Military Wikileaks whistleblower blew his own cover

It sounds like a no-brainer. If you are going to leak a top secret video which will deeply embarrass the US military and make them look like gun touting cowboys, it is probably not a good idea to brag about it online.

Apparently the Feds have nicked an Army intelligence analyst who really should give his job title a second thought after he spilled the beans of the whole plot to an ex-hacker.

SPC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland went online to boast that he had given classified U.S. combat video and hundreds of thousands of classified State Department records to whistleblower site Wikileaks.

According to Wired, Manning was based at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.

Apparently Manning bragged about his leakage to a computer hacker called Adrian Lamo with whom he spoke online.

He said he also leaked three other items to Wikileaks.  These included a video showing the  2009 Garani air strike in Afghanistan. Wikileaks has admitted it has that one. Manning also admitted handing over 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables that Manning described as exposing “almost criminal political back dealings.”

Apparently he told the hacker that Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public.

So far that little lot has not turned up on the site.

It appears that Manning felt he was a “kindred spirit” with the ex-hacker. He discussed personal issues that got him into trouble with his superiors and left him socially isolated, and said he had been demoted and was headed for an early discharge from the Army.

However Lamo contacted the Army, and then met with Army CID investigators and the FBI at a Starbucks near his house in Carmichael, California, where he passed the agents a copy of the chat logs.

Lamo thought that the diplomatic cable leak made him think that Manning’s actions were dangerous to U.S. national security.