Who Is Pvt. Bradley Manning?

Suspicions mount that he's behind the leak of over 90,000 classified reports.

ByABC News
July 26, 2010, 5:57 PM

July 26, 2010 — -- In his Army dress greens, Pvt. Bradley Manning looks like most of his fellow soldiers; but beneath the uniform, many suspect, is a man who may be responsible for the leaking of over 90,000 secret military reports to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks.

Manning was stationed at a base 40 miles east of Baghdad, at Forward Operating Base Hammer. Manning, who enlisted in the Army in 2007, was working as an Army intelligence analyst, pouring through classified information. What he saw with his clearance level, it is believed, left him disillusioned with U.S. foreign policy.

The twenty-two year old Manning went online to find someone who would listen. He tracked down a former computer hacker in Sacramento, California named Adrian Lamo. Manning read an article in Wired, a magazine on the technology world, that featured Lamo and thought he would be a kindred spirit.

Manning allegedly asked Lamo, "If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day, seven days a week for eight plus months, what would you do?"

Authorities believe Manning had already done plenty.

In online chats and e-mail conversations, Manning allegedly took credit for leaking video of a 2007 Army helicopter strike in Baghdad to Wikileaks. The strike resulted in the death of innocent civilians including two Reuters employees and an unarmed Baghdad man. The video's release in April caused a media storm.

Manning allegedly said that he had discovered "incredible, awful things that belonged in the public domain and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington, D.C."

The young soldier wrote of how he downloaded the classified information.

"I would come in with music on a CD-RW labeled with something like 'Lady Gaga'," he told Lamo.

While pretending to sing along to Lady Gaga's hit "Telephone," Manning would actually be erasing the music from the CD and recording intelligence onto it instead.

Lamo says weak computer security let the disgruntled soldier copy confidential military reports that would soon be part of one of the greatest leaks of government information in 40 years.