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Adrian Lamo · @6

26th Aug 2011 from Twitlonger

@d1zzY_ @trutherton Pride doesn't enter into it. A hard choice had to be made in a scenario where there /were/ no "right" choices.

If I've used dark humor on Twitter, please understand that humor is how I deal with tough situations. I've taken a timeout from that to write this.

I could betray someone whom I had come to consider my friend over the short period of time that I had known them, and in doing so protect diplomacy, opsec, and human life from further danger, or I could sit back and cravenly allow the above to be damaged even more than they already had by doing nothing.

It would have been so easy to take the "information wants to be free" escape - free regardless of who it hurts, the processes it endangers, the events it quietly disrupts behind the scenes where the public neither sees nor cares until negative events unfold and they wonder why they're happening. But I couldn't have lived with myself.

So I betrayed my friend. That, also, was not the right choice. It was the least wrong choice of the shit choices presented to me. I never asked for these choices. Bradley Manning implicitly gave them to me when he opened his mouth. Am I secure in my patriotism, knowing I did the right thing? No. It's still hard to live with myself. Again, I did the least wrong thing. Sometimes in life, there are no right choices, only varying degrees of gray, and all of them lead to adverse personal consequences.

I will never be proud of betraying my friend.

But I achieved my goal. There were no more military leaks. No more classified material for Wikileaks to mishandle. I believe in the spirit and cause of entities like Wikileaks, but Julian Assange's stewardship has made Wikileaks too radioactive to ever be viable again without major changes in leadership and policy at the highest levels.

Similarly, Openleaks, on further reflection, has presented itself as too autocratic and capricious to be trusted at this time without major and ongoing displays of good faith as it develops.

Both strike me as mendacious.

Where does that leave us? I think a lot of the *leaks supporters are talented and genuinely good people. I like to believe that if they saw material wherein collateral damage outweighed the public good, they wouldn't publish. Nadim Kobeissi is uniquely situated and qualified to stop cheerleading and start acting - he could be a genuinely honest Julian Assange, one more concerned with truth than ego.

I wish all those involved in the Wikileaks matter in the spirit of truth (rather than as a cheap opportunity to screw with a .gov they dislike) the very best. I hope that they'll bear in mind that truth is not some pure thing that brings light and scatters rose petals wherever it goes. It can hurt people that don't deserve to be hurt. It has thorns. Treat it gently.

Yours for a better tomorrow,

/s/
Adrian Lamo

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