Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bradley Manning: WikiLeaker, Part 1



After moving out of his father's house, he had to deal with adult life head-on. Expenses that had been paid by his father were no longer covered. Manning was aimless, drifting from town to town.

Brian Manning
Brian Manning
His father told Frontline that he was the one who put the idea to join the military in Bradley's head:

"I said: 'Bradley, you're really not going anywhere, you know? You haven't got transportation.

"'You're working in a coffee shop and maybe going to go to community college. You really don't have any structure in place.' And I said: 'If you get into a place like the Army, you know, you're going to have three square meals a day; you're going to have a place to sleep and a roof over your head. And as long as you follow the path, you know, it's all you have to do.'"

During this time, he was holed up at his friend, Jordan Davis' house. According, Davis' father didn't know Bradley was staying there.

The friends signed up for jobs at a pizza place. Manning was a host, greeting customers, and Davis ran parties for families. By this time, Manning had gotten an apartment in Tulsa.

After a moment of stability, his life became unmoored by a series of bad decisions: He left his pizza job during his shift to interview at a bank, which he didn't get. He was fired for leaving during his shift.

He left Tulsa and headed up to Chicago, a short stint, before heading to Maryland to stay with his aunt. A series of menial jobs later, he was trying to figure out how he was going to eke out a college degree from the local community college in which he had been enrolled.

His father's advice sprung to mind. Nearly a year and half after that fateful fight at home, Manning enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Thought it seemed at first that Manning had finally gotten the structure he so needed, it seemed that perhaps he wasn't built for the military. For one thing, he was gay, and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was still Army policy.


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