Reporter partially absolved
since defense did not raise
issue in cross examination
Adrian Lamo is seen on ABC’s “Forgotten Man” report aired in 2011. Screen capture from video. © SGE, Inc.
THE STORY in this morning’s national edition of The New York Times on page 3 about the second day of the WikiLeaks trial omits some significant information about key prosecution witness Adrian Lamo.
However, Charlie Savage is partially absolved since the defense did not raise the issue during cross-examination of Lamo. “Former hacker testifies at Private’s Court-Martial” (print headline.)
Savage’s account of Tuesday’s testimony presents Lamo as a credible witness. He is far from that.
In an interview in 2011 with Australian television station ABC’ “Four Corners” investigative journalism program, it is revealed that Lamo has a history of psychiatric illness, and in fact, just before he reported Bradley Manning to the Feds, had been confined to a mental institution.
The video has since expired on the ABC website so I am unable to bring it to you here on “In the (K)now.”
You can view it yourself at the following link: Click here
HERE IS A TRANSCRIPT of the relevant portion which comes about two-thirds of the way into the program:
The home page of the “Forgotten Man” video segment, for broadcast on Feb 11, 2011.
From forgotten man transcript:
QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (presenter): Doubt has also been cast on Adrian Lamo’s state of mind when he says he was chatting with Bradley Manning. Shortly before, he’d been admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
KEVIN POULSEN(Wired magazine reporter who broke the story): He’d been picked up by the police for behaving oddly, and he spent, he spent some days in a mental, you know, in a hospital, where they diagnosed him as having Asperger’s Syndrome.
KEVIN MITNICK (Hacker, friend of Manning): So here we’re dealing with somebody that may have been mentally unbalanced at the time of these chats with these chats, alleged chats with the soldier, so it’s all very murky, you know it’s, you know, who do you trust?
JULIAN ASSANGE: (Wikileaks founder) Mr Lamo is a convicted felon who just three weeks before making these statements was in a psychiatric hospital. Wired Magazine worked with that individual to bring out that story. I have no idea as to how credible that story is but certainly it comes from a source which has no credibility at all.
THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT that’s Manning’s defense should have raised this issue during cross-examination. And it is true that Savage can only cover the case day-to-day.
But Savage might have introduced in one paragraph the credibility of the witness issue. Unless of course, he is not aware of it.
Because of its major importance to journalism, I have followed this case closely for three years. I have shown “Forgotten Man” to my students many times. They will vouch for it.
At least to their credit The New York Times is this time expending the resources to cover the trial on a daily basis.
Thank you Jill Abramson.