[News] Pentagon demands Wikileaks files

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 5 17:58:34 EDT 2010

Pentagon demands Wikileaks files  (2 articles follow)

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Pentagon has demanded that the whistle-blower 
website Wikileaks hand over all classified US 
military documents it has not yet published and 
remove existing material posted online.

Wikileaks is in possession of about 15,000 secret 
papers relating to the war in Afghanistan which 
it did not publish to protect those mentioned in the documents.

"We are asking them to do the right thing," said 
Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, as he made a 
public request for WikiLeaks to hand over the US 
documents and delete material it had put on the Internet.

"We hope they will honor our demands," he said, 
adding that the US government was the rightful 
owner of all the classified material in WikiLeaks' possession.

Wikileaks sparked controversy last month when it 
published more than 70,000 military documents 
relating to the war that revealed an unvarnished, 
and at times disturbing picture of the conflict.

The Pentagon said that the leak - the largest in 
military history- had put US troops and Afghan 
informers in danger. Morrell warned that more 
publications would cause further damage.

Task Force

A Pentagon task force of around 80 people is 
combing through the materials already posted on 
the website and flagging up documents deemed to 
pose a risk. Morrell said that foreign 
governments were being notified of dangerous material.

The analysts have already carried out about 400 
initial 'word searches' of the leaked documents 
and are continuing to work around the clock to 
carry out a more detailed study of what exactly 
has found its way into the public domain.

The Pentagon has some idea of the material that 
Wikileaks is holding back and is working to 
pre-empt the possible release of the documents, Morrell said.

Morrell refused to comment on potential legal 
action against Wikileaks, saying it was a matter 
for the FBI and US justice department to decide how to proceed.

But he said that the website was responsible for 
"brazen solicitation to US government officials, 
including our military, to break the law."

"WikiLeaks' assertion that submitting 
confidential material to WikiLeaks is safe, easy 
and protected by law is materially false and misleading'' he said.

The US investigation into the leaks is focused on 
Bradley Manning, an army intelligence analyst in 
Iraq who has already been charged with leaking a 
classified video showing a 2007 helicopter attack 
that left 12 people, including two Reuters journalists, dead in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Wikileaks has posted a huge encrypted 
file named "Insurance" to its website, sparking 
speculation that the organisation may be 
threatening to publish more classified 
information if its staff are detained or the website is attacked.
WikiLeaks posts huge encrypted file to Web


LONDON ­ Online whistle-blower WikiLeaks has 
posted a huge encrypted file named "Insurance" to 
its website, sparking speculation that those 
behind the organization may be prepared to 
release more classified information if authorities interfere with them.

Bloggers have noted that it's 20 times larger 
than the batch of 77,000 secret U.S. military 
documents about Afghanistan that WikiLeaks dumped 
onto the Web last month. Contributors to tech 
sites such as CNet have speculated that the file 
could be a way of threatening to disclose more 
information if WikiLeaks' staffers were detained 
or if the site was attacked, although the organization itself has kept mum.

"As a matter of policy, we do not discuss 
security procedures," WikiLeaks said Thursday in 
an e-mail response to questions about the 1.4 gigabyte file.

Editor-in-chief Julian Assange was a bit more 
expansive ­ if equally cryptic ­ in his response 
to the same line of questioning in a television 
interview with independent U.S. news network Democracy Now!

"I think it's better that we don't comment on 
that," Assange said, according to the network's 
transcript of the interview. "But, you know, one 
could imagine in a similar situation that it 
might be worth ensuring that important parts of history do not disappear."

Assange, a former computer hacker, has expressed 
concern over his safety in the past, complaining 
of surveillance and telling interviewers that 
he's been warned away from visiting the United States.

Since the publication of the Afghanistan files, 
at least one activist associated with the site 
has been questioned by U.S. authorities. 
Programmer Jacob Appelbaum, who filled in for 
Assange at a conference last month, was 
reportedly detained and questioned about the site 
by officials after arriving in the U.S. on a flight from the Netherlands.

U.S. officials have had harsh words for Assange, 
with Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, saying he and his colleagues had 
disclosed potentially life-threatening 
information and might already have blood on their hands.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has refused 
to rule out the possibility that Assange could be 
a target into the military's investigation into the leak.

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