Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Look out for more whistle-blowing!


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LONDON – The founder of WikiLeaks said on Thursday that the whistle-blower website was preparing to release another roughly 15 000 documents about the war in Afghanistan.“We are about halfway through them,” Julian Assange told reporters in London, England. “This is a very expensive process.”The Pentagon yesterday warned WikiLeaks against releasing more documents. “It would compound a mistake that has already put far too many lives at risk,” said Geoff Morrell, deputy assistant secretary of defence for public affairs.“The only responsible course of action for them is to immediately remove all the stolen documents from their website and expunge all classified material from their computers,” he said. “If they were to publish any additional documents after hearing our concerns about the harm it will cause our forces, our allies and innocent Afghan civilians, it would be the height of irresponsibility.”But Assange said he was “absolutely” committed to moving forward with the release. “A lot of the recent criticism about Afghanistan was totally expected,” Assange said.“Every time we take on one of these big organisations, they try and try to find various ways to criticise us, and there might even be some legitimate criticism in this case,” he said. “But we did try hard to keep back some material.”The Defence Department has demanded WikiLeaks return all documents belonging to the Pentagon and delete any records of the documents, Morrell said last week.“The only acceptable course is for WikiLeaks to take steps immediately to return all versions of all of these documents to the United States government and permanently delete them from its website, computers and records,” Morrell said.Assange has previously said his website had an additional 15 000 documents that it wanted to publish but that it was redacting information that could endanger people named.Through The New York Times, the organisation has asked the Obama administration for its guidance on what to redact. A recently published report suggested the site has asked the Pentagon directly as well. Morrell, however, denied that claim last week.“WikiLeaks has made no such request directly to the Department of Defense,” he said. Morrell stated that other steps would be considered if WikiLeaks is not willing to cooperate. (AP)


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