John Draper, Captain Crunch, interviewed Adrian Lamo at the Next HOPE Conference on July 18, 2010. Draper writes about Lamo’s presence at Next HOPE here. Part 4 of 4. Part 1 can be found here. Transcribed by Michele PDX.
2ND INTERVIEWER: So you’re you’re saying so it’s the magnitude of the leak that is clearly what the difference is for you? One is that there’s a larger leak?
LAMO: It’s that .. I mean .. as .. the comparison of those there’s actually .. um .. un .. I I hate to use the term but a very convenient comparison .. uh .. which is that .. uh .. the < intelligible; time point 0:23 > on Collateral Murder video uh was an individual item that could be easily that it had shown to not endanger anyone’s life whereas uh thousands upon thousands of documents could not be easily vetted and there there was no way of knowing who could be potentially compromised or who could be potentially endangered and if there was any way of getting either getting them back or preventing their release then that way would begin with or the action.
2I: Right. So that’s a yes in terms of magnitude then?
LAMO: Magnitude is definitely one of the deciding factors.
2I: Of the magnitude of the leak and and the verifiability of that it by leaking it it actually did some social good.
LAMO: Um but what do you mean by it (unintelligible).
2I: Well I hear you have you have 250,000 leaks or things that are out in the open that shouldn’t be supposedly. And then you have one thing, one thing could easily be shown to actually be worth getting in the open whereas 250,000 would be really hard to verify that it was really worth leaking at all.
LAMO: Yeah, I mean um I’m not going to win any friends in the defense community by saying this but I .. think that it’s worthwhile for the American public to see what kind of attitude um our armed forces take toward hu.. human life (interviewer makes audible inhaling sound 2:00) I mean, and it it’s our money that paying for the equipment that they are using to kill people. I don’t know if there’s a right to know, but there is a social good accomplished by knowing. Whereas when you have so many documents that you couldn’t even begin to vet them ah in God knows how long ..uh.. the there’s just not that that same scenario in (unintelligible)
2I: 50,000 people in 5 hours. (laughs)
LAMO: Yeah, let’s start getting volunteers. (laughs) They they’ll all just need provisional clearances.
JOHN DRAPER: How many emails do you get a week?
LAMO: Ah honestly I .. I don’t have a count.
DRAPER: How much do you get in a day?
LAMO: A lot.
DRAPER: Like thousands?
LAMO: Um, not not not that many which is .. Most of the email that I get is actually positive.
LAMO: Um, people who have … I have seen one or another of my stories, lately of course, this most recent one and want to be supportive. Whereas on FormSpring it’s it’s more negative because it’s anonymous.
DRAPER: Yeah. Well thanks Adrian for the interview. It’s very fascinating. I’m sure my viewers are really going to enjoy hearing all about it.