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Published On: Fri, Oct 22nd, 2010

Pentagon bracing for Wikileaks release of classified documents

In a statement via Twitter, Wikileaks, which specializes in publishing classified material, stated that there would be a “major Wikileaks announcement in Europe” on Saturday at 10am British time.

Wikileaks has not detailed the documents directly, but most are presumed to be gathered during the 2003 Iraq invasion.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Nato’s Secretary General, said that any release of intelligence reports would create “a very unfortunate situation” for American forces and Iraqis.

“I can’t comment on the details of the exact impact on security but in General I can tell you that such leaks,” he told reporters Berlin, adding that the release “may have a very negative security impact for people involved”.

The Pentagon has set up an “Information Review Task Force” of 120 people to assess the potential implications and damage of the disclosure of the documents, which promises to eclipse the July release of more than 70,000 classified US military files relating to the Afghanistan war.

Der SpiegelThe New York Times and the Guardian, the same publications that released the Afghanistan “War Logs”, as well as Al Jazeera, are expected to publish the information simultaneously.

The task force has been scouring documents they think may be released to isolate names and other sensitive information.

A Defence Department spokesman said that once the documents appeared publicly US forces would “jump into action and take whatever mitigating steps” might be needed.

Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said: “By disclosing such sensitive information, Wikileaks continues to put at risk the lives of our troops, their coalition partners and those Iraqis and Afghans working with us”.

He said the documents were “essentially snapshots of events, both tragic and mundane, and do not tell the whole story”, although he added that the period covered by the reports had been “well-chronicled” and their released “does not bring new understanding to Iraq’s past.”

The Pentagon believes the documents were leaked by Private Bradley Manning, who is being held in Quantico, Virginia after being charged with supplying Wikileaks with a video of suspected Iraqi insurgents being killed by fire from a helicopter.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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