While Bradley Manning awaits trial in Kansas on charges that he leaked thousands of pages of classified documents, New York magazine takes a look at his journey from childhood to the brig. Manning, the son of a semiliterate Welsh woman and a distant, often-absent father, was a lonely, troubled youth. In his teens, he bounced around different jobs and parts of the country, realizing he was gay, before finally joining the Army at his father’s suggestion. Manning told an online pen pal that he sometimes went around the chain of command using a connection in Washington, a colonel at the Defense Intelligence Agency whom he had slept with. While in Iraq, Manning also contacted a stateside counselor who talked to him about changing his gender. “I feel like a monster,” he told the counselor.
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