Bradley Manning (born 1987) is a U.S. Army intelligence analyst, PFC (formerly SPC) accused of leaking classified documents to the media.
Manning was arrested by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command in May 2010 and detained without charge for over a month in a military jail at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. In early July, two misconduct charges were brought against him for "transferring classified data onto his personal computer and adding unauthorized software to a classified computer system" and "communicating, transmitting and delivering national defense information to an unauthorized source". The maximum jail sentence is 52 years. Lieutenant Colonel Eric Bloom has said that "as part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the next step in proceedings would be an Article 32 Hearing, which is similar to a grand jury. An investigating officer will be appointed, and that officer looks into all facts of the matter, does an investigation, and upon conclusion, the findings will be presented to a convening court martial authority. The division commander will consider based on what is in that, what the next steps are. Either there is enough evidence or not enough evidence to proceed to a court-martial ... A date has not yet been set. We haven't even identified the investigating officer. We're still in the early stages of this case".
Manning allegedly told journalist and former hacker Adrian Lamo via instant messaging that he had leaked the "Collateral Murder" video (of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike), in addition to a video of the Granai airstrike and around 260,000 diplomatic cables, to the whistleblower website Wikileaks. Lamo handed the instant messenger chat logs to U.S. investigators, who began searching for evidence to determine whether Manning's apparent statements to Lamo were true. The "Collateral Murder" video showed an attack by a U.S. helicopter crew on a group of men presumed to be insurgents. Two children were wounded, and several men were killed, including the father of the children and two men who were later identified as Reuters employees. Manning reportedly said that the diplomatic documents expose "almost criminal political back dealings" and that they explain "how the first world exploits the third, in detail". He said that he hoped the release of the videos and documents would lead to "worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms". Manning reportedly wrote, "everywhere there’s a U.S. post, there’s a diplomatic scandal that will be revealed." However, Wikileaks said "allegations in Wired that we have been sent 260,000 classified US embassy cables are, as far as we can tell, incorrect". Wikileaks have said that they are unable as yet to confirm whether or not Manning was actually the source of the video, stating "we never collect personal information on our sources", but saying also that "if Brad Manning [is the] whistleblower then, without doubt, he's a national hero" and "we have taken steps to arrange for his protection and legal defense". Manning's official military attorney is Captain Paul Bouchard. On June 21, Julian Assange told The Guardian that WikiLeaks had hired three U.S. criminal lawyers to help defend Manning but that they had been denied access to him. Boing Boing asked Lieutenant Colonel Eric Bloom whether Manning was "represented by any civilian attorney" and Bloom responded, "I do not know of any rebuffing. I've been in the military for 26 years, and I've never heard of any party's attempt to secure legal representation being denied. We don't rebuff representation". A military spokesperson told CNN that Manning was processed at the Quantico detention facility on July 29. As of July 31, he remained in solitary confinement. The official told CNN that Manning could be taken to a military judge in Washington in August, but that it would likely be delayed.
Manning's defenders call him a whistleblower, while U.S. officials have accused Manning of endangering U.S. soldiers and Afghans by revealing names and strategies involved in the Afghan war.
I am not a fan of our involvement in the Middle East. But what this dude did is treasonous and dangerous. When you are a government employee you ,must follow the rules that your boss (i.e. Uncle Sam) has laid out and if you break one you belong in a federal pen. It's illegal to leak out federal documents and when you're a soldier, you cannot let your personal bias or politics get in your way. Bradley Manning should be punished by a military tribunal for his crime … more