Pentagon to discuss Afghan files: WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the Pentagon is willing to discuss
the leaked Afghan war logs in order to decide which files could
potentially harm civilians and be removed.

“This week we received contact through our lawyers that the General Counsel of the U.S. Army says now that they want to discuss the issue,” Assange told The Associated Press. The site describes itself as a public service for journalists, activists and whistleblowers. Of course, his story, when investigated, has some holes, The Globe and Mail found.

The Globe and Mail reports:

“In Washington, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins denied army lawyers are involved but said Mr. Assange might have meant to say the Pentagon lawyer instead. Each service has its own counsel office, which is separate from the entire Defense Department’s general counsel, and Col. Collins was speaking only for the Army.

“When asked to clarify, Mr. Assange said he had misspoken and meant the general counsel of the Pentagon. He added that the contacts have been brokered by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

“The overall Defense Department spokesman, Bryan Whitman, did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

“WikiLeaks has asked the Pentagon for help in reviewing the documents to purge the names of Afghan informants from the files. Last week, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said he was not aware of any effort by department officials to contact WikiLeaks.”

The Globe notes that Assange was “in Sweden in part to prepare an application for a publishing certificate that would allow WikiLeaks to take full advantage of the Scandinavian nation’s press freedom laws.

“That also means WikiLeaks would have to appoint a publisher that could be held legally responsible for the material. Mr. Assange said that person would be “either me or one of our Swedish people.””