Bradley ManningSoldier / Whistleblower
Birthplace: Crescent, Oklahoma
Best known as: The soldier accused of leaking Afghanistan documents to Wikileaks
Private First Class Bradley Manning is the United States Army soldier accused in 2010 of exposing secret government documents concerning the U.S. military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning enlisted in the Army in 2007, after growing up in central Oklahoma and Wales (his mother's home). His name first surfaced in late 2009, as the source of "Collateral Murder," a video released by Wikileaks, a online organization that specializes in publishing classified documents. The video, from 2007, shows U.S. forces firing on civilians in New Baghdad. The video was newsworthy because two victims on the ground ended up being employees of Reuters, a news gathering organization. The rest of his story is unclear. It seems that Manning, at some point in early 2010, communicated to semi-famous (and convicted) computer hacker Adrian Lamo that he had spirited away more than 250,000 classified documents as an intelligence analyst for the Army. Lamo reported this to federal agents and Wired magazine, and Manning -- who'd been in custody since May -- was officially charged in early July of leaking at least 90,000 of those classified documents to Wikileaks. The word from Wikileaks is that they don't know who sent them the documents (but they are aiding in the defense of Manning). The word from the U.S. military is that Manning's leak is a serious breach that endangers those in the battlefield. The word from Manning's supporters is that he is an American hero for blowing the whistle on corrupt and immoral practices within the U.S. government.
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