Pfc. Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning admitted to leaking 700,000 government documents to Wikileaks, including videos of air strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq in which civilians were killed. Manning said one of the videos, from 2007, was particularly disturbing to her — it showed American Apache helicopters killing a dozen people in Baghdad, including two Reuters journalists, and then opening fire on a van that arrived to help the victims. Manning noted the “seemingly delightful blood lust” of the airmen.
Manning said in February that her goal in releasing the materials was to show the public “what happens and why it happens.” “I believed if the public — in particular the American public — had access to the information” in the reports, “this could spark a debate about foreign policy in relation to Iraq and Afghanistan,” she said.
In 2010, while on leave, Manning first tried to leak materials to The Washington Post, but felt the reporter she spoke with was not interested. She then left a message with the ombudsman’s office at The New York Times which was not returned. So she uploaded the files to WikiLeaks. She was arrested on May 29, 2010; in August 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison.