Private First Class Bradley Manning was working in US Military Intelligence, when his name became associated with the leaked information.
The son of an American man and a Welsh woman, he has dual US and British nationality. His childhood and teenage years were split between the two countries.
At 19 years old, he enlisted in the United States Army. Friends reported that he was bullied and ostracized by fellow soldiers. He was openly gay, during the 'Don't Ask/Don't Tell' policy of the armed forces.
Bradley served in Iraq and, as a Specialist, he had access to sensitive and classified computer files for 14 hours every day. While there, he witnessed the rounding up of civilians and the non-stop carnage on his screens. He tried to report military mistakes, but was told to shut up by a superior.
Article 147 must have flashed through his mind. This was his big decision moment. Did he do as he was told, or did he do something to halt the war crimes playing out on his watch?
The truth is that nobody knows. He might have kept further inner conflicts of conscience to himself and just got on with it. He was still entrusted with the computer systems, even while the evidence was appearing on WikiLeaks. The actual whistle-blower could well still be in there.
However, a known hacker named Adrian Lamo approached the FBI with Bradley Manning's name. There were also logs of on-line conversations, which were purported to have taken place between them from May 2010. Details revealed within them fitted Bradley's biography; and seemed to implicate as the source of the information shown on WikiLeaks.
But they also contained Adrian's confession that he was willing to share information with the authorities, in order to receive a reduced sentence for his own crimes. 'I could have flipped for the FBI.' He wrote, 'Gotten a sweeter deal.' Whether he tampered with the logs, or handed them over without redaction, has never been established in a court of law.
In fact, nothing has. Bradley Manning was arrested May 10th 2010. He has been charged with offenses relating to the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing, but he has never been placed on trial. Several commentators, including the UN, have expressed concerns that the conditions of his confinement are tantamount to torture.