Bradley Manning, alleged WikiLeaks source, set up an early Facebook? Really?

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Well, it’s a strange world out there. It’s been reported that the man accused of passing thousand of secret US documents to WikiLeaks was a tech geek who set up a primitive ‘social network’ at his school, years before Facebook appeared.

Private Bradley Manning joined the US Army in 2007 and was posted to Baghdad, where he worked on classified army networks. He has been linked to the publication by WikiLeaks of a video showed a US Apache helicopter attacking Iraqi citizens and two Reuters journalists (“Collateral Murder”), the Afghan War Diaries (76,000 US military documents published by WikiLeaks in July 2010), 400,000 US war logs from Iraq, and 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables. He’s currently languishing in a US jail, awaiting a military court marshall. Founder Julian Assange is currently on the Interpol Wanted list.

But before all that, back in 2001, he was a 13 year old boy, newly-arrived in Wales, UK, with his mother, herself recently divorced from a US citizen. Bradley joined the Tasker Milward school in the quiet Welsh town of Haverfordwest, in the same year.

Channel 4 News has revealed that he quickly developed a reputation as a geek, designing a site which supposedly anticipated social networking sites, most likely some sort of community bulletin board. Former school friend Tom Dyer told the new channel: “Overall, Bradley was renowned for his IT skills.”

Channel 4 details how Manning spent his teenage years growing up as something of an outsider, and was regularly bullied, but – at least according to his old school friends – developed what they imply was a strong sense of morality. However, he eventually dropped out of school and returned to the US shortly afterwards. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • Guest

    “but developed a strong sense of morality”

    Yeah, right.

    • Henrique

      What’s more moral than making the truth available to everyone?

      • Guest

        Pretty much everything is more moral than what he did.

      • ucentric

        1. Can you guys PLEASE get disqus?????

        2. “Pretty much everything is more moral than what he did.”

        Total nonsense!

      • ucentric

        “He developed such a strong sense of morality, he decided to pursue a career as a hired killer!”

        Try reading the post before making such an inane comment:

        “where he worked on classified army networks”

      • Kel

        The latest leak did nothing but make it more difficult for nations to communicate. In the future, countries will now be more suspicious of one another and not openly communicate.

        I originally supported wikileaks for exposing abuses and coverups, but all this is an attack against the US. There was no coverup or abuse, simply top secret communication that should be classified. Unfortunately their mission and motives have been corrupted by their lust for notariety and power. This was a coordinated attack and this organization should be reclassified a terrorist organization.

      • B K

        Are you nuts? There is NO country on this earth that does not have confidential information. And after reading your answer, it’s obvious why we DO have confidential documents. It’s too bad you can’t be on the front lines and have everything about you told to the Taliban so that you can get an idea of what our soldiers face now that this moron has released all these documents. He should get the death penalty!

      • rpage

        Private Manning deserves the Death Penalty. He was in the middle of a War Zone (Bagdad, Iraq) accessing, downloading and then distributing sensitive and confidential information. What if he had been caught by the enemy? What would he have been willing to download and give to them? He placed the life of his fellow soldiers in jeopardy and he disavowed his oath to protect and defend the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. He did not come across this information by accident. Also, how do you know if he did not give to our enemies’ sensitive information about troop positions? What he did was morally irreprehensible and if his actions were not treason, then what else would he needed to do…? Again, he was in Bagdad, Iraq and the United States was engaged in military combat under a resolution of war.

  • Private Manning, Alleged WikiLeaks Source, Set Up An Early Facebook? Really? | JetLib News

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  • joe lopez


  • DMT

    Bradley Manning is a Hero.




    • dale elas

      Or at least the Gibson

  • Dennis Spence

    Trial by media as prosecutors present the case to TV crews outside court buildings.
    Manning hasn’t been charged with anything yet.
    Innocent till proved guilty. That’s the Amrican way….. NOT

    • Guest


    • Elizabeth Fuller

      It is funny how the roll of the media, formerly known as “government watchdogs,” has become the preemptive trials of the accused. I withhold judgement on Bradley Manning and acknowledge that leaks can be hazardous to national security, but “national security” should never be allowed to be blanket to conceal the mistakes and misdeads of a country and it is through transparency that we keep our country accountable

  • Shan

    I think he should be appreciated for this..Though he has put lives of some at risk..Overall it denotes the sad state of affairs we have all over the world..

    There is no leader to trust..

    • Kel

      There’s nothing moral about what he did. The only thing this leak did was to damage the credibility of the US. It didn’t expose any large abuse or coverup, simply used as an attack against the US foreign diplomacy. If Al Qeida or Iran did this, there would be no question that this would be treated as a terrorist attack and treated as such.

      Wikileaks should be classified as a terrorist group and Bradley classified an enemy combatant and treated as such.

      • Jakob

        … and be put in a prison camp like Guantannamo i suppose? and of course without a trial at all…?

        I think it’s important that there is a whisteblower site, for one simple reason: “It makes people in power think twice before they act immorrally or illegally, simply because they now fear exposure – which they didn’t before”

        Sad to see that so many people in this debate are failing to see the greater picture. US has wrecked the world with it’s Afghan and third Gulf War; hundreds of thousands are dead, millions are wounded to what end?
        When asking the locals; the alternative of a dictatorship seems like a better option, compared to the total chaos of beeing occupied by the US. No-one can live in chaos, anyone that claims the opposite should visit Kabul for a month, I’m certain that it’s convincing enough…

        Our government has continiously decieved us, and yet you think that wikileaks is the terrorist. Either it’s government-sponsored blogging going on (i hope so) or I’m starting to get really worried.

        Wikileaks might just be the organisation that prevents us from being debating the invasion of North-Korea in 10 years…

      • Student 20

        “US has wrecked the world…”
        Melodramatic much?
        As a U.S. Army Veteran, I find this whole thing very… troubling. I can believe that Manning might have had something to do with the “Collateral Murder” video (which ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to be put in the public eye), but everything else? I was never impressed by the level of intelligence in command when I was in, but it seems pretty damn unlikely that an E-1 Private (that is, as low a rank as you can possibly have) would have had access to such important diplomatic documents. The words “Fall Guy” and “Cover Up” keep running through my mind.
        And… have any deaths been linked to this information appearing on WikiLeaks? Have any operations actually been put in jeopardy? I think that the idiots trying to get WIkiLeaks classified as a terrorist organization are easily as foolish as people claiming the US has “wrecked the world”. Everyone needs to just calm the hell down.

  • BBT

    He developed such a strong sense of morality, he decided to pursue a career as a hired killer!

  • TonyV

    He was only a private, but apparently had been given high enough security clearance for this material. So that suggests that either this material isn’t really all that important to anyone, or the US military is extremely lax in cyber security and hands out security clearances like candy. Something is quite fishy about all of the hullaballoo.

  • BBT

    BTW, why is a story about an American soldier in the “EU” section of TechCrunch? Just because he grew up in the UK?


    “I think he should be appreciated for this..Though he has put lives of some at risk…”


    It’s OK with you so long as it wasn’t YOUR life at risk.

    YOU are the sad state.

  • Tom

    How does a ‘Private’ in the Army have this level of access to classified documents that result in an international incident and a very embarrassing Diplomatic situation?

    This country is truly devolving into an “Idiocracy”.

    • Peter

      I imagine he had the access because he worked on the private army networks. He was a grease monkey for the networks but because he would have contact with this network infrastructure and technology he had to have the clearance. Most jobs in the military follow a similar patterning. After all, I’ve met Airman 1st Class in the Intel units at various Air Force Bases whose job necessitates the clearance despite the low rank.

  • Tom

    I met Brad at a 2009 New Years party. Seemed like a nice guy then, but now I say fry him.

  • Ohyea

    @Shan & All

    Lives at risk? HA … THEY put lives at risk .. .
    It’s 2010 – Security is an illusion

  • True blue

    C’mon people !!

    First … we still don’t know if this guy is guilty or not (btw guilty to say the truth?? huh).

    Second … anyone who hide this kind of information should be the terrorist. This documents just show how governments act. Shame on you.

    Third … Manning, WikiLeaks doesn’t matter, governments lie, are corrupt, hide information to the people as if we were stupids, but the worst thing its that we don’t do anything.

  • JohannQ

    As I already asked on some other sites, regarding discussions on Manning: Who says that he was the sole leaker, responsible for those lost three large leaks?
    It seems quite plausible that he was somewhat involved in the first two, but it seems very unlikely that he was the only one providing files, considering the “fame” of wikileaks and the number of people having access to these files.

  • Stephen Belanger

    I have my doubts that Manning is actually responsible for these leaks. A private would never have access to that sort of data, and even if they did; leaking that much data is not something a single person could do. It seems to me much more like a cover-up for something bigger. Someone had to take the fall for it, so they chose him.

  • Duncan Idaho

    I think Manning and Assange are plants by the Uber-Progressives.

    I don’t know at what level, but fairly high up. Manning is to be the sacrificial lamb, and I think he volunteered for the job and believes he is serving his country.

    This is about getting around that pesky 1st amendment. They need in-roads. They need excuses. They need a patsy, and they need a “just cause.”

    The Wikileaks trial will be fueled by a hungry progressive media, who thought it was just FINE to leak classified info during the Bush administration, but is suddenly is up in arms!

    This will lead to laws being passed to place “reasonable” limits on the first admendment.

    Then we are screwed.

    Do I like what Manning has done? Absolutely not. Some of these leaks could get people killed.

    But I do believe he was a plant, just like Oswald, a sacrifial lamb used to obtain a “higher purpose:” A larger Federal Government with more control over YOU.

    • bk

      Hmmm… I wonder how the uber progressives got him to burn the documents to discs labeled “Lady Gaga”? I’d also be interested in knowing how they got him to confess to another soldier who actually turned him in?

      Those uber progressives are sneaky bastards.

  • Camryn

    Who didn’t make primitive social networks? I built a site where my friends could create profiles, message each other within the site, upload blog posts and photos etc in 2002. Didn’t realize there was a business in it. Doh.

  • Also a Guest

    One man’s “morality” is not always consistent with another’s. This is why humans have been at war for thousands of years, and it won’t stop any time soon. Although it may not be your morality, Manning’s actions were supposedly in accordance with his. Unfortunately, no matter what morality comes into play, there was a severe lack of foresight in making the leaks.

    With that being said, this arrest has “patsy” written all over it. I agree with Duncan Idaho to a small degree in that it’s incredible to believe that this is our man. If nothing else, he’s only one of the culprits. Could we really believe that the nation who spends more on its military than anyone else in the world would trust all of this information to a 22 year-old private? As many have pointed out, that seems unlikely.

    What is more likely is that it is easy to sacrifice a private with a relatively short military career and low rank rather than admit there is a Deepwater Horizon-sized leak of classified information higher up the food chain.

  • Duncan Idaho

    food for thought, “also a guest” Manning is def a patsy, but instead of being in on it, he was set up.

    Maybe Assange was the middle man. Prob dead or back I the arms of those that selected him to set up Manning.

    All I know for sure is that :

    “There’s something strange going on tonight
    There’s something going on that’s not quite right
    Michael’s nervous and the lights are bright
    There’s something going on that’s not quite right”



  • jim

    “He has been linked to the publication by WikiLeaks of a video showed a US Apache helicopter attacking Iraqi citizens and two Reuters journalists (“Collateral Murder”), the Afghan War Diaries (76,000 US military documents published by WikiLeaks in July 2010), 400,000 US war logs from Iraq, and 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables.”

    Is that supposed to be a sentence? Hire an editor! I guess the author is living up to his name by butchering the English language.

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  • Duncan Idaho

    “under a ‘resolution of war.’

    What the heck is that? I mean, you are correct, a resolution was passed allowing President bush to invade IRAQ, but was was never “declared.”

    Lets make this very clear, Congress, the only body of the Federal Government that can declare war, has not done so since WWII. The media keeps playing along, while Congress passes “resolutions” allowing the president to send troops hither and thither, and calls these things “wars.” And while, for the combat troops fighting and bleeding in them, they are every bit a war as WWII, or any other.

    Believe me, though, a government that sends young people into combat without having the guts to first DECLARE War, is capabale of anything.

    This still stinks of a set-up, though I am unsure of the exact motives.

    • Jacqueline

      yeah, I agree with your comments completely. “Motives”, they don’t need a motive. Like in a murder trial, a motive doesn’t have to be proved or even brought up. Nice to have it to present, but not necessary for a conviction.
      This war is murder and it was all about G.W. Bush and his crazy reasons for going in.

      Sane doesn’t mix with insane and therefore, some of us will never fully understand his motive(s). I can guess his reasons were all about personal gain.
      G.W. certainly caused the wars for his own personal gain, mostly to gain a second term and to come out smelling like a rose, he thought. It blew up in his face but hey, he doesn’t care. He still has enough supporters to pay him for speaking engagements and pay for his library and buy his stupid book.
      Oh .. the irony of the books and the library. lol Even the big bucks to watch him speak is funny. It was hard enough to stomach him when he was in the White House.
      They always said in school, “anyone can grow up to be the president of the U.S.” and boy, they weren’t kidding! They forgot to tell us the reason is because we should never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups. And don’t forget he is loaded with money too. That didn’t hurt him either when he revealed his deviant reasons to run for highest office and fooled the masses. And those folks who supported him apparently love to be fooled because they still hang onto the lies for dear life. Pitiful.

  • tinynow

    Honesty is the best policy.

    Security is an imagined state.

    Secrets suck.

    • Jacqueline

      One hundred percent True. But we have become a nation of lying lovers. We have been spoon fed gobs of lies during G.W.’s term and we have grown to love it, expect it and crave it. We are addicted to those lies now. We are very disappointed when someone tries to tell us the true nature of how things are now. We can’t take the truth and we want to kill the messenger.

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