The Guardian reports on the
Afghan war logs – 92,201 internal records of actions by the U.S.
military in Afghanistan, threat reports, descriptions of enemy attacks
etc., most classified as secret, which constitute the largest leak in
intelligence history. The source? Whistleblower site Wikileaks.
Wikileaks specializes in publishing untraceable material, including the now-infamous video of Apache helicopter soliders gunning down reporters and children.
The Guardian reports:
“Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, says that in the last two months they have received yet another huge batch of “high-quality material” from military sources and that officers from the Pentagon’s criminal investigations department have asked him to meet them on neutral territory to help them plug the sequence of leaks. He has not agreed to do so.”
“Behind today’s revelations lie two distinct stories: first, of the Pentagon’s attempts to trace the leaks with painful results for one young soldier; and second, a unique collaboration between the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel magazine in Germany to sift the huge trove of data for material of public interest and to distribute globally this secret record of the world’s most powerful nation at war.”
The Guardian tells the story behind the story, including the arrest of a suspected military whistleblower and an interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
“Assange volunteered that Wikileaks was in possession of several million files, which amounted to an untold history of American government activity around the world, disclosing numerous important and controversial activities. They were putting the finishing touches to an accessible version of the data which they were preparing to post immediately on the internet in order to pre-empt any attempt to censor it.
“But he also feared that the significance of the logs and some of the important stories buried in them might be missed if they were simply dumped raw on to the web. Instead he agreed that a small team of specialist reporters from the Guardian could have access to the logs for a few weeks before Wikileaks published, to decode them and establish what they revealed about the conduct of the war.
“To reduce the risk of gagging by the authorities, the database would also be made available to the New York Times and the German weekly, Der Spiegel which, along with the Guardian, would publish simultaneously in three different jurisdictions. Under the arrangement, Assange would have no influence on the stories we wrote, but would have a voice in the timing of publication.”
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