A whistleblower website has published what it says are more than 90,000 United States military and diplomatic reports about Afghanistan filed between 2004 and January of this year.
The first-hand accounts are the military's own raw data on the war, including numbers killed, casualties, threat reports and the like, according to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.org, which published the material Sunday.
"It is the total history of the Afghan war from 2004 to 2010, with some important exceptions - U.S. Special Forces, CIA activity, and most of the activity of other non-U.S. groups," Assange said.
CNN has not independently confirmed the authenticity of the documents.
The Department of Defense will not comment on them until the Pentagon has had a chance to look at them, a Defense official told CNN.
National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones issued a statement Sunday calling the documents' release "irresponsible."
"The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security," the statement said.
WikiLeaks publishes and comments on leaked documents that allege government and corporate misconduct.
The nonprofit site is run by a loose band of tech-savvy volunteers and has quickly become one of the Web's go-to locations.
One of its greatest controversies involves the publication in April of a secret video taken in 2007 of a U.S. helicopter attack in Iraq that killed a dozen civilians, including two unarmed Reuters journalists.
At the time, Maj. Shawn Turner, a U.S. military spokesman, said that "all evidence available supported the conclusion by those forces that they were engaging armed insurgents and not civilians."
Pfc. Bradley Manning, 22, has been charged by the U.S. military with eight violations of the U.S. Criminal Code for transferring classified data, according to a charge sheet released by the military this week.
This month, site founder Julian Assange, who is rarely seen in public, told a TED conference that Wikileaks thoroughly vets materials on the site. Watch his TED talk
Those who defend WikiLeaks say it protects whistle-blowers, journalists and activists who want to communicate sensitive information. Critics have charged it recklessly endangers national security and the livelihoods of people whose identities must be kept secret.
A 2008, a U.S. Army Counterintelligence Center report, which was classified until it was uploaded to WikiLeaks in March, said that information posted to WikiLeaks.org could "aid enemy forces in planning terrorist attacks."
There are "legitimate secrets," Assange, 39, said at TED, including health records. But WikiLeaks deals, "with whistle-blowers that are well motivated," Assange said.
Assange has said that the organization gets material from whistle-blowers in a variety of ways - including postal mail. WikiLeaks rarely knows the identity of the source of the leak. "If we find out at some stage, we destroy that information as soon as possible," he said.
WikiLeaks operates in several countries, including Sweden and Iceland, Assange said, specifically because those nations offer legal protection to the disclosures made on the site.
Assange is considered a mystery and maintains a low profile. He said at TED that he has canceled at least three appearances in the United States, including a June talk at a national investigative journalism conference, because of what he called "unreasonable" statements that were made by U.S. officials. These statements were made in private, he said, and suggested that officials "may not follow the rule of law" in dealing with him.
A regional airline plane flying from Billings, Montana, had to make an emergency landing about 150 miles from its final destination of Phoenix, Arizona, Sunday, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Ian Gregor.
Allegiant Flight 645 was diverted to Flagstaff, Arizona, at 10:37 a.m. MT, Gregor said. The agency is investigating whether a possible engine fire forced the landing.
Initial reports stated that seven passengers received minor injuries, including scrapes and bruises, while evacuating the aircraft via the plane's emergency slides, he said.
The U.S. Gulf Coast dodged a bullet as Tropical Depression Bonnie degenerated into a disorganized weak low pressure Saturday afternoon.
The upper level low pressure that plagued Bonnie's development dating back to its time over the Bahamas finally proved to be more than Bonnie could handle.
The remnants of Bonnie brought showers and thunderstorms to southern Alabama, Mississippi, and the panhandle of Florida throughout the day on Sunday. Although the threat of a stronger tropical system delayed cleanup efforts in the Gulf oil spill area, and the drilling of a relief well, the situation could have been much worse for Gulf Coast residents.
One of two American service members who were abducted in Afghanistan on Friday has been killed, provincial government officials said Sunday.
Den Mohammad Darwish, the spokesman for the governor of Logar province, said he learned from locals that the service member was killed. Hesaid the body was found in the Patanak Mountains of Charkh district. He also said the vehicle the men were driving was located Sunday.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed that the killed American died in a firefight and the other is being held by the group. FULL POST
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assassination of a Pakistani politician's son, a Taliban spokesman told CNN.
On Saturday night, gunman shot and killed 25-year-old Mian Rashid Hussain, the only son of Mian Iftikhar Hussain, who is provincial minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and a fierce Taliban critic.
In a phone call to CNN, Taliban spokesman Ihsan Ullah Ihsan said the elder Hussain is also on the Taliban's hit list.
A bomb exploded Sunday in front of a busy shopping area in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least one man, authorities said.
Ten others were wounded an taken to three hospitals, according to a government emergency center. The 51-year-old man died while hospitalized for his injuries, authorities said.
Several roadside bombs and a sticky bomb in different districts in Baghdad killed two people and injured 22 Sunday, police officials in Baghdad reported.
A national police officer was killed and three others were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded near a police foot patrol in the Dora district of southern Baghdad, according to police officials.
And two roadside bombs were set off near a police patrol in Ghazaliya district in western Baghdad, injuring 14 people, including eight police officers.
Two people were injured when a sticky bomb attached to a civilian car exploded in New Baghdad in southeastern Baghdad, police said. All incidents occurred in a two-hour span Sunday between 6 and 8 p.m. local time (11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET).
Earlier Sunday, a civilian was killed and three others wounded when a roadside bomb struck a civilian vehicle in the Saydiya neighborhood of southwest Baghdad.
Bombings killed five U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.
The military did not say precisely where the incidents occurred, but the statement said the troops died in "improvised explosive device attacks." Four service members died in one attack and one was killed in the other. The incidents come during a bloody stretch in the country this summer. June was the deadliest month for international troops since the war began: 60 Americans were among 102 international troops slain, according to a CNN count of military figures.
This month, more than 70 international troops have died. That total includes more than 50 U.S. service members.
Taliban militants have regularly attacked troops with improvised explosive devices - the homemade bombs popularly known by the acronym IEDs.
They are considered the weapon of choice for insurgents during the Afghan conflict, and the military regularly conducts raids targeting people who have staged such attacks against troops.
On Friday night, Afghan and coalition soldiers pursuing a militant who plans IED attacks against coalition troops killed two armed men and detained others in the country's east, ISAF said on Saturday.
The incident occurred in Khost province. The troops were hunting down a militant from the Haqqani network, which has links to the Taliban. "IEDs not only harm Afghan and coalition forces, but approximately a third of the IED attacks wound and kill innocent civilians," said Col. Rafael Torres, an ISAF spokesman.
America's top military officer arrived in Pakistan on Saturday as part of an international tour, officials said. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Islamabad on Saturday, U.S. Embassy spokesman Rick Snelsire said. Mullen is on a 10-day trip meeting with military and government leaders around the world, according to a statement on the Joint Chiefs of Staff website.
Speaking to reporters Friday in New Delhi, India, Mullen noted that the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was a growing threat. "We're all increasingly concerned about its capability, its aspirations, and that's one of the reasons that we have to work so hard with each other as well as with Pakistan," he said, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the Joint Chiefs of Staff website. "And it's an issue that I raise very consistently in my meetings with leadership in Pakistan. And I will again when I meet with them again." FULL POST
A bomb exploded Sunday in front of a busy shopping area in Bangkok, Thailand, killing at least one man, authorities said. Ten others were wounded an taken to three hospitals, according to a government emergency center. The 51-year-old man died while hospitalized for his injuries, authorities said.
Alberto Contador, of Spain, was crowned Tour de France champion for the third time on Sunday as Brit Mark Cavendish won the final stage of cycling's premier event.
Contador enjoyed the customary winner's cruise into the Champs-Elysees in Paris after taking a 39-second lead over Andy Schleck in the time trials Saturday, traditionally decisive penultimate stage of the Tour. Russia's Denis Menchov was third overall. See the FULL STORY
The start of the final stage of the Tour de France was delayed Sunday when race officials asked Lance Armstrong and his team to remove black jerseys they were wearing in the name of cancer survivors.
The officials told Armstrong and his team to change back to their official jerseys, according to CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta who was at the Tour. The winner of seven Tours, Armstrong and his team had planned to ride into Paris' Champs-Elysees finish wearing jerseys emblazoned with "28." The number represents the 28 million people worldwide who have cancer.
A U.S. drone strike killed four suspected militants in Pakistan's tribal region Sunday morning, officials told CNN. The drone fired at least four missiles at the militants who were traveling inside a vehicle in Shaktai Algat, a village in South Waziristan, said two Pakistani intelligence sources.
The organizer of a German music festival announced Sunday that the "Love Parade" has been disbanded after more than 19 people were killed in a stampede. Rainer Schaller said the festival, which began in 1989, has been canceled "out of respect for the victims, their families and friends ..." Hundreds were injured at the event. See the FULL STORY
One American service member who was abducted in Afghanistan on Friday has been killed, provincial government officials said Sunday. The Taliban is believed to be responsible for the abduction. Read Crossroads, CNN.com's Afghanistan blog for more.
Den Mohammad Darwish, the spokesman for the governor of Logar province, said he learned from locals that the service member was killed. Darwish told CNN the body was found in the Patanak Mountains of Charkh district. He also said the vehicle the men were driving was located Sunday. See the FULL STORY
BP Sunday refused to confirm reports that its embattled chief executive Tony Hayward is on the verge of leaving the oil giant.
"Tony Hayward remains our chief executive and has the full support of the board and senior management," company spokesman Mark Salt told CNN.
British media reported Sunday that Hayward could be out as soon as Monday. He has been under fire over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill BP's alleged role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber. See the FULL STORY