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Bradley Manning

(American soldier)

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Biography Bradley Manning
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Bradley E. Manning (born December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified information to the whistleblower website, Wikileaks. He was charged in July that year with transferring classified data onto his personal computer, and communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source between November 19, 2009, and May 27, 2010. An additional 22 charges were preferred in March 2011, including "aiding the enemy," a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. He is currently awaiting a hearing to decide whether he will face a court martial.

Manning and an older sister were born in Crescent, Oklahoma. His father had been in the United States Navy for five years, and his parents met when his father was stationed in Wales at Cawdor Barracks. Manning was raised in Crescent, where his father worked as an IT manager for a rental car agency. He even in elementary school had talked about wanting to join the U.S. Army. He was an introvert, maybe due to strict upbringing of his father. At the age of 13 he realized he was gay.

In October 2009, Manning was sent to Iraq to work for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division, based at Forward Operating Base Hammer, near Baghdad. He seems not to have been happy there. According to ABC News, he was reprimanded for assaulting another soldier, demoted from Specialist to Private First Class, and sent to a chaplain after officers noticed what ABC said were "odd behaviors." When he introduced himself by e-mail to Adrian Lamo in May 2010 he wrote that he was about to be discharged from the army because of what he called an adjustment disorder.

Manning said he had communicated directly with Assange using an encrypted Internet conferencing service, and that Assange had "coached" him regarding what to send and how to do it. Lamo is the only source of these allegations; he said these statements from Manning were in the unpublished parts of the chat logs, but that the FBI had taken his hard drive so he no longer had access to the rest.

Manning is said to have first contacted Wikileaks in November 2009, days after it posted 500,000 pager messages from the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In addition to the maximum-custody conditions, Amnesty wrote that he was being held under a "Prevention of Injury" (PIA) assignment, which entailed checks by guards every five minutes, and no sleeping during the day; his lawyer David Coombs-a former serviceman and military attorney-said he was not allowed to sleep after 5 am, and if tried to, he was made to stand or sit up. Amnesty wrote that the PIA assignment also involved him remaining visible at all all times, including at night. This meant he had no access to sheets or a separate pillow; he was required to sleep in boxer shorts, and had experienced chafing of the skin from heavy blankets. David House, the computer scientist who is allowed to visit him twice a month, told reporters in December 2010 that Manning's mental and physical health were deteriorating.

A Quantico spokesman said in January 2011 that allegations of mistreatment were "poppycock," stating that Manning's conditions were dictated by brig rules. He had been designated "maximum custody" because his escape would pose a national security risk. The spokesman said Manning could talk to guards and prisoners in other cells, and left his cell for a daily hour of exercise, and for showers, phone calls, meetings with his lawyer, and weekend visits by friends and relatives. His lawyer said the guards were professional, and had at no time tried to bully, harass or embarrass Manning. When he was briefly placed on suicide watch, he was required to strip to his underwear and had his glasses taken away, except when he was allowed to watch television or read.

Amnesty International asked the British government in early 2011 to intervene to ensure that the conditions of the detention comply with international standards. Citing Alison Harvey of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association in London, The Guardian wrote in February 2011 that Manning is a British national by descent through his Welsh mother; under the British Nationality Act of 1981, they wrote, anyone born outside the UK after 1 January 1983 whose mother is a British citizen by birth is British by descent. The British embassy in Washington told The Guardian that it had not received a request to visit Manning.

A mental-health investigation is expected to begin in February 2011 to determine whether Manning can stand trial. In accordance with the "speedy trial" rights of the Sixth Amendment, and applicable under military regulations in accordance with Manual for Courts-Martial Rule 707, a pre-trial hearing under Article 32 of the UCMJ is expected in May to determine whether a trial is warranted.

The Bradley Manning Support Network was formed by Mike Gogulski, a cyber activist, on June 12, 2010. The Advisory Board includes Marsha Coleman-Adebayo of the National Whistleblower Center; Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a Wikileaks volunteer; Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Member of the Icelandic Parliament and another Wikileaks volunteer; film-maker Michael Moore; and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern. Public rallies were held in his support in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, and Ireland, and by January 2011 donations for his defense had risen to over $100,000, including $15,100 from Wikileaks.

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