Wikileaks man defends release of classified military files


The Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has defended the placement of tens of thousands of classified US military files on his website.

Even amid US intelligence fears that the move will put Afghan informants at risk, Assange has claimed the files were already in the public domain.

He has accused the White House of failing to respond to requests for assistance prior to the release of the files, which he had asked for to minimise the risk of informants being identified.

Wikileaks at first claimed the documents were vetted to ensure names of informants were not released, but reports since have suggested details of Afghans said to have provided intelligence to the US are able to be uncovered.

While the Pentagon had warned that the disclosure put the lives of informants at risk, Mr Assange has claimed no one was harmed by the disclosures.

He told the Times that it would be a matter of deep regret to him if anyone should come to harm over the leaked files.

Assange told the Times: "Our goal is justice to innocents, not to harm to them. That said, if we were forced into a position of publishing all of the archives or none of the archives we would publish all of the archives because it's extremely important to the history of the war."

He said 15,000 documents that might identify informants had already been held back from publication.

The Times reported Wednesday that it had been able to uncover the names of dozens of Afghans said to have provided intelligence to US forces.

The more than 90,000 classified military files span a period from 2004 to 2009 and contain a string of damaging claims, including allegations that government spies in Pakistan had met directly with the Taliban.

Source: Europe News.Net