Over the course of about 15 hours of internet chats, spread across about six months in 2009, Bradley Manning had a series of conversations with a gay activist from outside Chicago called Zach Antolak who he had approached through cyberspace having come across Antolak’s YouTube channel.
Manning, who is currently being held at the Fort Leavenworth military facility in Kansas on suspicion that he was the source of the WikiLeaks trove of US state secrets, was at that time training at Fort Drum in upstate New York.
The chat logs reproduced below have never been seen in their entirety before. They were obtained by New York magazine, which drew on them in the writing of a long profile of the US soldier, Bradley Manning’s Army of One.
In the chats, Manning uses the internet handle bradass87, while Antolak goes by ZJ (or on YouTube as Zinnia Jones). In the course of their cyber-discussions, Manning describes his life in the army and its discriminatory don’t ask don’t tell (DADT) policy towards gays, talks about his time in a Welsh school, life at home with his father in Oklahoma, his thoughts on terror suspects detained in Guantánamo, as well as his views on religion and foreign affairs.
The chats can be sketchy and at times mundane, but they are revealing about the character and outlook of the man who stands accused of supplying the largest leak of official secrets in history.
The logs have been edited in three places to protect the privacy of a third party.
Read the logs here: Guardian.co.uk