Pentagon Scrambling Ahead of Wikileaks Dump
Rumors of a massive Wikileaks dump which would put over 400,000 documents worth of classified information about the Iraq war on the web for all to view have got Pentagon staffers working around the clock, The Daily Beast's Philip Shenon reports. Alternet's Scott Thrill wrote last month the speculation that the leaks could contain "American military participation in bloody conflicts as well as detainee abuse conducted by Iraqi security forces." Previous leaks from the company, including video footage strongly suggesting U.S troops' involvement in the killing of civilians, have proven devastating to military reputation. Pentagon staffers toldShenon yestarday that their "WikiLeaks task force" of 130 members has been furiously working to determine just what documents might be contained in the leak, and how to react when those documents are posted online. They have "contingency plans" for protecting Iraqi civilians and others who might be mentioned in the documents. But they also are continuing to "demand" that WikiLeaks halt the distribution of the documents and that major mainstream news organizations work with the Pentagon to determine what information might raise "national-security concerns." So far, however, Pentagon officials told The Daily Beast that no news organizations have come forward. The situation differs from the shadowy organization's massive dump of similar information on Afghanistan--believed to be provided by the same intelligence officer as the Iraq documents--because that leak came with weeks of advance warning. This leak is anticipated today only because of online chatter and rumors. Meanwhile WikiLeaks faces its own spate of internal problems, from an on-again off-again sexual harassment lawsuit against its elusive founder Julian Assange to an internal power struggle. Its siteremains down as of this morning. Read last month's Alternet story anticipating the next WikiLeaks dump. Read the full story at The Daily Beast.