So far every known piece of evidence against Bradley Manning comes from one source, Adrian Lamo, a hacker who was institutionalized by the police three weeks before he alleges Manning contacted him and confessed to turning over materials to Wikileaks.  There are many inconsistencies in Lamo’s many stories, as Marcy Wheeler has documented, yet the normally excellent Charlie Savage lets Lamo serve as sole source for a highly dubious story in the pages of the New York Times:

Wired magazine has published excerpts from logs of online chats between Mr. Lamo and Private Manning. But the sections in which Private Manning is said to detail contacts with Mr. Assange are not among them. Mr. Lamo described them from memory in an interview with The Times, but he said he could not provide the full chat transcript because the F.B.I. had taken his hard drive, on which it was saved.

FDL has constructed a timeline of the events surrounding Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and Adrian Lamo.  To say that Lamo’s story does not hold water would be an understatement:

From the FDL Bradley Manning/Wikileaks Timeline:

April 28

May 7

  • Adrian Lamo discharged from mental hospital

May 20

May 26

  • Bradley Manning is  taken into custody, per Wired Magazine

May 27

  • Adrian Lamo turns over his entire chat log with Manning to Wired

May 29

June 6

June 9

  • John Cook of Yahoo News asks Lamo to provide a portion of their chats; Lamo says he will have to check with his lawyer

June 10

June 11

  • Wired reports that Wikileaks is hiring a lawyer for Manning, and that Julian Assange has asked Lamo for a copy of the chats to assist in his defense.  Lamo responds that “Private Manning’s attorney can get them by discovery like everyone else.”

June 13

  • Comment appears in Xeni Jardin Boing Boing article, alleging that Wired Magazine reporter and Lamo “worked their target, Bradley Manning, for days — in co-operation with the FBI and US Army CID,”  classic “COINTELPRO tactics.”
  • Wired tells CJR they did not even find out Manning’s name until May 27, after he had already been arrested on May 26, therefore there could have been no collusion.

June 18

  • Wired tells Glenn Greenwald that they published all of the chats that Lamo turned over to them, with the exception of “Manning discussing personal matters that aren’t clearly related to his arrest, or apparently sensitive government information.”
  • Greenwald compares Wired’s published chats with the Washington Post’s, and finds there are things that are neither “personal matters” nor “sensitive government information,” which Wired nonetheless withheld.

June 19

  • Boing-Boing receives an allegedly more complete version of the alleged Lamo/Manning chats, which were allegedly given from Lamo to Assange when he had a change of heart.

July 6

  • Wired reports that Lamo says he turned Manning in because he was concerned over the 260,000 cables.  But as Marcy Wheeler points out, the passage they quote–and its context–doesn’t appear in the IM logs Wired originally reproduced.
  • The quote conveniently appears in the subsequent Boing Boing chat log
  • Bradley Manning charged.  Documents say he was taken into custody on May 29 and not May 26 as Wired reported

December 15

  • Lamo tells Charlie Savage of references to Julian Assange in his chats with Manning, which don’t appear in the Wired excerpts, either.  Lamo says he no longer has access to chats because the FBI seized his hard drive.
  • Instead of asking Lamo to go back to Wired or the Washington Post and get copies, Savage prints the allegations without question.

For more on the inconsistencies on Lamo’s stories, see Marcy Wheeler’s posts here and here.

Suffice to say that it is very convenient that at a time when the government is trying desperately to make a case against Julian Assange and prove he induced Bradley Manning to turn over the documents to Wikileaks, Adrian Lamo suddenly “remembers” that his chats with Manning contain details of a physical hand-off of a disk.

And instead of asking Lamo to go back to Wired, or the Washington Post, and get copies of the chat transcripts he gave them, the New York Times says “no problem, we’ll just publish this convenient new information based on the recollections of someone who was in a mental institution two weeks before all this happened.”

Charlie Savage’s article says that Manning is being detained in very difficult conditions which are designed  to get him to implicate Julian Assange.  Meanwhile, all the known evidence against Manning comes from Lamo’s chat logs, which both Wired AND the Washington Post refuse to publish.

Heaven knows when Lamo will need to “remember” something else, I suppose.