called a Criminal Conspiracy

You can't be that daft not to know that ...

As for shooting reporters .. I seem to remember you Brits shot some poort bastard in the head for just standing on a subway platform not too terriably long ago... The reporters at least knew they were in a war zone.

As for the Private .. if he is proven guilty then he should be punished as should those who assisted him in breaking the law. If they cannot be extridated then fine there are ways to deal with that as well.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It's called a Criminal Conspiracy

Yes, it was horrendous, and it was also a one-off. And er, 'the Brits' didn't do it. Some of the police did.

Don't be so smug. I don't know where you're from but I try to keep xenophobia and other such off-colour nastiness off the threads so I'd appreciate your not adding to it. Cheers.

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WTF?

3 times?

Why post the same thing 3 times? Is this one of those 'If you say it often enough, you will begin to believe it' moments?

PS. He wasn't shot 'for just standing on a subway platform' he was shot for doing a runner - in error all the same but better to be clear about it...and to compare that to the reporter murder....madness - have you even seen the video in question? I doubt it..

My 'favourite' part is a toss-up between when the yank armoured vehicles driver over the bodies to the amusement of the pilots, and the bit where they shoot the kids sitting in the passenger seat (after blaming the parents for bringing their kids along to a war zone, of course). the fact that it wasn't a war zone until the gunships arrived is another matter of course.

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FAIL

Copy and Pasting your comment doesn't make it more valid.

Just makes it more shouty.

And I love the way you that you bring up Jean Charles de Menezes incident and then explain after what a completely different situation that was. Tit for tat arguments are as pointless as the day is long.

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Errm, no, it isn't.

It would be a conspiracy if those people who informed him how to use the software and told him where to obtain it, knew exactly what it was to be used for (you know, other than "i'd like to encrypt some files securely").

Given your attitude towards the man under arrest presently, in that he should face the full extent of the law, does this mean you support the idea that the US troops that have shot and bombed coalition troops should also face trial ? Should the troops running Guantanamo prison camp face a trial in Geneva ? and so on.

More-over, should the troops involved in the video also now be subject to trial for war crimes ?

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Coat

But that's my favorite phobia

Xenophobia - the fear of music made by striking wooden bars of various lengths with plastic, wooden, or rubber mallets.

No wait, that's Xlyophobia.

Never mind.

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The record's stuck

A post so full of vice he had to post it thrice.

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Grenade

Slow down, pretend you're neutral for a second.

" and the bit where they shoot the kids sitting in the passenger seat (after blaming the parents for bringing their kids along to a war zone, of course). the fact that it wasn't a war zone until the gunships arrived is another matter of course."

Have you seen the video in question? They certainly did not shoot the kids after blaming parents for bringing kids into a warzone. On the unedited version they open fire on the van at 8:17 into the video, about 9 minutes later at 17:17 the ground troops identify a wounded child and at 18:10 is when the crewmember of the helicopter made the comment about "it's their fault for bringing their kids into a battle."

It was a warzone. Insurgents opened fire on the helicopter before the tape was rolling, if you were paying attention they mentioned small arms fire. Also, they opened fire on people who were armed, they very clearly had AK-47's. Yes, the camera was not a rocket, the AK's were real.

I wonder what goes on in people's heads where they comletely jumble the facts around to fit their view. It's cute in a sadistic sort of way. Watch the unedited video again, carefully, think, try to picture it from the helicopter that was just shot at. Maybe they were wrong, maybe they were right and insensitive, either way, at least try to keep the FACTS of the video straight.

Also, the off color comments started with the first comment.

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FAIL

I think your confused

Our ever truthful plod initially said he did a runner and jumped a barrier, this like most things that escape plods lips turned out to be total bollocks.

He was wrongly identified and then executed by a police force so out of its depth it was trawling the sea bed.

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Anonymous Coward

"shot for doing a runner"

Mr. de Menezes did not run at any point.

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Anonymous Coward

Good on Lamo

I hope all of them get rounded up and arrested, and sent down for treason.

They can then wikileak their experiences.

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Big Brother

@AC "Good on Lamo"

"Then they came for wikileaks...

...and when they came for me, there was no-one left to speak up."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came...

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Anonymous Coward

@Good on Lamo

Get off the internet, cretin.

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FAIL

Wikileaks Anonymity Broken

With the witch hunt, in full swing you can be assured no more leaks will happen as they know people will sell them out.

Therefore the military wins. I can understand the pressure but if you set up and pariticipate in something Wikileaks make sure you have a good lawyer covering the bases. Seems like when the chips were down the Wikileaks lot flaked out.

Much better was the government expenses thing, but then that didn't involve the military so investigation was kept in proportion.

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WTF?

Eh?

You seem to be suggesting that Wikileaks snitched.

As far as I know (which is as much as most other people), this is not the case - I'm not aware of Adrian Lamo working for Wikileaks, though he (apparently) contributed to it.

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FAIL

Sorry...

Well OK I admit I am wrong on Wikileaks themselves re reading the article I see I am wrong, sorry. I give myself a fail!

However what I meant to say that Wikileaks was used to leak to documents that have provided a more open picture of the situation and someone has squeaked out the names of those involved which in the future may mean less people are willing to do so.

Its a shame because whether it was too much info or not security-wise we learned more about what was happening on the ground in a day then in months of news coverage (not their fault but hopefully you get what I mean.

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Big Brother

3 times?

Whilst I agree that bringing up De Menezes was inappropriate, I would like to clarify why he was shot. The armed police ran on to the tube train in order to 'stop' the suspect. De Menezes was sitting down, when the unarmed surveillance offices identified him as the suspect he stood up. He was grabbed, fell down and was shot 7 times in the head at point blank range. Nobody gave an order to shoot him, he was to be 'detained'.

Plain and simple it was a cock-up performed by stressed, under informed firearms officers with inept commanders together and a confused chain of command. A tragedy.

More importantly it was the 'cover-up' for the cock-up which was more of an issue, much like the a lot of the wikileaks information. Until the authorities openly admit accidents happen, but ruthlessly pursue wrongdoing be it negligence or intentional then leaks & conspiracy theories will continue. The spreading of FUD is wrong and childish at best, I am ashamed I cannot do more to change their attitudes, but I support wikileaks wholeheartedly in this situation.

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Linux

Title

So they are looking for a raving anti-authoritarian freedom-loving encryption-touting hippie somewhere in MIT?

A tenner says it's RMS...

Penguin 'cos there's no GNU icon.

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Big Brother

Why is the lamo man singing like a nightingale?

Outing MIT all by himself is really a Bad Idea. His fridge will probably start shooting high-velocity beer cans at his arse when he's on the phone to his handler.

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Lamo

Nominal determinism at work there. I saw this tool in a news interview and he looked like a drugged zombie. I reckon the MIT connection is his master's speculation.

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«Adrian Lamo,

the hacker who reported Manning to authorities in May, said that two men at the prestigious university assisted in releasing the material ...» One of which, no doubt, is Avram Noam Chomsky. Hope Wikileaks obtains and publishes the full diary of Mr Lamo's contacts with his minders ! As for the Pentagon, where are Justice Jackson and the Nürnberg Trials («We must never forget that the record on which we judge these defendants [the 24 most notorious Nazi leaders in Allied hands] is the record on which history will judge us tomorrow....») when we need them ?...

Henri

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MIT is a university is it not?

I think that universities are supposed to educate people.

No doubt some of them will go on to misbehave, this does not seem to me to make the faculty conspirators.

If it did, then Bush and Cheney's tutors might be sweating a bit.

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