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Bradley Manning's Surprising Statement to the Court Details Why He Made His Historic Wikileak

A transcription of the soldier's statement, read in court, explaining why he leaked state secrets to Wikileaks.

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After seeing the information available on the WLO website, I continued following it and collecting open-source information from it. During this time period, I followed several organizations and groups including wire press agencies such as the Associated Press and Reuters and private intelligence agencies including Strategic Forecasting or Stratfor. This practice was something I was trained to do during AIT, and was something that good analysts were expected to do.

During the searches of WLO, I found several pieces of information that I found useful in my work product in my work as an analyst, specifically I recall WLO publishing documents related to weapons trafficking between two nations that affected my OP. I integrated this information into one or more of my work products.

In addition to visiting the WLO website, I began following WLO using Instand Relay Chat or IRC Client called ‘XChat’ sometime in early January 2010.

IRC is a protocol for real-time internet communications by messaging and conferencing, colloquially referred to as chat rooms or chats. The IRC chat rooms are designed for group communication discussion forums. Each IRC chat room is called a channel — similar to a television where you can tune in or follow a channel — so long as it is open and does not require [missed word].

Once you [missed word] a specific IRC conversation, other users in the conversation can see that you have joined the room. On the Internet there are millions of different IRC channels across several services. Channel topics span a range of topics covering all kinds of interests and hobbies. The primary reason for following WLO on IRC was curiosity — particularly in regards to how and why they obtained the SMS messages referenced above. I believed that collecting information on the WLO would assist me in this goal.

Initially I simply observed the IRC conversations. I wanted to know how the organization was structured, and how they obtained their data. The conversations I viewed were usually technical in nature but sometimes switched to a lively debate on issue the particular individual may have felt strongly about.

Over a period of time I became more involved in these discussions, especially when conversations turned to geopolitical events and information technology topics, such as networking and encryption methods. Based on these observations, I would describe the WL organization as almost academic in nature. In addition to the WLO conversations, I participated in numerous other IRC channels acros at least three different networks. The other IRC channels I participated in normally dealt with technical topics including with Linux and Berkley Secure Distribution (BSD) operating systems, or OSs, networking, encryption algorithms and techniques and other more political topics, such as politics and [missed word].

I normally engaged in multiple IRC conversations simultaneously — mostly publicly, but often privately. The XChat client enabled me to manage these multiple conversations across different channels and servers. The screen for XChat was often busy, but its screens enabled me to see when something was interesting. I would then select the conversation and either observe or participate.

I really enjoyed the IRC conversations pertaining to and involving the WLO, however, at some point in late February or early March of 2010, the WLO IRC channel was no longer accessible. Instead, regular participants of this channel switched to using the Jabber server. Jabber is another internet communication [missed word] similar but more sophisticated than IRC.

The IRC and Jabber conversations allowed me to feel connected to others even when alone. They helped pass the time and keep motivated throughout the deployment.

 
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