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The Lady Gaga/Wikileaks Link: How Bradley Manning Easily Stole Classified Files

lady gaga albumIf you've been following the Wikileaks controversy over the last month or two, you're already familiar with 22-year-old Pfc. Bradley E. Manning, the man accused of stealing more than 260,000 classified files, including the infamous video of American soldiers shooting Iraqi civilians from an Apache helicopter. Manning's been under intense scrutiny, obviously, by both the government and the media, and the story -- including bizarre and seemingly unrelated speculations about his gender identity -- just keep getting weirder. For example, Lady Gaga may have helped Manning smuggle out the files.

Well, maybe not Stefani Germanotta herself, but Manning allegedly employed a Gaga album to get the documents away from the military computers. As the New York Times reports, a 2008 directive from the Defense Department prohibits the use of thumb drives and other storage devices on any of the Pentagon and armed services' computers. Despite the fact that the computers' ports were disabled, the directive did not include a prohibition on CD drives, which are almost always built-in to the computer itself. Let's say that again: this is the Defense Department, and it somehow didn't think this could be a problem.

According to Adrian Lomo, the convicted hacker who first fingered Manning to government officials while also dishing the scoop out to Wired's Threat Level editor Kevin Poulsen (that whole angle is a Tom Clancy plot if we've ever heard one), Manning would hum along and lip-synch to Lady Gaga songs while he was copying file after file to CD. In an interview with the Times, Lamo claimed, "He indicated he disguised one [disc of files] as a Lady Gaga CD... He said he lip-synched to blend in."

This, however, is hardly the most bizarre aspect of the story. Lamo's credibility and motives are questionable, considering his relationship to Poulsen. Be sure to read Glenn Greenwald's examination of the inexplicable triangle between Poulsen, Lamo and Manning, in between the next ludicrous revelation from this case. [From: NYTimes]

Tags: adrian lomo, AdrianLomo, apache, Bradley Manning, BradleyManning, classified, defense department, DefenseDepartment, Glenn Greenwald, GlennGreenwald, hacker, kevin poulsen, KevinPoulsen, lady gaga, LadyGaga, loophole, threat level, ThreatLevel, top, wikileaks, wired

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