» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments
» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments

Pentagon demands that WikiLeaks give back leaked reports and not post others

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, speaks with The Washington Post's Rocci Fisch and answers reader questions on just released secret Afghan war documents published by the web site.

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 6, 2010

Eleven days after the renegade Web site WikiLeaks publicly disclosed more than 70,000 classified U.S. field reports from the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Thursday that it wants them back.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story
This Story

Press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that the Pentagon is formally demanding -- through the news media -- that WikiLeaks return the reports, as well as 15,000 additional records that the Web site says it might release soon.

"We are asking them to do the right thing and not further exacerbate the damage done to date," he said. "If doing the right thing is not good enough for them, we'll figure out what other alternatives we have." He declined to elaborate on whether the Defense Department is contemplating legal action, but noted that the FBI and the Justice Department are investigating how the documents were leaked.

Morrell said the demand is a response, in part, to assertions by people affiliated with WikiLeaks that the Web site was trying to reach out to the Pentagon, in hopes of collaborating with defense officials on a review of the 15,000 or so documents that haven't been released. WikiLeaks has said it is delaying the disclosure as part of a "harm-minimization process" so it can possibly redact names and other information.

No one at the Pentagon has been contacted by anyone purporting to speak on behalf of WikiLeaks, Morrell said. He added that defense officials are not interested in reviewing the classified material with the group. "We're not getting involved in harm-minimization conversations," he said. "We're asking them to return stolen property."

Morrell acknowledged that the "genie is out of the bottle" in regard to the more than 70,000 reports that are not only posted on the WikiLeaks site, but have since been copied and downloaded by people all over the world. He said the Pentagon is primarily interested in blocking the release of the 15,000 other documents.

"I don't know that we're very confident they'll have a change of heart," he added. "I don't know what to expect from this organization."

Shortly after Morrell's remarks, WikiLeaks responded with a statement on its Twitter page: "Obnoxious Pentagon spokesperson issues formal threat against WikiLeaks: Destroy everything, or else."

» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments
» This Story:Read +|Watch +| Comments
© 2010 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile