Private Manning and the Making of Wikileaks
By Denver Nicks
September 23, 2010
Midnight, May 22nd, 2010. Army intelligence analyst Private First Class Bradley E. Manning is sitting at a computer at Contingency Operating Station Hammer, east of Baghdad. He is online, chatting with Adrian Lamo, an ex-hacker and sometimes-journalist based in San Francisco.
“Hypothetical question,” he asks Lamo. “If you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time… say, 8-9 months… and you saw incredible things, awful things… things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC… what would you do?”
Manning, 22, is probing Lamo for guidance–and approval.
“I can’t believe what I’m confessing to you,” he types.
Outside of the chats, little is known about Bradley Manning. We know that he grew up in Crescent, Oklahoma, a town made famous by one of the biggest whistleblowing events in American history a decade before Bradley was born. Currently, he’s in solitary confinement at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, awaiting trial, and unable to speak to the press. His family and many of his close friends have been advised not to talk to the media. If the allegations against Private Manning are true, the 22-year-old from Oklahoma is responsible for the biggest leak of military secrets in American history.
( Collapse )
In the comments of the previous post on Manning, haruhiko and I got to talking about the way the spotlight (and the financial aid, supporting protests, and public scrutiny that comes with it) of the WikiLeaks situation has been largely placed on Assange, while Manning's situation has been comparatively ignored. After that exchange, I went out and saw what I could find about him. This article appears to be the best one out there about his origins, his personality, and how they informed the decision he allegedly made to leak information. I'm posting it because I figure readers here might be interested to know more.
I've chosen not to bold in this instance. It's a well written article that's worth reading in its entirety.