Bradley Manning “felt he was female," and looked into changing his gender, his former counselor tells New York. Though the suspected WikiLeaker “really wanted to do surgery,” the counselor says, “he was mostly afraid of being alone, being ostracized or somehow weird.” Manning used the Internet as a release: Online he could be “gay, patriotic, and powerful, too,” writes Steve Fishman. But in real life, his gender struggles and wartime deeds made him "feel like a monster," he sometimes wrote.
Meanwhile, other soldiers “started figuring me out, making fun of me, mocking me, harassing me,” he IMed an online acquaintance. That led to "one or two physical attacks." He was deeply disturbed by his work in Iraq, particularly his role in providing information that led to an questionable killing. “I was a *part* of something … i was actively involved in something that i was completely against,” he wrote. The month he contacted the counselor, November 2009, was the same month he allegedly allied himself with Julian Assange. (Read more Bradley Manning stories.)