WikiLeaks is getting ready to release 400,000 classified documents expected to offer an unadulterated view of the Iraq War. A source described as close to WikiLeaks leaked the news. The fact that the upcoming release date of the documents was leaked is evidence of turmoil among WikiLeaks volunteers and director Julian Assange.
WikiLeaks Iraq War documents
WikiLeaks Twittered an announcement Friday that it would hold a news conference about the release of secret documents from the Iraq War Saturday. The New York Times reports that WikiLeaks had already made the documents available to several news organizations on the condition that they be withheld until WikiLeaks released them online. Aspects of the war the documents reveal include the Iraqi civilian deaths, Iraqi prisoner abuse and instances in which the Iranian military armed insurgents and attacked American troops.
Pentagon: WikiLeaks reveals nothing new
The WikiLeaks release of Iraq War documents was discounted by the Pentagon. Even so, the Christian Science Monitor reports that Pentagon officials said their release “could very well get our troops and those they are fighting with killed.” But the officials told the Monitor they reveal little that new information. Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said the time frame of the war covered in the documents has been extensively covered in news, books and films.
WikiLeaks’ internal dissent
As the U.S. government pressures WikiLeaks, there has been evidence of dissension within the organization. CNN reports that since WikiLeaks revealed the identity of informers when it published the Afghan War Diary earlier this year, some of its volunteer journalists and computer geeks have quit over Julian Assange’s business methods. Financial support has also become an issue. A British company, Moneybookers, which had been soliciting donations for WikiLeaks, ended its relationship with the whistleblowing site last week. Assange claims the U.S. government was behind the Moneybookers decision.