Did Bradley Manning Share Classified Documents With WikiLeaks for Attention?


To parse Private Bradley Manning’s motivation for sharing classified documents with WikiLeaks, the New York Times talks to Manning’s circle of friends, including a group of “politically motivated computer hackers” that he met through his boyfriend, a drag queen. Those friends suspect that Manning was compelled by “desperation for acceptance — or delusions of grandeur.” Manning grew up gay in Crescent, a small town in Oklahoma, the son of a soldier who kicked him out because of his sexual orientation. “It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through. Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages,” Manning’s high-school classmate tells the Times. Through his boyfriend, Manning met a group of like-minded lefties in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, hacker community. It was a stark contrast to the Army, where he felt unnoticed and relegated to menial tasks. Manning wanted to embrace the hacker ethos of transparency. But he was troubled, calling himself “emotionally fractured” and confessing to “self-medicating like crazy.” In a chat log with Adrian Lamo, the hacker friend who turned him in, Manning wrote, “I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me plastered all over the world press.”

Early Struggles Of Soldier Charged In Leak Case [NYT]