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WikiLeaks: “Won’t Be Threatened by Pentagon”

August 19, 2010 by  


By Keith Moore, AP

WikiLeaks will soon publish its remaining 15,000 Afghan war documents, despite warnings from the U.S. government, the organization’s founder said Saturday.

The Pentagon has said that secret information will be even more damaging to security and risk more lives than WikiLeaks’ initial release of some 76,000 war documents.

“This organization will not be threatened by the Pentagon or any other group,” WikiLeaks founder and spokesman Julian Assange told reporters in Stockholm. “We proceed cautiously and safely with this material.”

He said WikiLeaks was about halfway though a “line-by-line review” of the 15,000 documents and expected to publish them within weeks. Assange said “innocent parties who are under reasonable threat” would be redacted from the material.

The first documents released in WikiLeaks’ “Afghan War Diary” laid bare classified military documents covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010. The release angered U.S. officials, energized critics of the NATO-led campaign, and drew the attention of the Taliban, which has promised to use the material to track down people it considers traitors.

That has aroused the concern of several human rights group operating in Afghanistan and the Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, which has accused WikiLeaks of recklessness. Jean-Francois Julliard, the group’s secretary-general, said Thursday that WikiLeaks showed “incredible irresponsibility” when posting the documents online.

WikiLeaks describes itself as a public service organization for whistleblowers, journalists and activists.

In addition to speaking at a seminar, Assange was in Sweden to investigate claims that the website was not covered by laws protecting anonymous sources in the Scandinavian country.

He confirmed to Swedish broadcaster SVT that WikiLeaks passes information through Belgium and Sweden “to take advantage of laws there.” But some experts say the site doesn’t have the publishing certificate needed for full protection in Sweden.

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