AKA Bradley E. Manning
Birthplace: Crescent, OK
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Gay 
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Pled guilty to releasing classified documents
Military service: US Army (2007-)
US Army infantryman Bradley Manning is accused of leaking an almost unfathomably huge quantity of classified material to the whistleblower website Wikileaks between November 2009 and May 2010. He was arrested after confiding in celebrity hacker Adrian Lamo, who promptly contacted authorities. In a transcript of his internet conversation with Lamo, Manning asked, "If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day, seven days a week for eight plus months, what would you do?"
Manning was twenty years old when he enlisted in the US Army in 2007, and though holding only the baseline rank of private first class and experience working at Starbucks and Abercrombie and Fitch, he was assigned duties as an intelligence analyst. In 2008, he was disciplined for posting "sensitive information" in video messages on YouTube, but his security clearance was apparently not curtailed. Comments posted by Manning at Facebook reveal his growing frustration with the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though when not wearing his uniform he seems to have been openly gay, lamenting a break-up with a boyfriend in his on-line posts. His last assignment was at Forward Operating Base Hammer near Baghdad, where he was arrested on 27 May 2010.
The breadth of material this Army private was able to access, copy, and purportedly release is breathtaking, and raises questions about the competence and efficacy of US military security. Manning is accused of providing Wikileaks with about 100,000 field reports from military officers in Afghanistan, and an additional quarter of a million confidential State Department cables. He is also accused of releasing numerous classified military videos, including footage of the 2009 Granai air strike in Afghanistan which left more than 100 civilians dead, and a 2007 video of US forces gunning down unidentified civilians in Baghdad, two of whom turned out to be Reuters journalists. In chat logs with Lamo, Manning described an easy mechanism for pilfering all this material — he brought music CDs to work, where he erased the music and loaded the discs with classified, digitized data. According to media reports, about 3,000,000 members of the US military have the same level of clearance Manning had.
Wikileaks and other free information advocates have portrayed him as a hero, saying transparency is essential to democracy. US government officials have denounced the leaks, claiming that they put American soldiers, allies, and diplomats in grave danger. Manning faces myriad charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and has been jailed since July 2010. Salon writer Glenn Greenwald reported in December 2010 that Manning has been held in solitary confinement 23 hours a day during that time, barred from exercising, and kept drugged on anti-depressants "to prevent his brain from snapping from the effects of this isolation". If convicted he could spend the rest of his life in prison, though prominent US politicians ranging from Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) to former UN Ambassador John Bolton have called for Manning's execution.
 "Then his father found out he was gay and kicked him out of the house, friends said." Ginger Thompson, "Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case", New York Times, A1, 8 August 2010.
Father: Brian Manning (former US Navy officer)
Mother: Susan Staples Manning (div.)
Boyfriend: Tyler Watkins (musician, ex-)
High School: Crescent High School, Crescent, OK (attended)
High School: Tasker Milward V.C. School, Haverfordwest, Wales (2005)
Inmate: Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary (2011-)
Inmate Marine Corps Brig, Quantico, VA (2010-11)
Mishandling Classified Materials pled guilty to 10 counts
Treason aiding the enemy, pled not guilty
Abercrombie & Fitch
Welsh Ancestry Maternal
Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile
Copyright ©2013 Soylent Communications