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Massive Cache of Iraq War Docs to Be Published by WikiLeaks


September 10, 2010 - A massive cache of previously unpublished classified U.S. military documents from the Iraq War is being readied for publication by WikiLeaks, a new report has confirmed. The documents constitute the "biggest leak of military intelligence" that has ever occurred, according to Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit British organization that is working with WikiLeaks on the documents....

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Massive Cache of Iraq War Docs to Be Published by WikiLeaks

Kim Zetter

25wikileaks_3_1small-283x300.jpg

Wired, September 10, 2010

A massive cache of previously unpublished classified U.S. military documents from the Iraq War is being readied for publication by WikiLeaks, a new report has confirmed.

The documents constitute the "biggest leak of military intelligence" that has ever occurred, according to Iain Overton, editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a nonprofit British organization that is working with WikiLeaks on the documents.

The documents are expected to be published in several weeks.

Overton, who discussed the project with Newsweek, didnt say how many documents were involved or disclose their origin, but they may be among the leaks that an imprisoned Army intelligence analyst claimed to have sent to WikiLeaks earlier this year.

Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has been charged with improperly downloading and leaking classified information, disclosed to a former hacker in May that he had given WikiLeaks a database covering 500,000 events in the Iraq War between 2004 and 2009. Manning said the database included reports, dates, and latitude and longitude of events, as well as casualty figures.

A leak of this sort would vastly dwarf the cache of about 75,000 documents that WikiLeaks published in July from the Afghanistan War. That cache involved field reports from analysts who compiled information from informants and others on incidents and intelligence.

Overton said that his group is working on the new cache of documents with major television networks and print-media outlets in several countries, including the United States, to produce documentaries and stories based on them. The collaboration is similar to what was done in July when WikiLeaks worked with three news outlets The New York Times, the Guardian and Der Spiegel to simultaneously publish stories on the Afghan War logs.

Overton told Newsweek that the media organizations working on the new Iraq documents have taken into consideration the controversy that surrounded the publication of the Afghan War logs.

WikiLeaks, which published unredacted raw documents on its website at the same time the news outlets published their stories, was criticized by the Defense Department and others for potentially disclosing identifying information that could put the lives of informants and their families in danger. There has been no evidence to date, however, that anyone has suffered actual harm due to the documents.

"We are hugely aware that this is an issue, and were taking it very seriously," Overton said, noting that his organization would not be publishing raw documents but would instead be mining them for information for stories.

The media organizations working with WikiLeaks will each be making financial contributions to the production costs, according to Overton. Its not clear if this means the media organizations will contribute money to WikiLeaks or will simply be pooling money to produce joint media projects and stories related to the documents.

Overton said he would not be answering any more questions about the issue, when contacted by Threat Level for clarification.

Newsweek has quoted anonymous sources who say that some of the most-disturbing information in the documents relates to the abusive treatment of detainees by Iraqi security forces.

The Defense Department did not respond to a request for comment from Threat Level.



:: Article nr. 69656 sent on 11-sep-2010 16:22 ECT

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