Small Wars Journal

WikiLeaks, Again (Updated)

News Links Below (Updated)

Press Secretary Calls WikiLeaks Release Shameful

By Cheryl Pellerin

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2010 -- WikiLeaks full public release on its website of 400,000 classified military documents from Iraq war operations is shameful, the Pentagon press secretary said tonight.

"This is an extraordinary disservice to America's men and women in uniform," Geoff Morrell said.

More than 150,000 forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are already in considerable danger, he said. "That danger is now exponentially multiplied as a result of this leak because it gives our enemies the wherewithal to look for vulnerabilities in how we operate and to exploit those opportunities and potentially kill our forces. That is just shameful."

The department does not yet know in detail what Wikileaks has published, but officials say they expect the same sort of documents the organization put on the Internet in July about the conflict in Afghan. WikiLeaks posted 77,000 documents from the Afghan database online in that breach of national security.

"This document leak is four times as large as the Afghan document leak," Morrell said. "It gives our enemies that much more to mine, and it puts our forces that much more in danger, so we condemn it, we deplore it."

Based on information contained in the newly released Iraq documents, some news outlets are already reporting on alleged abuse and civilian deaths.

"It has been a driving force for us, a guiding principle for us over the last seven years of this conflict to do everything in our power -- perhaps more than any other military in the history of the world has ever done -- to minimize civilian casualties," Morrell said.

"We have not always been perfect but we have been far better than anyone else has in the history of warfare," he added, "and we continue to do everything in our power to prevent innocent civilians from being killed in the war zones."

A DOD task force has been combing through the Iraq data base to assess the damage that the WikiLeaks publication of the activity reports could pose to the U.S. military, Iraqi allies and on-going operations.

"Potentially what one could mine from a huge data base like this are vulnerabilities in terms of how we operate, our tactics, our techniques, our procedures, the capabilities of our equipment, how we respond in combat situations, response times -- indeed how we cultivate sources," Morrell said. "All of that, [given the] thinking and adaptive enemy we've been facing in Iraq and Afghanistan, can be used against us."

U.S. intelligence reports and Taliban public statements indicate that enemy forces have been mining the released Afghan data base for operational vulnerabilities, Morrell said.

"We fear that this indeed can further endanger and get our troops killed," he said.

"We are extraordinarily disappointed that [WikiLeaks is] making the same mistake twice," Morrell said, "that they are leaking classified information -- in fact that they induce people to break the law to leak classified information and then share that information with the world, including our enemies."

News Links

WikiLeaks Releases 400,000 Classified U.S. Military Files - Voice of America

The Iraq Documents - New York Times

The Iraq War Logs - The Guardian

The Iraq War Logs - Der Spiegel

WikiLeaks Discloses Reports From Iraq - Wall Street Journal

Wikileaks Posts Thousands of Classified U.S. Documents - Los Angeles Times

Website Claims 15,000 Unreported Iraq War Deaths - Wall Street Journal

A Grim Portrait of Civilian Deaths in Iraq - New York Times

WikiLeaks Reveals War 'Bloodbath' - Sydney Morning Herald

Leaked Reports Detail Iran's Aid for Iraqi Militias - New York Times

Iran Accused of Plotting Attack on Green Zone - The Guardian

Iran Waging Shadow War with Coalition Troops in Iraq - The Australian

Five Bombshells from WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs - Christian Science Monitor

Detainees Fared Worse in Iraqi Hands, Logs Say - New York Times

Iraq War Leaks: U.S. Didn't Probe Abuse Allegations - Washington Post

Wikileaks: U.S. Ignored Iraq Torture Allegations - Daily Telegraph

Iraq War Documents: No U.S. Investigation of Many Abuses - Los Angeles Times

U.S. Forces 'Ignored Iraq Torture' - BBC News

Iraq War Leaks: No U.S. Investigation of Many Abuses - Associated Press

WikiLeaks Show U.S. Failed to Probe Iraqi Abuse Cases - Reuters

Iraq War Logs Disclosure Condemned by NATO and Pentagon - The Guardian

Ministry of Defence Criticises Wikileaks Iraq Release - BBC News

Opinion Mixed on Significance of WikiLeaks' Latest Revelations - Globe and Mail

WikiLeaks Continues to Face Challenges - Washington Post

Iraqi PM Says Politics Behind Latest WikiLeaks Relase - Voice of America

Maliki: Opponents Will Use U.S. Leaks Against Him - Washington Post

Iraq Prime Minister Calls Report Political - Wall Street Journal

Leaked Reports Stir Political Disputes in Iraq - New York Times

Wikileaks' Timing Angers Iraqi PM - BBC News

Tensions Still High Along Kurdish-Arab Line - New York Times

WikiLeaks Documents Give Iraqis Fuller Picture of War - Los Angeles Times

WikiLeaks Defends Release Of U.S. Iraqi War Documents - Voice of America

WikiLeaks Defends Release of Classified Documents - Christian Science Monitor

Wikileaks Defends Its Release of Iraq War Documents - Time

Pentagon: No Surprises Seen In WikiLeaks Iraq War Data - Reuters

WikiLeaks Documents Open To Interpretation - NPR

Mix of Trust and Despair Helped Turn Tide in Iraq - New York Times

Iraq WikiLeaks Release Offers New Casualty Details - Associated Press

Leaked Documents Recount Tales Known by Every Iraqi - Agence France-Presse

Use of Contractors Added to War's Chaos in Iraq - New York Times

British Legal Threat as U.N. Calls on Obama to Look at Claims - The Guardian

WikiLeaks Founder Gets Support in Rebuking U.S. - New York Times

WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety - New York Times