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The Site of Bradley Manning’s First Submission to WikiLeaks

What is possibly the most significant series of national security leaks in United States history began right here at this location pictured above.

Pfc. Bradley Manning’s first submission to WikiLeaks consisted of what is commonly referred to as the Iraq War Logs and Afghanistan War Logs. In the final weeks of January 2010, during mid-tour leave, Manning tried contacting the Washington Post and New York Times. When he was unable to connect with someone who was interested in the information he had or when he realized he was too nervous to go meet someone at the Post office, he decided to submit the war logs to WikiLeaks through the organization’s submission system.

He was staying with his aunt, Debra Van Alstyne, in Potomac, Maryland, and wanted to submit the documents before he lost access to a “good, strong Internet broadband connection.” A blizzard had knocked out the power so Manning went to a nearby Barnes & Noble about five and a half miles away in Rockville, Maryland. There, he used the Internet to upload the war logs that were eventually published on July 25 (Iraq War Logs) and October 22 (Afghanistan War Logs) of that year.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."