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US warns Wikileaks over new release
Wikileaks plans to release more classified documents despite Pentagon's call to stop.
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2010 23:27 GMT
Wikileaks plans to release 15,000 more classified files on the Afghan conflict [AFP]

The Pentagon has told whistleblowing website Wikileaks that it would be the "height of irresponsibility" if it went through with a new threat to publish outstanding documents it had on the war in Afghanistan.

Amid reports that WikiLeaks plans to release about 15,000 documents it had held back last month, Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman repeated on Thursday a US demand for the website to delete all classified material from the internet and return the material it had to the government.

"It is hard to believe anything WikiLeaks says, but our position on this matter should be well-known by now to everyone," he said.

Last month, WikiLeaks published more than 70,000 documents on the Afghan conflict, at a time when US public and congressional support for the nine-year war was declining.

The defence department said the leak - one of the largest in US military history - put troops and Afghan informers at risk.

However, Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, insisted that the website still planned to release its final batch of US military files , despite US demands it hold back.

Speaking via video link to an audience in London on Thursday, Assange said the site was preparing to release the final 15,000 classified files.

More files

"We are about 7,000 reports in," he said, without giving a date when the files would be released.

Asked whether the website would press ahead with the release, he responded: "Absolutely."

The files contained a string of damaging claims, including allegations that Pakistani intelligence met directly with the Taliban and that deaths of innocent civilians at the hands of international forces were covered up.

The site, which styles itself as "the first intelligence agency of the people," was founded in December 2006 and invited would-be whistleblowers from around the world to make anonymous contributions.

WikiLeaks has never identified the source of the Afghan files but suspicion has fallen on Bradley Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst under arrest for allegedly leaking video of a 2007 US Apache helicopter strike in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in which civilians had died.

Source:
Agencies
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