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."
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
Iraq War Logs Disclosure Condemned by NATO and Pentagon - The Guardian
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
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
WikiLeaks Founder Gets Support in Rebuking U.S. - New York Times
WikiLeaks Founder on the Run, Trailed by Notoriety - New York Times