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Pattaya Daily News

18 October 2010 :: 11:10:16 am 44236

US Military Prepare for Leak of Damaging Iraq War Documents

The US military has assembled a 120-member team to prepare for the expected publication of some 400,000 Iraq war documents on the Wikileaks website.
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United States, the 17th of October 2010: Although the release date as yet remains unconfirmed, insider sources are preparing for the leak of over 400,000 potentially damaging document on the Iraq war as early as Monday.

The documents are thought to concern battle activities, Iraqi security forces and civilian casualties and have been said to dwarf the release of 70,000 files on the Afghanistan war, released by the same Wikileaks website in July this year.

The Pentagon has said that it wants the documents back to avoid potentially damaging information being released to the public. Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan said the team was reviewing the files on the Iraq war to discover what the possible impact of the Wikileaks release could be.

Col Lapan said the files were from an Iraq-based database that contained “significant acts, unit-level reporting, tactical reports, things of that nature”. Col Lapan urged that the files be returned to the Pentagon because we don’t believe Wikileaks or others have the expertise needed. It’s not as simple as just taking out names. There are other things and documents that aren’t names that are also potentially damaging.”

The Wikileaks website is currently offline “undergoing scheduled maintenance”. Founder Julian Assange is being investigated in Sweden over an alleged sex crime. He denies the charge and says the allegations are part of a smear campaign by opponents of his whistle-blowing website.

The release of Afghanistan documents in July sparked fears that the leak may bring unnecessary security risks to US soldiers and Afghan civilians who were exposed as helping the coalition forces in the documents. However, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in a letter to the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the leak had not revealed any “sensitive intelligence sources or methods”.

Further fears are that the leaks will damage US intelligence sharing with other nations as well as intelligence sharing between US agencies.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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