October 23rd, 2010
05:41 AM ET

WikiLeaks editor defends release of classified Iraq docs

The publishing of nearly 400,000 classified military documents aims to reveal hidden truths about the Iraq war, the founder of WikiLeaks said Saturday.

"The attack on the truth by war begins long before war starts and continues long after a war ends," WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange told reporters in London, England. "In our release of these 400,000 documents about the Iraq war, the intimate detail of that war from the U.S. perspective, we hope to correct some of that attack on the truth that occurred before the war, during the war and which has continued on since the war officially concluded."

The whistleblower website published the military documents from the Iraq war on Friday, calling it the largest classified military leak in history.

After the leak in July of more than 70,000 Afghanistan war documents, the website was heavily criticized by the U.S. government, the military and human rights groups for failing to redact names of civilians in the documents, putting them at risk of retaliation by the Taliban.

Pentagon officials had warned that it had similar concerns of exposure of Iraqi names.

The WikiLeaks site used new methodology to redact sensitive information from the classified Iraq war military documents, according to WikiLeaks' Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Hrafnsson said the website used new methodology, an electronic redaction method combined with tests done by groups of people.

"It can best be described as a reverse approach to redaction. At the outset, everything in all reports was deemed harmful and redacted until proven otherwise," Hrafnsson told reporters.

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Filed under: Iraq • WikiLeaks
soundoff (162 Responses)
  1. tony

    The release will cause pain, suffering, and death to innocents. Obviously, nit the first case of that during the war.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. greg

    We deserve to be exposed for the true terrorists we are.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Redlion24

    This man should be declared as a enemy of the state. He wants attention, I think the United States should give him attention.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dale

    This man should release damaging information on North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela and Russia. Oh yea, he would be dead if or in a hit list if he did. Lucky for him he lives an a country with freedom of speech.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. matt

    Anyone who allows, permits, or is directly responsible for "leaking" sensitive or even partially sensitive info that pertains to this countries military, counter-terrorist activities, foreign political strategies, etc. should have to walk the plank above shark invested waters!!! Idiots!

    October 23, 2010 at 7:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • 2+2=5

      "Those that sacrifice freedom for safety deserve neither" -Rough quote from a founding father. Seems to me alot of you need to put things into perspective as oppose to seeing the world through the eyes of an uneducated right winger.

      October 23, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Fool's Gold

      And if that info pertains to criminal conduct?

      October 23, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ronan

    I have been struggling with this whole thing. Granted govts hide stuff that should be made public to bring out the shame of the decisions. We also must protect those who help our country.

    Having said that I think this Julian or whatever his name is, is showing passive aggression at its finest. I think his goal is to be a thorn in somebody's side. Period.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. DJ

    The more I learn about our military, the more relieved I am that I never signed up a decade ago when I graduated high school. Isn't that sad?

    October 23, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • 2+2=5

      Not at all, just educated, I know, its unfortunate to think.

      October 23, 2010 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  8. greg

    I have no idea what that means,Buck.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Jerry

    I've traveled all over this world as a member of our U.S. Armed Forces and I still proudly serve our great nation. I love the USA and what our military does every single day.

    I can only hope you that don't support the USA'a role in the global effort to defeat terrorism have a front row seat the next time some idiot decides they want to blow themself up and take a innocent bystanders with them.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • 2+2=5

      Hmm, almost seems like you really think this is all new. Seriously it wouldnt kill people to get an education before heading out at 18 to conquer the world. Derka Derr.

      October 23, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Douglas

    Wiki is great for this. We reap what we sew. Love is lovely, war is ugly. The leaks refer to iraq military and police. This is what we get for toppling a soverign nation that did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to the U.S. Or its people. Bush/ Cheyney should be convicted by world court and put in the haige for life.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 2+2=5

    Don't care for these over the top liberal types, if that is even what these people are, but even given that fact if it is true, why are there so many out there that think in a country of we the people, that we shouldnt know the truth about what we are doing. It is those very people "that can't handle the truth." Most likely because they bought into the whole sha bang. Oops. Kids serving? oops. Come on people face reality for a change, it was wrong, a mistake, and no matter how many of your kids you send it wont make it any more right. Having said that, we better be ready if we ever REALLY need to defend ourselves, because I feel we are going to be in a heap of trouble after messing with third world countries for the last 50 or more years. Cute, lets keep it up. Maybe we can be successful with atleast a few of them?!?! OOPS!!!

    October 23, 2010 at 7:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. catatemyhomework

    Will somebody put this putz out of my misery?????

    October 23, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Juemadre

    There are ways to release sensitive materials as evidence without disclosing information that endangers US troops and interests. In any war there are abuses by all parties. The allies try their best to keep their partners and troops in line. An impossible task considering the Arabs penchant for torture and assassination. Troops are taught to kill and in the heat of action are occasionally hard to rein in. As for the Taliban- torture and murder are their daily bread. Mr. Assange has gone out of his way to harm the US. Is there nothing forthcoming on abuses by Iran, Russia, Chavez, China, North Korea, or Syria. Where do WikiLeaks intrest lie. A little left of center?

    October 23, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Bednarian

    Simpletons! War is where bad things happen! Sometimes intentionally but with our country mostly unintentional and by mistake. We are one of a very few countries where respecting the rights of the enemy has any validity. We play nice while our enemies play dirty. And then some people cry about the tragedy without looking at what would be happening without us. Anyone want to guess how millions of Iraqi's would be dead today if we would not have removed Saddam from his dictatorship? Are the lives of those we saved somehow worth less than the ones who have died as a result of us doing good and decent acts? Grow up boys and girls! There is a reason for secrecy, both for safety and for operational reasons. But also for some of peoples conscience so that they do not have to know what it takes to persevere and bring good to the world.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Mason

    So this guy has caused all this stir, and conducted espionage and got that the guy who gave this stuff to him arrested for what? So he can tell us war is bad? Wow thanks for the new flash.

    October 23, 2010 at 7:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
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