Published On: Jul 30 2013 07:59:52 AM MDTUpdated On: Aug 22 2013 06:51:49 AM MDT
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, sentenced this week to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, said in a statement Thursday he plans to undergo hormone therapy and live as a woman named Chelsea. Here are 10 other things you may not know about the whistleblower.
1. He was born Dec. 17, 1987, in Crescent, Okla.
2. His mother is of Welsh descent, and he lived with her in Wales for a short period of time as a boy. His father was in the U.S. Navy and traveled a lot for work. Because his mother suffered mental health problems, he was often largely left to fend for himself.
3. He joined the U.S. Army in 2007 as an intelligence analyst and had Top Secret security clearance.
4. During basic training, Manning was bullied by his peers for being small (5 feet 2 inches) and his eccentric behavior. At one time, it was recommended he be discharged.
5. In July 2010, Manning is accused of leaking more than 250,000 classified military documents to WikiLeaks after becoming disillusioned with the military and the U.S. mission in Iraq. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange releases some of the documents on his website and through partners.
6. Julian Assange claims the information Manning leaked helped spark the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East after the widespread corruption of Arab dictors and other leaders was exposed.
7. A hacker named Adrian Lamo gained Manning's confidence, then turned him over to the FBI in late May 2010.
8. Manning pleaded gulity to 10 of 22 charges in February 2013, and faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. A verdict on the most serious charge against him, aiding the enemy, is expected Tuesday.
9. Villified by some who think he betrayed his country, Manning also has a large support network of people around the world who see him as a courageous whistleblower. Some have sought his release, citing him as a hero rather than a war criminal.
10. He has struggled with his gender identity, identifying himself as gay by the time he turned 13. Near the time of the leaks, he spent a period of time dressing and living as an alter ego named Breanna and was beginning to feel he should live his life as a woman.