While WikiLeaks was changing the history of journalism, diplomacy, secrecy and the internet, its chief source - Bradley Manning, a lonely American intelligence officer - reached out to Adrian Lamo - a hacker he though he could trust. Wired's published their correspondence.
Fragments of the IM logs, dispatched via satellite internet while Manning was in Iraq, reveal a relationship that went far beyond a mutual interest in online security. Manning is incessant in describing his emotional frailty - referring to isolation, suffering, depression and suicide:
(1:57:33 PM) bradass87: im pretty reckless at this point (1:57:53 PM) bradass87: but im trying not to end up with 5.56mm rounds in my forehead… (1:58:38 PM) bradass87: that i fired..
(11:57:49 AM) bradass87: im sorry, im a total mess right now… :'( (11:58:33 AM) bradass87: and little does anyone know, but among this "visible" mess, theres the mess i created that no-one knows about yet (11:58:59 AM) bradass87: i have no idea what im doing right now (12:00:34 PM) bradass87: im so sorry
(2:19:50 PM) bradass87: ive had too many chinks in my armour :'( (2:20:52 PM) bradass87: im a broken soul =L
The two also shared something of a romantic tone, if only by internet standards:
(3:28:10 PM) [email protected]: you're kinda cute.
(03:00:35 PM) [email protected]: but you make a cute boy! ;>
(03:30:11 PM) bradass87: my prominent adams apple is the only issue i was concerned about (03:30:26 PM) bradass87: so i wore a turtleneck, and had collar up with my coat (03:30:29 PM) [email protected]: yeah, i'd say that re. the former. (03:30:38 PM) [email protected]: which i find cute.
The logs - massive in scope - depict nothing resembling a reciprocal relationship. An alliance. Manning, a fractured kid, leaks his ailing psyche all over Lamo, who allows it - encourages it, even. Of course, this emotional venting came along with a confession of leaking secret documents on a scale unprecedented in history. And then, Lamo turned him in to the police. The extent to which Lamo served as a wide-open ear for Manning's suffering and a counter to his loneliness sure counters his claim that he "[wishes]to hell that Bradley Manning had never said a word to me". [Wired]