If this is Bradley Manning’s big opponent, he sounds like he’s on the US payroll

The accused Wikileaks leader Bradley Manning faces his first day in court today in the US. Expect the prosecution to claim he’s the devil incarnite. In fact, he’s a bloody hero who should be celebrated for bravely speaking out against countless American crimes.

And then there’s this slimy guy, Adrian Lamo. Seriously, he sounds like he’s been given talking points by the US government. The Guardian reports:

Adrian Lamo, the hacker who betrayed the alleged… WikiLeaks… source… Bradley Manningto the US authorities, has said it would be to his “lasting regret” were the soldier to be given a lengthy custodial sentence.

Lamo, 30, dubbed the “world’s most hated hacker” for his role in passing information on Manning to military intelligence after the soldier befriended him on internet chat, said that he understood that Manning was an idealistic young man who believed he could change the world for the better and “who didn’t necessarily know what he was doing.

“I think about him every day. The decision was not one I decided to make, but was thrust upon me.”

Lamo declined to speculate about what an appropriate sentence would be for Manning were he found guilty of the WikiLeaks charges. However, a hypothetical individual who had engaged in passing state secrets to a third party would merit a sentence of “25 to 50 years”, he said.

“This is different to a James Bond film. WikiLeaks was involved in an overall weakening of strategic operations and diplomacy that will take decades to recover from,” he said.

But Lamo added that he was aware of the lasting harm that he has caused. “There are times in life when you are faced with a variety of choices, none of which you consider right. All of them harm someone and you have to choose the one that harms the fewest number of people. That still leaves you harming someone, and, because of that, I think of Manning on a daily basis.”

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